Nature Conservation Lewisham

Get involved in Lewisham's parks and nature reserves

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New Nature’s Gym Programme now available

Folkestone Gardens

The April-June 2017 Nature’s programme is now available.  There are plenty of exciting projects over the next few months, including the 3 Rivers Clean Up.  As always, booking is essential for these sessions. If you are new to Nature’s Gym, take a look through our FAQ and How to Get Involved pages for more information.  If there is anything that you are still unsure of, please feel free to email us any questions.

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Lewisham DWP help out with the 3 Rivers Clean UP

Wading in the Ravensbourne

Wading in the Ravensbourne

A merry bunch of eager volunteers from the Lewisham branch of DWP came out on a wade today as part of the 3 Rivers Clean Up.  16 of us waded from Ladywell Fields to Catford and managed to pull out 10 bags of rubbish, a bin and a trolley.  The trolley came in very handy when we had to take all the rubbish back to base! A big thank you to all of the staff that came – we hope to see you again next year!

The 3 Rivers Clean up is a is a three-week long intensive annual volunteer campaign to improve the rivers Ravensbourne, Pool and Quaggy in South East London.  Now in its eighth year, this unique 3 Rivers Clean Up partnership program has been highly successful in removing and preventing the spread of Himalayan Balsam and other species such as Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed, in the Ravensbourne River catchment. Removing invasive species is the main focus, however, the 3 Rivers Clean Up is a great opportunity to remove all the rubbish and debris that builds up within this urban river catchment.


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The story of Ladywell Naiad

Earlier this month, the Story of the Ladywell Naiad was told over two nights, once in Manor Park and once in Ladywell Fields.  Story teller Richard Neville delighted crowds with humorous tales while London Bubble Theatre  provided music and fun activities.

Follow #whatlivesinlewisham on Twitter and Instagram and find our hat lives in our Parks and imagination.

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Clearing the Ravensbourne in Beckenham Place Park

3 Sophie and Jess

Clearing the Ravensbourne

As part of the 3 Rivers Clean Up the Nature’s Gym volunteers cleared part of the River Ravensbourne in Beckenham Place Park.  Their work involved picking up litter and pulling up Himalayan Balsam.  Himalayan Balsam is one of a number of invasive species that you can find along our rivers.  This one however is easy to treat with willing volunteers! There is something quite special about wading in a river while dappled sunlight dances across the water! When you are down there you really would not guess that you are in an inner London Borough.

Along with a number of other local groups we run lots of rivers sessions throughout the year.  This doesn’t always involved pulling Balsam, but if this is something that you would like to get involved in, please visit our Friends at the Rivers and People blog.

The video below, filmed with Tom Morgan of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust hows how to remove Himalayan balsam late in the season where it has been allowed to set seed. Himalayan balsam, a weed, is popular with bee keepers due to its high nectar content and late season flowering. However, research has shown it to negatively impact on native invertebrate abundance. The British Beekeepers Association advise that the plant is removed BEFORE it sets seed.

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Nature’s Gym Programme July-September 2015

Volunteers enjoying their wade!

Volunteers enjoying their wade!

Please see attached the Nature’s Gym programme for July-September 2015.  I hope there is something in there that you will enjoy!

Please be aware that there are quite a few sessions that involve wearing waders and working in the river. At these sessions, we can not guarantee that there will be any work available on dry land. If working in water isn’t something that you feel comfortable with, we understand if you would prefer to take a break for a while. We will welcome you back with open arms once the 3 Rivers Clean Up is over!

If you would like to join in with these rivers sessions, booking is essential even if you are a regular volunteer. There are other sessions running throughout the week with our partners. You can find details of these events at the 3 Rivers Clean Up website or Facebook page.

The Lewisham Naiad?

The Lewisham Naiad?

As part of the event London Bubble will be running two story telling events, one in Ladywell Fields and one in Manor Park.  For more information about these events, please visit our earlier post. Join in as well using the hastag,  #whatlivesinlewisham on Twitter and Instgram.


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Free Training With Thames21

Get Thames21 Training for free!

Thames21 offers a range of FREE training sessions to anyone who is keen to get involved with activities in and around their local waterways. Check out these opportunities…

Imagine leading your own group of volunteers in a cleanup event to improve your stretch of river, canal or pond. You can! Our 2-day ‘LEADING A WATERWAY CLEANUP‘ training will help you develop the skills and confidence you need to plan and lead your own events. When you complete the course, you can become one of our many certified trainees who receive support from Thames21 and lead cleanup and improvement events all across London

(All sessions are 10am to 3pm.  You must complete Day 1 first, before going on to Day 2)

Day 1
Saturday 14 March
at WaterWorks Centre, Leyton

Sunday 12 April at Dorset Wharf, Fulham
Saturday 6 June at Ragged School Museum, Mile End
Saturday 4 July at Dorset Wharf, Fulham
Sunday 23 August at Ragged School Museum, Mile End
Sunday 27 September at Dorset Wharf, Fulham
Saturday 7 November at Ragged School Museum, Mile End
Day 2
Sunday 29 March at WaterWorks Centre, Leyton
Saturday 25 April at Dorset Wharf, Fulham
Sunday 21 June at Ragged School Museum, Mile End
Sunday 19 July at Dorset Wharf, Fulham
Saturday 5 September at Ragged School Museum, Mile End
Saturday 10 October at Dorset Wharf, Fulham
Sunday 15 November at Ragged School Museum, Mile End