Nature Conservation Lewisham

Get involved in Lewisham's parks and nature reserves


Come to support Ladywell Fields’ funding bid on Wednesday 29 January

Robert Sheppard writes…

IONA CLOSE ORCHARD is a wonderful pocket of undisturbed wildlife in the heart of Catford (behind Bournville Road) – but it will deteriorate quickly if not carefully looked-after.  It remains quite overgrown, but retains some fine old fruit trees. In common with most old orchards, the site is of high nature conservation value.

A diverse group of local people of all ages has already been involved in efforts to restore this ancient orchard – and the London Orchard Project has helped plant some new fruit trees.  There is a lot of enthusiasm about keeping this project going and safeguarding the site and its conservation value.

A volunteering session in 2013

A volunteering session in 2013

But to encourage these voluntary efforts, some more, quite modest, funding is needed. We’re asking for £1,500 and with this we will run four volunteer sessions in 2014 and will: complete some essential tree works to make the site safe and improve wildlife habitat; buy a secure tool store and a few key tools for volunteering sessions; and buy some saplings and more fruit trees to plant.

At least 50 local people will, we expect, be directly involved in one or more of these four volunteering sessions. However the beneficiaries in the longer term will be a much wider group than this.

For example, when the site is clear of rubbish and safe, probably as soon as September 2014, it can be made available as an ‘outdoor classroom’ for local schools.



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Growing Localities Awards 2013/14

A total of £2,500 prize money is being offered to projects which use nature to enhance and improve local communities and the lives of vulnerable or socially excluded people, generating positive outcomes such as health and well-being, new skills and knowledge, new relationships, and a sense of purpose and belonging.

This year, entries are invited for projects and initiatives in London that involve any one or combination of:

  • GARDENING AND GROWING FOOD – for communal eating and small-scale enterprise
  • LOOKING AFTER ANIMALS – bees, chickens, pigs, etc for the experience of care but also to farm
  • NATURE-THEMED ARTS AND CRAFTS – woodcraft, photography, film-making, writing, etc
  • EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES ABOUT NATURE AND WILDLIFE – including trips and excursions to teach people about flora and fauna
  • RECLAIMING AND DEVELOPING WASTELAND – projects initiated and led by residents and tenants
  • ‘GREEN’ EXERCISE – groups  for walking, cycling, running, etc with a nature theme 

Entries are invited from not-for-profit organisations in the capital such as:

  • Community-based and voluntary organisations
  • Faith groups
  • Health organisations
  • Homeless agencies
  • Hospices
  • Prisons
  • Resident committees
  • Schools
  • Social housing providers
  • Social care providers
  • Supported housing providers (providing mental health services, substance misuse, learning disabilities, etc)   
  • Deadline for entries – Friday, January 24th, 2014

For more information on the awards and to enter click: here