Category Archives: Environment

Habitats Walk: Shrewsbury Park and Woodlands Farm Sunday 24 June 1 – 3.30pm

FSP and Woodlands Farm have collaborated to offer a relaxing ramble through these two diverse green spaces. It will be a  meandering walk discovering varied habitats, plants, wildlife and atmospheres.

Walk begins at the car park entrance to Shrewsbury Park on Plum Lane and includes the woods, Dothill allotments and nature reserve. We then follow Barry Gray through the Dothill gate to Woodlands Farm taking in more woods, hedgerows and the hay meadows in full bloom.  Endpoint is the café with refreshments available! You can retrace the route to the Park or take the 89 or 486 bus back up the hill.

Cost: £2 – Children up to 16 go free.  We will be walking through fields containing ewes and lambs, so sorry, NO DOGS allowed on this walk.

Wear sturdy shoes and clothes for the weather on the day. Any questions about accessibility etc. please contact werfs@gmail.com

Shrewsbury Park Pollen Foraging Walk and Apiary Visit – Sunday 13 May

Sunday 13 May, meeting at Shrewsbury Park Car Park
(entrance on Plum Lane)
11am – 2pm
Ever wondered where honeybees gather their pollen to make nectar and then delicious honey? Or what the link is to local honey relieving the symptoms of hayfever?
Join us for a walk through Shrewsbury Park identifying which plants are in bloom and taking samples of pollen using tweezers and poly bags – also watching the honey bees foraging on the plants.
Afterwards, we have tickets for 10 lucky members to visit the Oxleas Apiary to see the bees in action – we might examine some microscopic slides of pollen samples too!
We can accommodate much more than 10 on the walk but only 10 at the Apiary session 
Children are welcome on the Park walk, but not at the Apiary session which is held at the Council’s depot, meaning it could be dangerous for them – also, no pet dogs please!
Here are some links that might be useful if you are thinking of joining us for the event – http://www.largeassociates.com/cz1000/QuestionsandAnswers/BeeCatcher.html
Access to the Apiary is from Kenilworth Gardens, into Crown Woods Lane, 1st right by Jack Wood Cottage, then 1st right again through the black gates (that may appear locked), into the depot yard and congregate near the parked YELLOW council lorries.
Finally, please read the Oxleas Wood Apiary Risk Assessment and for the visit wear a stout or preferably toe protected footwear and try to avoid using heavily scented soaps or perfume, as it can trigger hostility in the bees – more information on Health and Safety issues, bee stings, and Do’s and Don’ts when in the Apiary are available HERE: http://www.largeassociates.com/cz1000/YourPastQuestions.htm
Want to know how to book the Apiary session? just click through and register for free: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pollen-foraging-walk-tickets-45129025129 
p.s. if you would like to make up some pollen microscope slides in advance then we could view these through a microscope during the visit.

Spring Foraging Walk – Sunday 6 May at 2.30pm

Meet at Garland Road entrance This free walk will take about 1.5 hours and finish at the car park off Plum Lane.

Kevin Godby of GCDA leads the walk, suitable for beginners or those who want to revisit his Autumn foraging trail of last year in a new season. You will learn to identify around 18 common forageable species, be shown where they grow and taste some of them too!

You may also bring along something to take home the things you come across, if you wish. A small teaspoon might be handy too…

Please wear suitable footwear and be aware we will be walking uphill. This walk is aimed at adults. If you have questions about the route re mobility please contact werfsp@gmail.com so we can help. No dogs, please.

This is an all-weather walk!

 

Spotted on Bird Walk – Greater Blue Tree Climber!

Our Bird Walk was a success (despite grey skies) with an enthusiastic group of members plus some visiting RSPB spotters invited by Stuart.  Between them all 23 different species were identified. The visitors were impressed by the habitats and birds Shrewsbury Park has to offer.

Nicky Wilson of RSPB Bexley wrote a wonderfully detailed and interesting report and graciously agreed to share it, so I’ll leave you to reading it yourself on this link.  Thank you so much , Nicky!

https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/groups/bexley/reports/

Guided Bird Walk – Saturday 24 March 9am start

Come join this FSP walk led by Stuart Banks, resident RSPB member, for an hour or two discovering what’s going on as the nesting season starts.  The birdsong is growing every day!

