Workdays which are usually ‘open to all’ are on hold at the moment. Watch this space for updates.
We are currently trialling how we can carry out workdays safely and in line with Government guidelines regarding Coronavirus. We therefore have restricted workdays to a limited number of volunteers.
We have a schedule of events for the year ahead. Join us on one of our practical days which offer the chance to learn new skills and get your hands dirty doing conservation tasks. Come and learn more about species in the park on our wildlife walks or become part of the Friends Committee which meets to discuss the functioning of the group.
Activities subject to change at short notice
FoSNCP hold a practical workday on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month to undertake conservation projects within the park
We meet by the Visitor Centre at 10 AM. We usually finish around midday and enjoy a hot drink & biscuits
All are welcome although under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult
Training and tools are provided
Please wear clothes suitable for outdoor activity and the weather. We recommend sturdy footwear
Workdays are on hold at the moment. Watch this space for updates
We are very grateful to TCV who carry out two workdays a month in our park. Recently they have been cutting back the scrub islands in the meadow. At their last workday and also during one of their November workdays, they installed two new benches. We had commissioned them to do this for us before the first lockdown and now we’re delighted that we have two new benches installed.
In the photo you can see TCV volunteers Jane, Paul, Doug & Ian getting ready to install the second bench.
And the new benches!
For more information about The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) go to https://www.tcv.org.uk/london/croydon/
DECEMBER 2020 WORKDAY – PLANTING TREES
We joined the TCV programme for planting free trees – TCV say “Over 1 million trees. And growing.”
We joined the #IDigTrees phenomenon with @TCVtweets and @OVOEnergy – helping local
communities plant even more carbon-busting #trees in 2020!
Most of the trees were planted in the meadow between the main path and Beckenham Cemetery. It was great to see the trees that were planted by us in 2015 thriving and growing. This time we planted a mixture of – Mountain Ash/Rowan, Bird Cherry, Hazel, Common Crab Apple, Grey Willow, Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Common Dogwood and Goat Willow.
We needed to use the plastic wraps to prevent little creatures (probably voles or mice) from knawing the bark and the canes help us to find the trees when we want to clear away the scrub from around the little trees next year.
SECOND NOVEMBER 2020 WORKDAY – CONTROLLING EXTENT OF THE SCRUB ISLANDS
We cleared some of the brambles & hawthorn from a couple of the scrub islands. One site was in the meadow and the other along one of the main paths. We wanted to stop the brambles from encroaching any further in these two sites and in so doing we were able help create micro-habitats for beetles, moths and mammals such as voles (a favourite food of the kestrels). The meadow had recently been cut as part of the three year cycle which made it more accessible. We understood about the micro-habitat when we disturbed a Plume Moth amongst the brambles.
FIRST NOVEMBER 2020 WORKDAY – FINISHING THE BRAMBLE CLEARING ON THE MOUND
We carried on with this task for the third workday but we have finally finished, just leaving a smallish patch at the top. It is clear to see from the ‘before and after’ photos how much we have managed to clear.
The view from the mound of the autumn colours in the park was superb.
Note how the brambles were just above this dog rose in one photo and cleared away in next photo.
SECOND OCTOBER 2020 WORKDAY – CLEARING BRAMBLES FROM ON TOP OF THE MOUND
We carried on with the task we began two weeks ago. We reckon we’ve cleared over 100 square meters by now. Maybe we’ll carry on with this task at our next workday.
The original ‘mound’ that has since been landscaped to form what is often now called the ‘viewpoint’ was made up of the hard core rubble from local bombed buildings demolished in the Second World War. This was landscaped during the construction of the Country Park. We were delighted to uncover some steps that must have been set into the mound during this construction.
FIRST OCTOBER 2020 WORKDAY – CLEARING BRAMBLES FROM THE TOP OF THE MOUND
We began the job of clearing the brambles from the top of the mound as they haven’t been cleared for a number of years. We’ll leave some at the top as a natural barrier and we hope that the nutrient poor soil will help to encourage more wildflowers to grow on the mound.
SECOND SEPTEMBER 2020 WORKDAY – CLEARING THE REED BEDS AND THE ENVIRONMENT GARDEN POND
Again we worked in two separate groups to ensure safe distancing.
One group worked by the lake coppicing willow to stop it from shading so much of the reedbeds and encroaching on the lake. We also created channels to allow water to flow from the lake into the wetlands. In this way we were able to complete the work begun earlier in the week by TCV (The Conservation Volunteers). We appreciate the extensive work carried out by TCV in our park which helps the warden to complete some of the larger tasks.
