The weather for the weekend is forecast to be “Fine and dry with settled conditions,” so a good weekend to get out into our local parks. Both Shrewsbury Park and Eaglesfield Park have community activities this weekend.
If you can spare an hour to help clean up the park by picking up rubbish and cutting back brambles, please meet this Saturday at 11am at the Garland Road entrance to Dothill. Please bring your gardening gloves and secateurs.
Then on Sunday the Friends of Eaglesfield Park have things going on all day. In the morning they have one of their clean-up sessions at the lilly pond, assisted from 11.00am by Youth Volunteers from NCS (National Citizen Service), then after lunch another free Tai Chi session led by Tai Chi teacher Chew-Yeen. Following the Tai Chi, Chew-Yeen has organised a “cake sharing” for a donation of £2 in support of MacMillan Cancer Nurses. We’ll need to bring our own flask of tea or coffee
September is the start of the breeding season for bats and also when they start to build up their fat stores for the winter hibernation, so hopefully there will be plenty of them around for the Shrewsbury Park bat walk on Friday. Kathy from the Friends of Shrewsbury Park e-mailed the poster and details of the walk:
Please find poster attached giving details of the Bat Walk on 11 September, starting at 7.45pm in the car park.
It is free to you as you are a member of the Friends of Shrewsbury Park. You will see that we have decided to charge non-members for the walk. If non-members join the Friends, then the walk will be free to them. By charging non-members, we will increase the funding towards our drinking fountain. If they join, then we will increase our membership.
We will have to spend a few minutes at the beginning of the walk checking membership.
Just a reminder, if it is raining, the bats will not be out, nor will we.
Fingers crossed for a dry evening.
This is the last local bat walk for this year as far as I know. Lots of bats have been detected and sighted on all the others, let’s hope Friday maintains the record.
Brown Long Eared bat from Jenny Clark’s education team at Batfest 2015
Serotine bat from Jenny Clark’s education team at Batfest 2015
Greenwich Morris Men at Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival
Local archaeologist Andy Brockman will be the “Walking Time Machine” on Friday when he leads a walk through the history in and around Shrewsbury Park. This is the first of three free walks arranged by the Friends of Shrewsbury Park. Kathy from the Friends wrote with details:
One of our members, Andy Brockman, who is a Shooters Hill based archaeologist, is providing a free walk on Friday 17 July 2015 starting at 7.30pm. If you are interested, please meet at the car park off Plum Lane. He says, “your journey aboard the Walking Time Machine will last approximately one and a half hours and twelve thousand years, taking in the Bronze Age, London’s first Open Air School and the Battle of Britain. Families and well behaved dogs are welcome. This event is part of the Council for British Archaeology Festival of British Archaeology.
19th July, at 10am: Local birds. John Beckham will be leading the walk around the park and pointing out the local birds. Meet at the Garland Road entrance and bring binoculars if you have them.
25 July, at 3pm: Butterflies. John Denton will be showing us the different butterflies in the park. Meet at the Green Chain sign on Dothill (at the bottom of the concrete path that leads from the car park). Bring binoculars if you have them.
The “Walking Time Machine” is part of the 25th Festival of Archaeology which is co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology. There are over a thousand events taking place across the country between the 11th and 26th July 2015. I’m looking forward to learning about the Open Air School which was the first such school opened by the LCC in 1908 and based in Shrewsbury Park. David Lloyd Bathe’s “Steeped in History” describes the school, and includes a number of photographs of it such as the one below from the Greenwich Heritage Centre. Some of the pictures are of wooden buildings that formed part of the school. It’d be interesting to know where they were located. And where in Shrewsbury Park was Colonel Bagnold’s Bronze Age barrow number 6?
Nature studies at the Shooters Hill Open Air School, from the Greenwich Heritage Centre collection
The Friends of Shrewsbury Park have excelled themselves with the number of attractions and events in year’s Summer Festival, which takes place on Sunday 28th June from 2-5pm. Kathy from the Friends wrote with all the details:
We hope to see you at our Summer Festival on 28 June. The fabulous dog show will start registration at 1.30pm, and the classes are:
* fun agility course
* best rescue dog
* best child handler
* sing with your dog
* puppy class
* obedience class
* fastest dog.
It costs £2 per class, and the profits go to Friends of Shrewsbury Park (to go towards our drinking fountain).
We will have the Doriel School of Dancing at 2pm, Greenwich Morris Men at 3pm, and Leo’s Kpop group at 4pm. They will be presenting a routine, then teaching any willing participant to do a routine.
