Friday, June 27, 2008

Another Green World

Look on a map of South East London and you will see plenty of large green spaces, with lots of major parks and some woodland. But there are also lots of smaller places, some of them reserved for nature and open to humans only occasionally.

One such place is Vesta Road Nature Reserve, which is open this Sunday from 2 pm to 5 pm - Brockley Central has some nice photos of this green oasis. It is down by the railway line with the entrance on the left on Vesta Road if you going down hill from the Pepys/Jerningham/Vesta Road roundabout.

Vesta Road is looked after by the London Wildlife Trust, who also run the Centre for Wildlife Gardening (28 Marsden Road, Peckham SE15) – a fine plan to wander around and open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 10:30 - 16:30 (admission free).

Elsewhere in Peckham it’s the Brimmington Park summer festival tomorrow (Saturday 28th June). The park is between Culmore Rd & Clifton Crescent, SE15 - there is also an entrance on the Old Kent Road opposite the end of Ilderton Road.

Meanwhile in Lewisham (Honor Oak Park), tomorrow sees the Blythe Hill Fields Festival from 11 am to 4 pm, with music from the East Dulwich Jug Band and Irish session players.

Another hidden green space is Russia Dock Woodland in Surrey Quays, and there is a great photo blog documenting its flora and fauna . The blog ‘is a photographic record of...Greenland Dock and Russia Dock Woodland.... respectively, as their names imply, a piece of enclosed water and an adjacent area of park and woodland with small ponds and waterways. Both are legacies of a commercial dockland heritage, and both have become significant success stories from an environmental point of view. The dock, which connects via a lock to the Thames, is full of fish and well used by both freshwater and sea birds. The woodland is full of wildlife including birds, animals, insects and a huge variety of plants”.


Archeology of the Future said...

Funnily enough, one of my recurring fantasies is South East London returned to nature.

My favourite spot for a glimpse of what this might look like is the point where Wickham Road crosses the railway line. Coming up from Lewisham way, if you're on the right side of the road, you can look back from the edge of the railway line and it looks to all intents and purposes that nature has reclaimed Brockley.

There's something about South East London that lends itself to visions of entropy and collapse. Michael Morrcock did a lot with this in the seventies, including having Greenwich return to jungle in the second Jerry Cornelius book. I'm fairly sure that Moorcock lived in Blackheath around that time, so maybe there is something about south of the river that brings these fantasies about...

The nature reserve is great. When I went in a few Sundays ago I saw a fox and lay down in some meadow grass, and it's at the bottom of my street!



Transpontine said...

I'm going to have to check out the Michael Moorcock Blackheath connection - I think he grew up more south west London, Mother London has lots of Brixton Hill and Tooting locations, if I remember correctly.

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile in Lewisham (Honor Oak Park), tomorrow sees the Blythe Hill Fields Festival from 11 am to 4 pm, with music from the East Dulwich Jug Band and Irish session players."

***Cough*** and Blackheath Morris Men!

Transpontine said...

Maybe see you there - these comments all link together - Blackheath Morris Men and Michael Moorcock both connected with Hawkwind I believe.

Anonymous said...

I know we have the green chain on Southwark/Lewisham border

but we really need to link up these green areas

even if this means make some side roads one way and single track (ie) grass the other side of the road

what a great corridor for wildlife

why dont we push for change

link up the green spaces

Transpontine said...

Like the idea of wildlife corridors, if you look at aerial photos of South London you can see that these exist unofficially in some areas through connected gardens, but would be good to plan this out more - reintroduce deer and wild boar into Lewisham I say.