The Friends of Westcombe Woodlands are not seeking to change the unique wild nature of the woodlands. We do not plan regular public access, as given the steep nature of the land this is potentially unsafe. For one or two days a year we want to invite the public in, under supervision, to see what is happening and to experience the diversity of the woods. There are also regular volunteer days in which we seek to clear, improve and plant different areas.
We are working on a Management Plan, building on that provided by Trees for Cities in 2011, which will be available to all members and on which we will welcome views.
The trustees who sit on the Executive Committee,
all drawn from the local community, are:
Chair – Tim Barnes
Tim has many years’ experience as chair of the Greenwich Society and lives locally in Crooms Hill. He is involved in other local amenity groups, being a trustee of the Greenwich and Bexley Hospice and chair of the St Alfege Restoration Appeal. He has had a long standing interest in the woodlands. In his spare time, Tim continues to practice as a QC at the Criminal Bar!
Vice Chair – Frank Smith
Frank has lived in Blackheath since the late 1960s, apart from a few years in the 1990s when he was working in Paris. He is Chairman of The Blackheath Preservation Trust and The BPT Woodlands Company, which owned Westcombe Woodlands before transferring the freehold in 2015 to The Woodland Trust.
Frank has previously been Chairman of the Blackheath Society and is a member of The Friends of Greenwich Park. Frank has served in the past as a Governor of Brooklands Primary School in Blackheath and as Vice Chairman of the Geffrye Museum in Hackney. He is currently a Trustee of the Geffrye Museum Foundation. He is a Chartered Accountant.
He also helps to maintain some woodland in Sweden.
Denise is a freelance journalist and lectures in journalism at South Bank University. She lives on Vanbrugh Hill and is involved with a number of local organisations. She is a governor at Halstow primary school, an active member of the Westcombe Society and is a reporter for the Westcombe News. Denise is also an executive member of the United Nations Association for Blackheath and Greenwich and is constituency secretary of Greenwich & Woolwich Labour Party. Prior to moving to Greenwich in 2006, she worked as a reporter in New York and was a UN representative for an NGO at the United Nations. Denise was born and educated in south east London and moved to Greenwich to be close to her family.
Don is a landscape architect, moving to Greenwich in 1996 to study at Greenwich University. He’s now a partner in Landscape Consultancy practice, Ireland-Albrecht, with offices in Greenwich town centre. Don is a Friend of East Greenwich Pleasaunce, a member of the Greenwich Society, and is interested in developing the unique environment of the Woodlands.
Chris moved from rural Cheshire to Blackheath in 2000, living for several years in the development, Seren Park Gardens, which immediately borders Westcombe Woodlands. Although now living in the London Bridge area, he continues to be an active member of the Woodland Committee. He has a degree in Environmental Science and Chemistry with an additional HNC (Higher National Certificate) awarded from The Scottish Wildlife Trust in Habitat Surveying for Nature Conservation. In addition to the above Chris has been members of the environmental charities “Plantlife” and “Trees for Life” for over 15 years. Currently he works for a Health and Safety consultancy in south-west area of London.
Nigel Duncan is professor of legal education at City Law School, where he trains barristers. He lives in Vanbrugh Hill, having moved to this area a few years ago. As well as volunteering in Westcombe Woodlands he is a Friend of East Greenwich Pleasaunce and has, with others, planted the community orchard there. He is a member of the Westcombe Society and a Friend of Greenwich Park and has a long-standing interest in maintaining and improving the environment
Richard lives in Calvert Road, Greenwich and volunteers with several local projects such as the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park and Planting in the Pleasaunce (Pip). With Greenlight Trust in Suffolk he is part of the team training teachers in the Forest School approach to outdoor learning. As a professional storyteller and local historian Richard researches and leads local walks and delivers storytelling for all ages at the National Maritime Museum and Kew Gardens as well as numerous community and public events.
Geoff has lived in the Blackheath area for most of his life and as a former Vanbrugh Hill resident lived a moments walk from the Westcombe Woodlands. He was first elected to Greenwich Council in 1982 and has represented Blackheath Westcombe Ward, which includes the Woodlands, since 2006 serving on the Planning and Licensing Committees. Currently Conservative Group Whip. Geoff is a member of the Westcombe Society, the Blackheath Society and the Friends of Mycenae Gardens. Most recently worked with Pearson plc delivering computerised examinations and has taught in Further Education.
Kate has lived in the area for most of her life, apart from a few years travelling and living for some time in Brazil. She has a keen interest in environmental issues and the preservation of the Woodlands. Kate works full time as a PA and Team Administrator in Central London. She is a new member of the committee, joining in January 2016.
Andrew moved to Maze Hill in 1978 and has always worked as a surveyor in various forms in UK and abroad. He is a member of the Greenwich Society and as a Friend of Westcombe Woodlands keen to attract a wide variety of wild life into the woodlands by developing the appropriate conditions. Using his experience in education Andrew hopes to encourage Young Naturalists to explore and enjoy this unique environment.