The winter wonders of Sydenham Hill Wood

“If you really want to know your trees in winter, you have to get physical with them. In an appropriate way of course.”

Daniel Greenwood, a conservation officer for the London Wildlife Trust, smiled wryly as he gestured a gnarled trunk behind him.

It was an early gambit on a winter tree identification walk last Sunday, a bright, frosty afternoon in Sydenham Hill Wood.

Chuckles came from our cluster of fellow walkers standing on this large preserved stretch of the Great North Wood, one of the closest tracts of ancient woodland to central London.

“Run your hand across their bark,” he went on. “Even hug them if you want.” Continue reading “The winter wonders of Sydenham Hill Wood”

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Manor Park gets into its swing

The icy January conditions cut short our plans to go wading in the mighty Quaggy from Manor Park with Lee Green Forum on Saturday.

But a glorious winter’s day still had much to offer. In the bracing conditions, we warmed our cockles with a cup of hot chocolate from Fred and Banu, the couple behind the Arts Cafe who have done so much to rejuvenate the park over the past two years.

In the space next door to the cafe, a five-piece swing band called the Pimentos shortly began to play – and what a great interlude to the day. Continue reading “Manor Park gets into its swing”

The rise and rise of Hilly Fields Park Run

The popularity of our wonderful local park run shows no sign of slowing down

As if ruing a gloomy week for climate watchers, January today put on its most glorious show so far.

Hilly Fields was resplendent. It was as crisp and beautiful a winter’s morning as you could ask for; earth crunched under foot, and the chimney tops, churches, and glass and steel of the skyline basked in the gentle winter sunshine. Continue reading “The rise and rise of Hilly Fields Park Run”

Why were Lewisham schoolchildren able to go on a lunch time rampage?

Students from challenging pupil referral unit were involved in incident in the middle of the school day. There are serious questions to be answered.

Four police officers have ended up in hospital after separate incidents involving schoolchildren in London in little more than two months – both times in the borough of Lewisham. Continue reading “Why were Lewisham schoolchildren able to go on a lunch time rampage?”