Nature’s Gym is back! it was a bit stop/start for a while, and we also had to limit our sessions to 6 people to ensure we followed Government advice. BUT NOW (hooray), we can take more volunteers with us. Please see before for more information about the project and how you can get involved. If you have a any questions, they may be answered on our FAQ page, but if not, please email us and we would be happy to help.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Nature’s GymImproving fitness, minds and local wildlife for all to enjoy

Contact us for the Current Programme

Improve your fitness by taking part in conservation activities in nature reserves and parks in Lewisham.  Nature’s Gym is free and fun – and no experience is needed!

From wading in the river to walking in the woods there are a number of activities that you can take part in.  Nature Conservation Officers from London Borough of Lewisham and Glendale will guide you through the tasks and will be there to help you every step of the way.  There are jobs for every level of ability and fitness, so there is no need to worry that you’ll not be able to help. The work days run on Thursdays and one Saturday a month from 11am-2pm and we have a break for tea/coffee and biscuits – vital volunteer fuel! Download our information leaflet which has all the information that you need.

Joining Nature’s Gym

We ask that all volunteers come for a couple of taster sessions to see if they like it. You will also get a chance to meet us, ask any questions, find out more about what we do and then decide if the project is you. Please contact us to let us know what sessions you would like to come to so that we can look out for you and let you know if there are any changes.

We then ask you to fill out a short feedback form. If you wish to continue volunteering with Nature’s Gym we will send you a ‘Welcome Pack’ and then ask that that they fill out a couple of registration forms. We just don’t want people to have to fill out lots of forms if they decide they don’t like it.

NB: Please make sure that you contact us before attending a session because occasionally events are cancelled or we change to location.  We would hate for you to turn up to a location and find no one there!

Nature’s Gym Programme

Our programme for January – March 2022  is now available, please email Nature’s Gym if you are interested. Please read our risk assessment and accompanying briefing notes and also our risk assessment for tools and accompanying briefing notes.

If you are unsure of the address or location of the site or what public transport to take, we have produced a document with all the relevant details.

If you have taken part in an event, please click here to leave us your feedback, comments and any suggestions for future events.

Referrals to Nature’s Gym

Please be aware before referring a client to Nature’s Gym that we are a nature conservation group and tasks can be complicated, involve the use of tools and require volunteers to work on their own and under their own guidance. While we understand that being and working outdoors can have a number of benefits for all volunteers, staff are not trained to support those experiencing mental health problems. Due to the nature of the work and the size of the group the staff are unable to offer one to one guidance.

With the above in mind it is strongly recommended that you check through our programme and referral conditions, to ensure that Nature’s Gym is the right project for your client prior to making a referral.

Referral Process

The referral process includes a short phone call to discuss the project and what it can offer. We then ask that all volunteers attend two taster sessions before completing a sort questionnaire asking if you and your client wish to continue with the project. If you do wish to continue with the referral we will send you a ‘Welcome Pack’ with all the information that you need and which contains a couple of registration/referral forms which must be completed in full because as we cannot accept clients without this information.  Should you wish to discuss them please feel free to contact us.

We have also produced some referral guidelines, please read though these carefully before referring your client to Nature’s Gym.

Iona Close Orchard

Read all about Nature’s Gym in the South London Press from 28th January 2011

8 thoughts on “Nature’s Gym

    1. Thanks Robert, we had great fun, even though we all got a little wet. Then again there is nothing quite like a cup of tea and a jammy dodger in the rain!

  1. Thanks to Nature’s Gym for reinstating the beetle loggery at Mountsfield Park and clearing the brambles near to the Carswell Road entrance. Looking forward to some meadow flowers this year in the clearing!

    1. Hi there,

      You are very welcome! I will pass your message on to the volunteers today. I am sure we’ll be back in the Autumn for more bramble digging!

  2. I was alarmed to see that the brambles are being cleared in Brookmill Park at a time when many birds have already started nesting. Last year I noticed a pair of Long-tailed Tits flying in to a patch of brambles with nest material but, within a couple of days the brambles were cleared. . I spoke to the group leader about it and she assured me that it wouldn’t happen again. Long-tailed Tits are again nesting in the park and I have also seen Robins, Wrens and Greenfinch flying in to the brambles along the riverside. If this important wildlife habitat is to be destroyed for the sake of the Spanish Bluebells, it should at least be done during the winter months and not during the nesting season.

    1. Thank you for your post. Please accept my apologies as the work was undertaken by volunteers who were taking part in a Nature’s Gym event. The work was planned many months ago as part of a rolling programme of phased bramble clearance designed to stop the banksides becoming wooded. This hopes to achieve a management balance where there are undisturbed areas of bramble for wildlife. The recent works occurred towards the end of February, technically just outside of bird nesting season but given the very mild spring this is indeed too close, so my apologies for this. I can confirm that they don’t have any more bramble sessions planned at Brookmill and have instructed that we are more sensitive about the timing of the programme in future to ensure that works such as these at sites like Brookmill cease a few weeks before.

      Thank you again for your comments,

      Kind regards Nick Pond
      ecological regeneration manager
      wearside service centre
      wearside road
      london SE13 7EZ

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