Welcome

Early October 2016 Open Day at Westcombe Woodlands

You are invited to come along to our 3rd Open day event on Sunday, 2nd October, starting at 2:00pm.  Bring stout walking shoes!  Refreshments will be available and there will be activities planned.  The woodland at Lasseter Place will only be open for access from 3:00 until 5:00.

westcombe-woodlands-open-day-2nd-october-2016

Second Successful Open Day for Westcombe Woodlands

Our second open day took place in the afternoon of Saturday 7th May 2016.  Our afternoon session allowed more than 100 people to see for themselves the work that has taken place since the last open day 6 months earlier.  The warmth of Spring was definitely felt in the woodland, allowing early flowering plants to take advantage of the open woodland canopy.

The photos below 2 areas of woodland plants in The Glade area; the first shows a patch of recently planted common bluebells that are already well developed and with regular maintenance will continue to spread; the 2nd shows a patch of woodland plants we planted as small plugs 2 years ago.  All are growing well in the conditions offered.

Newly planted bluebells in full bloom

Newly planted bluebells in full bloom

Woodland plants in The Glade

Woodland plants in The Glade

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our orchard is also now putting on a good display of blossom, as can be seen in the photo below.  The pear tree is in full blossom, and other blossoming pear and apples can be seen behind it.  The 2nd picture shows a fully mature pear tree in The Glade area.  This tree has already reached full blossom, as witnessed by the many white petals underneath the canopy on the ground.  A new feature of the woodland as part of our ongoing management is the introduction of our pond.  This was recently built with the help of committee members and volunteers from Barclays Bank.  Already the water’s edge plants are growing, but to our amazement committee member Nigel Duncan took the below photograph of a mallard which had made an appearance!  Already it’s  proving to be a new wildlife feature after only a few weeks.

A pear tree in full flower

A pear tree in full flower

Mature pear tree in The Glade

Mature pear tree in The Glade

The newly created pond in The Glade area

The newly created pond in The Glade area

 

 

 

 

 

Mallard making a splash in the new pond

Mallard making a splash in the new pond

Volunteers and the public discussing the woodland

Volunteers and the public discussing the woodland

People looking at our photographic history of achievements

People looking at our photographic history of achievements

                                                                                                                                                                            Finally, the last 2 above photos show a mixture of the committee members and the public enjoying The Glade area.  The last photograph showing our achievements over the years that we have printed off for everyone to look at and appreciate.  Following on from another successful event, we will be soon putting together plans for another open day in the Autumn.

Successful Open Day for Westcombe Woodlands!

Sunday, 4th October 2015 saw the official and formal opening of the Woodlands to the public. After some 4 years in the making, we saw blue skies and glorious sunshine greet some 350 people through our gate.

The opening ceremony was presided over by the newly elected MP for Greenwich & Woolwich, Matthew Pennycook.

The photos below show Matthew cutting the ribbon at the new entrance to woodland with the ceremonial garden shears after delivering a welcoming speech to the crowd. The next photo shows people heading in to the woodland.

Matthew Pennycook MP declares the woodland open!

Matthew Pennycook MP declares the woodland open!

Members of the public walking towards The Glade area after the opening ceremony.

Members of the public walking towards The Glade area after the opening ceremony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many of the people who attended the open day have never experienced at first-hand the inside of the woodland, so this was a great achievement for all the committee members and volunteers’ efforts over the years.

People looking around The Glade area.

People looking around The Glade area.

People looking at the information boards.

People looking at the information boards.

Chairman Tim Barnes taking part in the woodland activities.

Chairman Tim Barnes taking part in the woodland activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above photos show the area known as The Glade with people looking around this area and looking at the information boards and taking part in some of the activities that were put on through the day.

Below is a photo of the refreshment stand which had drinks and refreshments for sale including cakes made by committee member Don Albrecht’s children. Donations taken on the day amounted to an incredible £175!  Finally, we have the The Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor Norman Adams standing at the new entrance and another of him with the public in The Glade area.

Cakes and drinks being sold on the refreshment stall

Cakes and drinks being sold on the refreshment stall

Mayor of Greenwich in The Glade area

Mayor of Greenwich in The Glade area

Mayor of Greenwich standing at the new woodland gate entrance

Mayor of Greenwich standing at the new woodland gate entrance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The day was a resounding success, generating much interest with new members eager to join in next year’s activities. It’s hoped we will be able to undertake another open day in the Summer of 2016.