The full route will be somewhat up and down but leisurely. Sturdy shoes and binoculars would be helpful.  Email werfsp@gmail.com and we may be able to help with accessibility. Bus 291 stops at the gate.

Free to members, £2 for non-members.

Sorry no dogs, please.

This is a RAIN or SHINE walk!

Brrrrr! Spring in the air!

The intrepid Peter and Keith of Parks and Open Spaces tree gang managed to clear out the bird boxes along Dothill path mid February ready for new tenants.  However housing is at a premium for the moment because three of the boxes had been seriously vandalised by parakeets and/or squirrels. Hard to tell.

Condemned

These were taken down and will be replaced. Eight of the boxes had been inhabited, the same as last season. But not the same boxes…hmmm

 

 

Who’s holding the ladder?

 

 

 

Battling the increasing chilly wind they re-positioned the 6 bat boxes that had been refurbished.  You’ll spot them roughly in the same area as before. Many thanks to Clive who re-roofed the bat boxes and Peter and Keith for their expertise and ladder!

 

Cut back crusade! Saturday 27 January at 11am

The undergrowth is winning!

Our park is in need of a little TLC, so if you are able to lend a hand for and hour or so on Saturday (weather permitting, if it’s pouring we will re-schedule) to help cut back some of the overgrown vegetation, we would be really glad of your help.
 
We are meeting at the cross road at Dot Hill at 11am, please bring secatuers, gloves and any other tools that you think might be helpful.
 
Many hands make light work !  Thanks in advance from the Management Committee

Bulb Planting – Sunday 12 November 2pm

The Parks and Open Spaces department have once again given us 1000 crocus bulbs and 1000 native daffodil bulbs to enhance springtime in the Park.  Kids are particularly good bulb planters…

We’ll meet at the bottom of the main path where it crosses the Green Chain Walk.  Come along and help create some pockets of sunshine for the new year, adding to the ones we planted last year.

Bring a trowel or small shovel, and gloves.  If the weather is anything but steady rain, we will have a go!

Foraging Adventure

Finding food in the Park

Sunday 10 September saw the much-anticipated Foraging Walk take place at Shrewsbury Park.  Around 35 local people attended the walk to learn which hedges, plants and trees to forage from, but also those to avoid. The park offers a huge array of plants which can be used as food in a raw state, cooked, or in the form of teas. Amongst others they sampled cherry plums, hops, sloes, ground elder, burdock, horseradish, yarrow and raspberries.

Kevin Godby, a local expert who works for Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA) on their Growing Greenwich Project demonstrated how to find the seeds, berries and fruit and how to safely consume them. He shared home-made jam and produce that he had made from berries found in the park, pointing out where they grew as he went along the trail.

Explaining the delights of hawthorn

 

Kevin said: “It’s important to remember that foraging is about eating a little from a range of different fruit and not lots from one place, as the body needs variety and too much from one place can tip the balance the wrong way.”

 Kris Inglis, Chair of FSP said “we have all learnt so much about what we can and can’t consume from the hedgerows. It is amazing to find so much in one space, which will change with every season. Until today we knew little of this intriguing aspect of the park.

Michael in action

Michael Stuart, a keen forager from Kilburn also attended to offer his experience; his key advice is to observe an area to get to know it and see how it changes through the seasons which will lead to a deeper appreciation of the environment. He recommends winter and spring for the variety of fresh leaves available to add to salad.

By Sandra Bauer

Foraging finds:

  • Hogweed
  • Mustard
  • Cherry plums
  • Hops
  • Sloes
  • Hawthorn berries
  • Ground elder
  • Ash key
  • Elderberries 
  • Burdock
  • Horseradish
  • Yarrow
  • Raspberries
  • Acorns
  • Birch syrup – harvest in march
  • Chickweed
  • Oregon grape
  • Lime tree

Successful Bat Walk

To our amazement, nearly 100 people gathered for last Friday’s Bat Walk – and the bats did too!  Everyone enjoyed the walk, and even the baby buggies survived the off-road experience.

REMINDER: If you would like to borrow a bat detector to use for a week, please go to Bats page under Flora and Fauna . Details at the bottom of the page.