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  • hilly 6:21 pm on July 14, 2015
    Tags: , , shrewsbury park   

    The Walking Time Machine and other walks in Shrewsbury Park 

    Greenwich Morris Men at Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival

    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.

    and then:

    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

    Nature studies at the Shooters Hill Open Air School, from the Greenwich Heritage Centre collection

     
  • hilly 11:57 am on June 25, 2015
    Tags: , shrewsbury park   

    Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival 2015 

    Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival 2015 leaflet

    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

    Obedience Competition at 2013 Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival

    Fastest Dog Competition at 2013 Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival

    Fastest Dog Competition at 2013 Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival

     

     
  • hilly 11:51 am on May 10, 2015
    Tags: , , , shrewsbury park   

    Shrewsbury Park Bat Walk 

    May 15 bat walk poster

    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 fspdog@hotmail.com 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!!

    The Friends will be borrowing bat detectors for the evening from the local parks forum,  the Bat Conservation Trust and London Bat Group.

    Biggles the giant Pipistrelle at Bat Fest at the Natural History Museum

    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.sutton@thameswater.co.uk.

    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 enquiries@bats.org.uk.

     
  • hilly 10:28 am on March 19, 2015
    Tags: cantwell road, , , shrewsbury park   

    Community Spring Cleaning 

    Shrewsbury Park

    Shrewsbury Park

    Local community groups from Shrewsbury Park, Mayplace Lane and Cantwell Road will each be getting together over this weekend to spruce up their areas, then the following weekend the Friends of Eaglesfield Park will be starting their regular maintenance sessions at the lilly pond (about which more in a later post ). Plus the Friends of the Pet Cemetery Charlton are holding gardening sessions on the second Sunday of each month at the cemetery. All of these groups would welcome volunteers to help.

    The Friends of Shrewsbury Park are meeting on Saturday. Kathy from the Friends wrote with details:

    We will be holding a clearing session on Saturday 21st March, from 11am – 12 noon. We will be taking ivy off trees and picking up litter.
    If you can spare an hour, please meet at the Garland Road entrance to Dothill at 11am. You will need to wear stout gloves and sensible shoes. Please bring your own secateurs/loppers.
    We look forward to seeing you there.

    On Sunday morning between 10:30-12:00 the Mayplace Lane group will be planting some fruit hedging bought with money donated by local residents and also building bug houses and litter picking. Any materials suitable for bug houses would be appreciated, for example: bricks, air bricks, clay pots, tiles and wood. Nicola has arranged for Greenwich Council to provide litter pickers and rubbish bags, and to pick up the rubbish on Monday morning.

    Then on Sunday afternoon the Cantwell Road residents will be meeting for a community spring clean. Geoff wrote:

    Now that Spring is here Ivanhoe Norona from Maple Court has suggested that anyone interested  in a “Community Spring Clean” of various areas including the Cantwell Triangle and the wooded area between Eglinton Hill and Cantwell meet at 2pm on Sunday 22nd March at the Cantwell Triangle (opposite junction of Brent and Cantwell). He says, “We might even be able to invite our local councillors and see if the council would like to be involved.”

    So this weekend sees three good opportunities to meet neighbours and help improve the places we live in.

    Mayplace Lane

    Mayplace Lane

     
  • hilly 6:30 pm on August 29, 2014
    Tags: , , shrewsbury park   

    Shrewsbury Park Bat Walk 

    Shrewsbury Park bat walk poster 2014

    Bats have become very popular, perhaps surprisingly given their past unfortunate associations with blood-sucking vampires. Bat walks are consistently fully booked up: both Woodlands Farm and Hall Place had no spare spaces on nightime strolls with bat detectors  in the last couple of weeks. And in July the Bat Conservation Trust’s  Bat Fest weekend at the Natural History Museum had its busiest year yet with nearly 3000 visitors.

    The Friends of Shrewsbury Park‘s bat walks have always been very well attended. This year’s will be held next Friday, 5th September. An e-mail from the Friends gave the details:

    We will be providing a bat walk on Friday 5th September.  If you would like to attend, please meet in the car park at 7.30pm for an introduction to bats by Kris and Les, and a demonstration on how to use the bat detectors.  The walk will last about an hour and a half.
    – please wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing
    – children must be accompanied by an adult
    – dogs must be kept on a lead
    – please bring a torch.
    If you have mobility issues, please contact us so we can 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

    Biggles the giant Pipistrelle at Bat Fest at the Natural History Museum

    Bats’ popularity isn’t confined to the UK. This Saturday is the 18th International Bat Night, an event which started in 1997 and is marked by batty events in more than 30 countries all over the world. The Bat Conservation Trust in the UK is holding a Creative Competition for International Bat Night:

    To enter the competition all you have to do is create something original and inspiring that represents how you celebrated International Bat Night. Your entry could be a drawing or painting of a bat you saw whilst on a bat walk, a picture of bat shaped cookies you baked, or a poem or short story inspired by your activities.

    The closing date for entries is next Friday 5th September.

    Why the increased interest in bats and bat walks? Part of the reason, I think, is that bat detectors have become less expensive, and they are also available for loan for bat walks from the BCT, London Bat Group and park groups so it’s easier to find bats. Also, though, they are such fascinating creatures. They can detect and then capture insects such as midges on the wing using their echolocation – they shout continually as they fly around and use the echoes from tiny insects to “see” where their prey is. They have wonderful wings, constructed from layers of skins over elongated finger bones, hence the name of their order, chiroptera, meaning “hand-wing”.  This gives them great agility and control in flight, as you can see in the amazing film footage included below.

     

     
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