The Westcombe Woodlands are located in the Royal Borough of Greenwich between Maze Hill and Vanbrugh Hill and very near to Greenwich Park and Maze Hill Station.

Westcombe Woodlands VolunteersThe Friends of Westcombe Woodlands are a group of local people set up to:

  • secure the preservation, protection and improvement of the Westcombe Woodlands
  • educate the public in the history, natural history, ecology and biodiversity of the woodlands and to promote the work of volunteers to achieve those objectives
  • to promote high standards of conservation in the woodlands

About the Woodlands

The land is a steep and densely wooded area, 3.6 acres in size, to the south of Maze Hill Station and is today almost completely surrounded by housing.

Until the 18th century there were substantial gravel workings on the site. The need for this arose from the fact that incoming ships to London Docks, having unloaded their cargoes, required ballast for the return journeys, and gravel ballast became a valuable commodity. Other parts of the woodlands were at one time used for market gardens, allotments and even pig farms. But the steep nature of the site, and the excavations left by the quarrying activities, fortunately prevented any building.

Volunteer Day 2012When these activities ceased it became more and more overgrown. Footpaths disappeared under weeds and ivy, bramble and sycamore flourished.In the early 20th century the woods passed into the ownership of the Regional Health Authority. Woodlands Heights, a block of flats adjacent to the woods, was originally a nurses home.

In 2011 BPT ran a pilot project with Trees for Cities to get volunteers from the local community involved in the management and improvement of the woodlands. Nearly a hundred  enthusiasts came along.In 1982 the woods were acquired by the Blackheath Preservation Trust, which has a distinguished local history in preserving historic buildings (Blackheath Halls, Vanbrugh Castle and Boones Chapel for examples). The BPT is now part of the Blackheath Society, a registered Drawing of the Westcombe Woodlands sitecharity, and the ownership of the woods is vested in a subsidiary woodlands company.With the encouragement of the Greenwich, Blackheath and Westcombe Societies, the Friends of Westcombe Woodlands were then formed to work in partnership with BPT. A new chapter in the life of the Westcombe Woodlands has started. A more detailed history of the Woodlands can be found on the history page.

5 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Anne Andrews

    Hullo
    I was interested to read about Westcombe Woodlands in Greenwich Time and looked at your website.
    I’m a keen amateur mycologist, a person who is very interested in wild mushrooms, toadstools and other fungi. I wondered if it would be possible to visit the wood to record the fungi growing there as this is the time of year when fungi are most likely to be seen. Or do you already have someone among your members who is doing this? If so I’d be very interested to see their list.
    My phone number is 020 8473 5469.
    Best wishes Anne

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hello Anne,
      Many thanks for your very kind email. We don’t have, as far as I know, any dedicated mycologists so this sounds a wonderful opportunity. I’ve passed your enquiry to Frank Smith, one of the other committee members. There is a volunteer day coming up next week, which will be the next time we are “onsite”. Do let us know if you wish to come along.
      Kind regards,
      Chris Bates (Committee Member)

      Reply
  2. Susannah Andrews

    Please could you let me know if it would be possible to run regular forest school type outdoor parent and child sessions here, we are from Greenwich Acorns and Forries Education
    How can we be involved in helping looking after the woodland and bring awareness. Would there be a charge!? We would charge the people attending our sessions. We are ready to discuss all possibilities. We would be not only responsible but respectful and helpful.
    We run sessions in Oxleas Woods and Hilly Fields, manor park and are very established.
    Happy new year
    Warmly,
    Susannah

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hello Susannah,
      Many thanks for your email regarding potential usage of the woodlands. I’m going to forward this to other committee members for their thoughts. Happy new year!
      Chris Bates (Committee Member)

      Reply
  3. Jon Calnan

    The patch of woodland facing onto Tom Smith Close has been recently taken over by a flock of magpies. All other species of bird in the area seems to have disappeared, with the exception of the pigeons. It makes for a very sorry sound and sight, as these birds can be very destructive the the local environment.

    Reply

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