We will have the Greenwich Rock Pop Community Choir from Abbey Wood who will run a small singing workshop. They will get a bunch of passers by, give them a lyric sheet and teach them the harmonies to a song like daft punk’s – Get Lucky, Beatles – Help, Mama/Papas – california dreamin’.
Hawk and Hood will be there with their birds of prey, and Woodlands Farm Trust will bring along some of their sheep to the event.
We will also have the Dogs Trust, Flamsteed Astronomy Society, Friends of Pet Cemetery, Friends of Bostal Heath, Guide Dogs, the Police, RSPB, Severndroog Castle, Paws and Co, Riverford Home Delivery, Season, the local Councillors, Aloe Vera alternative, Robert’s Walking Sticks, Shabby Chic, and Phoenix Cards. The Friends of Shrewsbury Park will be providing a Tea and Cake stall, lots of goodies in the bric a brac, a children’s play area, used books and membership stall.
It’s worth going to the Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival just for the brilliant, entertaining dog show, but with all the other events and stalls too it is just unmissable.
Obedience Competition at 2013 Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival
Fastest Dog Competition at 2013 Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival
The Friends of Shrewsbury Park‘s bat walks have become so popular that this year they will be holding two. The first will be held next Friday, 15th May, and the second later in the year on 11th September. An e-mail from the Friends gave the details:
Hang out with the bats
Shrewsbury Park 15th May 2015
Meet in the car park off Plum Lane at 8.00pm for an introduction from bat-wise FSP members who will lead this adventure through the park at sunset using our eyes, ears and bat detectors!
– Wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing
– Children must be accompanied by an adult
– Walk lasts about 1 ½ hours and torches are helpful
– Dogs must be kept on a lead
– If you have mobility issues, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you to participate. The trail is a mixture of paved path, gravel and grass.
If it rains, neither the bats nor us will be coming out!!
Biggles the giant Pipistrelle at Bat Fest at the Natural History Museum
If you’re interested in bats then there will be lots of other chances to see them during the summer months. You can get really close to bats at the annual Bat Fest held at the Natural History Museum. This year it will be held over the August Bank Holiday weekend, 29th and 30th August from 12-5pm. One of the many highlights is Jenny Clark and her education bats, as the BCT website says:
Sussex Bat Hospital – One of our most popular attractions!
Learn about the work of Jenny the bat carer a.k.a. ‘BatLady’ who will bring her bat lodgers in for the day. These bats have been previously injured but sadly cannot be released into the wild. However, they live a comfortable life with Jenny who caters to all of their batty needs.
Jenny, who was awarded the MBE in the 2015 New Years Honours List for her services to bat conservation, brings along examples of most of the UK bat species and shows them off to visitors.
There will also be a number of other bat walks in the local area during the coming months. Woodlands Farm and Hall Place haven’t published the dates for their bat walks yet, but Crossness Nature Reserve have. The Bexley Wildlife blog has the details:
Fri 14th Aug, 20:15 – 22:30
BAT WALK– A walk round Southmere Lake and Crossness Southern Marsh, south of Eastern Way, identifying bat species with the use of bat detectors. Daubenton’s bats will be putting on a show over the lake, and Pipistrelle bats – and hopefully other species – will be hunting over the marshes. Feel free to bring children along. Bring a torch if you have one and you might want to wear some insect repellent. Sorry, there are no refreshments provided for this event
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THIS DATE MAY NEED TO BE CHANGED. PLEASE BOOK ON IF INTERESTED IN ATTENDING AND I WILL UPDATE YOU IF THERE IS A DATE CHANGE – THANK YOU
Meet 20:15 at the Southmere Lake/ Lakeside Complex car park off Belvedere Road (SE2 9AQ)
Fri 11th Sept, 19:00 – 21:00
BAT WALK– A nocturnal walk around the nature reserve north of Eastern Way after sunset, identifying bat species with the use of bat detectors. Hopefully we’ll see some other nocturnal species too. Bring a torch if you have one, and you might wish to wear some insect repellent.
Book for these by contacting Karen Sutton, the Biodiversity Team Manager at Thames Water Crossness Nature Reserve by phone on 07747 643958 or Email: Karen.email@example.com.
If you can’t wait to see some bats here is a video of a pipistrelle bat in the hand. Remember though, if you do find a bat you shouldn’t handle it, but follow the BCT guidelines for containing it and contact the Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.