We hold regular wildlife walks with local experts throughout the year, meeting at the Visitor Centre. Follow us on Twitter or check this page for walk announcements and updates. All welcome, under 18’s need to be accompanied by an adult

Nearest Tram stop: Arena or Harrington Road


Meet the Community Partnership Officer and the Friends of the Country Park for an evening stroll through the dark in search of bats hunting over the meadows and lake. Meet at 8.30pm by the visitor centre in the park. Wrap up warm and bring a torch if you have one to find your way

Next walk: Friday 4th October 2019

Walk report: 10th May 2019

Our Bat Walks are becoming more and more popular year by year. We thought 30 people last year was a good number but this year, we had around 43 adults and children joining in. The number was so large that we had to take turns on the pontoons!

The species of bats did not number as many as last year but there were many of those bats we did see. The Common pipistrelle, Soprano pipistrelle and Leisler’s bat made an appearance in another delightful walk led by Meike Weiser, Community Conservation Partnership Officer from Croydon Council.


Walk report: 11th May 2018

Spotting bats on our bat walks can sometimes be a bit ‘hit and miss’. This time was definitely a ‘hit’

Around thirty adults and children (our largest number to date) gathered at the visitor centre at 8.30 pm to listen to an introductory talk by Meike Weiser, Community Conservation Partnership Officer from Croydon Council. As the sun went down, we made our way to the lake in the hope of spotting one or two bats. We were not disappointed!

With the help of bat detectors and one enthusiast’s very sophisticated bat detector linked to an ipad, we identified six species of bat. This is even more amazing considering there are only around seven species known to be in Croydon

Flying around the lake and above our heads were the Common pipistrelle, Soprano pipistrelle and one we haven’t seen before, a Nathusius’ pipistrelle. Added to those, were the Leisler’s bat, Noctule and Serotine. The only one we didn’t see which we did on the last bat walk was the Daubenton’s bat. Meike pointed out that it was rare to spot three big bats in one night

It truly was a thrilling experience which we hope to match at our next Bat Walk

To learn more visit the Bat Conservation Trust www.bats.org.uk


Next Walk: TBA

Walk report: “On a crisp, cold but sunny January morning we set off from the Visitor Centre with Rob (Park Warden) as our leader and main bird spotter. Twenty-eight people braved the cold including ten children & one baby in a pushchair. Any standing water in the numerous pools and the lake were frozen over and there was frost glittering on the scrub

The children all had record sheets to log their sightings and many of them had been provided with binoculars. Their first sighting was a Robin shortly followed by a Wood Pigeon, they were able to count lots of those!

Rob was quickly spotting lots of birds – see the bird list below. We made our way to the lake where coots and mallards were waddling along on the ice. The children were excited to see two Mute Swans and I was excited to see a Gadwall which was a first for me. Canada Geese were coming into land, skidding on the ice and two mallard drakes were having a furious fight”

The birds we saw included: Robin, Wood Pigeon, Long Tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Dunnock, Starling, Goldfinch, Sparrowhawk, Ring-necked Parakeet, Cormorant, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Coot, Mallard, Moorhen, Gadwall, Shoveler, Khaki Campbell



Lakeside Walk report – 23rd March 2019

Adam Asquith, the Pond Project expert from The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) led this walk giving us an insight into the three ponds/lakes in South Norwood Country Park.

We started with the pond in the environmental garden behind the Visitor Centre. He introduced us to a plant that is not seen in every pond – water plantain – which bears white flowers in summer. We learnt how the reeds provide shelter for the amphibians including a good population of newts and dragonfly larvae.
A stroll through the park led us to the main lake where Adam explained a bit of the history surrounding the lake’s existence. From farmland to sewage farm, the lake was the main filter bed but irrigation problems meant that the sewage was not draining well. After just over 100 years of use, the sewage farm ceased existence in 1967 and the area was regenerated as grassland and eventually became the Country Park as we know it.

Walking around the perimeter of the lake we learnt about TCV’s conservation work to protect the wet areas and hedgerows and prevent the whole area naturally becoming woodland through ecological succession. One annual task is to cut down the willow to stop it from re-seeding and encroaching the lake. The hybrid hedge around the lake constructed from any cut-down wood not only creates a barrier to protect ground-nesting birds but is itself a good habitat for insects.
Our final stop was in the wetlands area near the site of the old manor house. Many local residents are aware of its existence but may not be aware that there is a pond near there. Unfortunately, it tends to dry out but when wet, is used by frog spawn and dragonflies. A most enjoyable walk uncovering further delights in our local nature reserve.



Woodside Walk and Talk report – 6th June 2019

Our local historian, John Hickman, followed last year’s wonderful walk and talk around South Norwood with a view into Woodside of the past.

Around 10 of us met outside St Luke’s Church on the corner of Spring Lane. John began his talk with some background history on the origins of the church and structural changes through the years. We then walked along Spring Lane and over the bridge learning about the former Woodside station building and the location of the second council estate to be built in Croydon.

We paused outside Woodside Fire Station with its wonderful architecture while John told us how the ancient woodland on Long Lane gave Woodside its name and about a toll road and a racecourse once located in the area. Away from the busy road in Ashburton Park, one of the many green open spaces in the area, we stopped to hear about yet another manor house once located in SE25 whose grounds were in the park.

Our walk ended at the war memorial on Woodside Green, our heads having been filled with amazing facts told in such a way that makes John the wonderful raconteur that he is. Thank you, John for another delightful tour of our local area and for giving up your time to support us. We look forward to the next one.


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