There will be no Lewisham People’s Day in 2019

There will be no Lewisham People’s Day in 2019
“People’s Day will return in summer 2020 for its 35th year. In the future it will take place every two years due to government funding cuts.”
More information:

Lewisham People’s Day

Dead and Dying Trees in Lewisham’s Parks and Open Spaces

These photos show just some of the many trees at Mountsfield Park and other Lewisham parks that are dead or dying mainly due to strimmer and mower damage by Lewisham Council and their parks and open spaces contractor. Severe soil compaction due to vehicular traffic and drought are also factors contributing to the demise of many of the trees in Lewisham’s parks and open spaces.

  • Mountsfield Park April 2019 - fresh and historic careless strimmer damage
  • Strimmer damage - Mountsfield Park April 2019
  • Historic tree stem strimmer damage at Mountsfield Park
  • Mountsfield Park play area 2017 - recently planted semi-mature birch tree bought with Lewisham Section 106 funds, dead because of strimmer damage causing ring-barking or girdling. Replacement and maintenance cost £350.00 approx
  • Manor House Gardens, Lewisham April 2019 - fresh strimmer damage which could introduce fungal disease within the damaged cambium layer.
  • Recurring strimmer / brush cutter tree stem damage at Mountsfield Park April 2019
  • Strimmer damage - Mountsfield Park April 2019
  • Mountsfield Park April 2019 - Historic flowering cherry root damage due to mower blades set too low. Flowering cherries are susceptible to disease and should be protected from injury.
  • Strimmer damage to base of dying Tilia tomentosa art Mountsfield Park July 2019
  • Hilly Fields, Lewisham April 2019 no grass mowing or strimming allowed near to tree stem to avoid damage to surface roots and bark. By agreement with Friends of Hilly Fields, Lewisham parks officers and the parks and open spaces contractor, Glendale.
  • Mountsfield Park nature reserve 2017 - Felled Indian bean tree. This tree like many other trees that have died at Mountsfield Park have not been replaced with newly planted trees.
  • Strimmer damage on newly planted tree Beckenham Place Park Feb 2019
  • Historic strimmer damage allowing fungal infection at base of ash tree at Mountsfield Park 2018
  • Dead tree at Mountsfield Park 2017. Died prematurely due to mower and strimmer damage 2017
  • Mower damage to a hornbeam at Mountsfield Park 2018
  • Hilly Fields, Lewisham April 2019 - historic strimmer damage which will shorten the lifespan of this mature tree.
  • Strimmer damage Mountsfield Park Play area 2018
  • Recently planted semi mature maple at Mountsfield Park play area - dying because of strimmer damage which is causing ring-barking or girdling 2017
  • Dead avenue tree at Mountsfield Park near the Brownhill Road entrance. Died prematurely due to historic mower and strimmer damage.
  • Tree stump near Mountsfield Park community garden - premature death due to mower damage 2017. Contractor mower blades set much too low within proximity to tree stem, causing injury to surface roots and entry for harmful fungal infection.
  • Mountsfield Park April 2019 - historic strimmer damage

The Lewisham Council parks and open space managers instruct the landscape contractor to keep grass short right up to the base of each tree for a tidy appearance and because it is part of the current Lewisham contract specification. Unfortunately the Lewisham parks and open spaces contractor does not have sufficient capacity or resources to achieve a short grass sward next to trees without harming them. The strimmer and mower damage shown below will cause a tree to die quickly or slowly through introduction of disease via cuts and wounds.

Lewisham Council encourages external funding sought by volunteers for new and replacement tree planting eg from London tree and woodland awards, to make London greener, biodiverse, healthier, cleaner, more welcoming and more resilient. The future of existing and newly planted trees in Lewisham’s Parks and open spaces is uncertain if Lewisham Council continues to insist on short neatly cut grass up to the base of each parkland tree. At Hilly Fields park, Lewisham Council has recently experimented with mower and strimmer prohibition near to trees, which has effectively reduced further tree damage there. This approach should be applied by Lewisham’s green space officers and parks staff across the borough to protect trees, unless the Council is willing to invest in a more controlled, better resourced and skilled maintenance of our parks and open spaces.

References: 1. Arboriculture Research Note 1992. Issued by the Arboricultural Advisory & Information Service. Blight to trees caused by vegetation control machinery. D Patch, A Denyer. 2. Arboricultural Journal 2018 vol 40. Effects of strimmer damage to young ash trees. Sally A Shuck and Duncan Slater. 3. Tree Wounds – Invitations to Wood Decay Fungi 2018. Nicole Ward Gauthier, William E. Fountain, Traci Missun. University of Kentucky.

Many thanks to Lewisham’s Nature’s Gym volunteers who maintain the wildlife area near to the Carswell Road gate at Mountsfield Park Catford

Many thanks to Lewisham’s Nature’s Gym @naturesgymlew volunteers who maintain the wildlife area near to the Carswell Road gate at Mountsfield Park. If you would like to get involved get involved please contact:
More information:

The following species were identified by Lewisham Nature’s Gym volunteers in the nature conservation area at Mountsfield Park:

@GlendaleLew, @GlendaleUK, Lewisham GreenScene why so many overfull litter bins at #mountsfieldpark? Please arrange for morning, afternoon and evening litter collections during hot weather and keep our park clean…

@GlendaleLew, @GlendaleUK, Lewisham GreenScene why so many overfull litter bins at #mountsfieldpark? Please arrange for more morning and evening litter collections during hot weather...
@GlendaleLew, @GlendaleUK, Lewisham GreenScene why so many overfull litter bins at #mountsfieldpark? Please arrange for morning, afternoon and evening litter collections during hot weather and keep our park clean…

Take Part in the Lewisham Parking Consultation – Closing Date 26th July 2019–X1fcKu7GhI

The new Beckenham Place Park swimming lake will look something like this…

Beckenham Place Park Swimming Lake 2019

The new Beckenham Place Park swimming lake will look something like this, but probably a lot busier on warm days!
Well done Lewisham Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, Land Use Consultants and everyone else that made it happen! 
More information:

Mountsfield – the Park, the House & the Butterflies

Running Past

Hither Green Lane largely follows a ridge that is the watershed between the Ravensbourne and the Quaggy, it once offered fine views to the east towards Shooters Hill and to the west along the Ravensbourne and Pool valleys and Forest Hill, once part of the Great North Wood. These vistas were no doubt the reason behind the location of several large houses, that were homes to the wealthy – including Campshill House, Laurel Cottage, Oak Cottage, Wilderness House, Hither Green Lodge, and Mount Pleasant. Perched around the highest point on the ridge was Mountsfield – this post tells the story of the house, its occupants and the Park that came after.
The land for Mountsfield seems to have been bought around 1845 by Henry Stainton of Springfield House (1). Springfield was at what is now the junction of Rushey Green and Hawstead Road, next to the almshouses…

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Lewisham Greening Fund

Friends of Mountsfield Park will be applying for Lewisham’s new Greening Fund. Please let us have your suggestions so that more people can enjoy Mountsfield Park all year round. Contact:

Nature Conservation Lewisham

We are pleased to launch the London Borough of Lewisham’s Greening Fund

This is a new and exciting scheme with the objective of making Lewisham Greener and we are calling on all of our established community groups to apply.  If you are a volunteer, or part of a community group, working to make the borough greener you can apply for funding through the greening fund.

For more details, please find enclosed the Greening Fund Toolkit and Application Form.

We look forward to receiving your applications and supporting our valued community groups in making improvements to Lewisham’s Open Spaces.

You can contact the Greening Fund Team for more information.

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