The other group worked in the environment garden, thinning the Bulrushes (reed mace) in the pond and digging out the grass that had encroached into the floor of the pond. Due to dry weather the pond is completely dry so this was an ideal time for the work to be undertaken. In previous summers the warden has been able to top up the water level from the visitor centre but due to it’s ongoing closure this hasn’t been possible. We also cleared the channel between the main pond and overflow pond and cleared some of the scrub around the fruit trees which revealed some patches of red dead-nettle and white dead-nettle. It was nice to watch a few dunnocks searching for seed and we were visited by a fox which came to drink from the ground water-bath that is kept topped up under the bird feeders.
FIRST SEPTEMBER 2020 WORKDAY – LITTER PICKING ALONG FOOTPATH 666 AND AT THE WESTGATE ROAD ENTRANCE
Our workday was part of Keep Britain Tidy “Great British September Clean.”
Some areas within South Norwood Country Park attract litter and fly-tipping more than others. The two areas that we worked in today were in desperate need of attention. We worked in two groups of five people in each area. Footpath 666 runs along the tram track near Elmers End and we found huge quantities of litter amongst the trees and along the path. The entrance and wooded area situated along the railings near the Westgate Road entrance has always been blighted with fly-tipping and general littering. Amongst the items we found:
- A chain saw (thankfully the cable had been cut off)
- 2 doors which appeared to be full of bullet holes
- Uber Eats food delivery bag
- Both halves of a broken electronic piano keyboard
- A crash helmet
- A bike that was too big for us to collect
In total we collected 30 bags of litter. However we did discover some fantastic fungi!
SECOND AUGUST 2020 WORKDAY – CLEARING THE STREAMS, CLEARING A FALLEN TREE AND CLEARING HIMALAYAN BALSAM
We carried on from our last workday, clearing the stream beds which have become clogged with vegetation, in order to facilitate the flow of water. These streams flow into Chaffinch Brook which in turn flows into the River Beck which flows into the Ravensbourne River, part of the Thames catchment area.
We also cleared a patch of the invasive species, Himalayan Balsam and removed a fallen willow from one of the paths. The larger tree that fell yesterday will need to be removed by the council tree team.
FIRST AUGUST 2020 WORKDAY – CLEARING SCRUB AROUND NEWLY PLANTED TREES AND CLEARING ONE OF THE STREAMS
In order to maintain safe distancing, we again split into two distinct groups. One group carried on from our July activity by clearing scrub around some more of the newly planted trees, this time in a different location. Some of them had been planted last winter and others were a few years old.
The other group cleared overhanging foliage from one of the streams, this will enable the water to flow freely when we receive more rain. We found that the stream had completely dried out so this made our task easier (no wellingtons required!). We were delighted to find lots of tiny toads sheltering under the Marsh Marigold foliage. We also removed a huge sack of litter.
JULY 2020 – CLEARING SCRUB AROUND NEWLY PLANTED TREES
We planted over 100 trees in November 2019 and had hoped to begin clearing the scrub from around them in April. But lockdown put paid to that! It is important to remove scrubby vegetation from around the young trees to give them the best chance of surviving.
Because of Government rules we were not able to send an open invitation to all of our normal workday helpers so we invited a named few (mostly our committee members) to carry out the scrub clearance in two teams of six people, working in two different areas. In this way it was possible to do the work whilst social distancing.
We had to work in vegetation that often came up to our shoulders and often including nettles. However we successfully found several young trees.
MARCH 2020 – CLEARING BRAMBLES AND LITTER FROM HARRINGTON ROAD ENTRANCE
By clearing the brambles we can get access to the litter and fly-tips that build up in this area
FEBRUARY 2020 – IVY CLEARING
We clear ivy away from the ground around the trees to make space for Spring flowers to emerge.
And this is why we clear the ivy
JANUARY 2020 – LITTER PICKING AT ELMERS END SIDE
We found that 20-30 rubbish bags had been ripped open by the foxes (we don’t blame the foxes, just the humans for fly-tipping).
PREPARING THE APIARY
Back in spring 2015 we began clearing and preparing the ground for the beehives.
MAINTAINING THE BEES
A specialist team of trained members look after our bees.
3 RIVERS CLEAN UP
Every year we spend a day on Thames 21’s annual three week campaign to improve South East London’s rivers which includes the Ravensbourne, Pool and Quaggy. Tributaries that flow into the Ravensbourne run through the park.
A major task within the park is clearing general litter and other fly-tipped rubbish particularly from the park boundaries around Albert Road, Harrington Road and Westgate Road.
SOWING WILDFLOWER SEEDS
We have sown wildflower seeds which were donated from the Grow Wild scheme, to produce flowers which will be attractive to the bees.
PRUNING & CLEARING
Pruning fruit trees in the environmental garden. Clearing brambles in the compound and near Harrington Road tram stop.
We have received free trees through TCV working with Ovo Energy and the Mayor of London. We clear the scrub as preparation before planting the young trees and afterwards to help the trees to grow successfully.