Biodiversity guidance for planning applicants
Lewisham Biodiversity Action Plan
Lewisham original Biodiversity Action Plans were written in a document called ‘A Natural Renaissance for Lewisham’. The original document was written in 2007 and set out the Borough’s aspirations for the immediate future regarding the conservation of nature across the Borough. Progress between 2007-2011 can be found on the new BARS website or you can have a look at the summary spreadsheet produced by the partnership.
‘A Natural Renaissance for Lewisham’ was updated in 2015 and ratified by Mayor and Cabinet in March 2016. The partnership’s past achievements can be viewed below. By June 2016, we hope to have produced a summary sheet of all the achievements of the partnership and this will be updated quarterly.
Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership
The Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership was established in 1999 to develop an action plan for the Borough’s wildlife and natural environment. Presently, the Partnership consists of Lewisham Council, Glendale Managed Services, The Environment Agency, The Creekside Education Trust, Groundwork South East London, Greater London Authority, London Wildlife Trust, Horniman Museum and Gardens and, most importantly a range of local groups and individuals. All these groups have an interest in conserving and enhancing Lewisham’s Biodiversity. The work of the Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership has operated in tandem with that of the London Biodiversity Partnership and has taken a considered approach in order that Lewisham’s Biodiversity Action Plan be visionary, pragmatic, achievable and inclusive. The group meets 4 times a year to discuss their achievements and issues that may have arisen. A copy of the minutes of these meetings can be found below.
Minutes from Lewisham Biodiversity partnership meetings
Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership minutes from 11th April 2017
Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership minutes from 10th January 2017
For previous meeting minute not listed here, please email Jess Kyle who would be happy to send them to you.
April 2016 – March 2017 Achievements – A year in stats!
Over the last year, the partnership carried out 1662 events, engaging 14,538 adults and 21,881 children! 84 bird boxes and 43 bat boxes were installed and 13 bug hotels were built. For more details, please see our spreadsheet.
January – March 2017 Achievements
Lewisham Biodiversity partners carried out 419 events (165 environmental education, 222 volunteering events and 32 walks and presentations). The engaged 7666 people and nature conservation volunteers carried out 2,736 hours of work worth over £26k during the last quarter.
Redwing is the bird of the quarter with flocks of this winter migrant thrush recorded at Beckenham Place Park, Brockley & Ladywell Cemetery, Brookmill Park, Hilly fields and Ladywell
Nature conservation volunteers carried out 2,736 hours of work worth £26,676 during the last quarter
Beckenham Place Park will be hosting a day of free activities on 29th April showcasing arts, cultural and well-being organisations www.beckenhamplace.org
The Partnership has directly engaged 2,139 adults and 4,615 children with nature and wildlife in the last 3 months
Kenneth White legacy grant awarded to improve Garthorne Road Nature Reserve gates, Nathusius Pipistrelle survey project along the Ravensbourne River catchment and 15 Schwegler bird and bat boxes for Lewisham parks and nature reserves
New bespoke gates installed at award winning Devonshire Road Nature Reserve
October – December 2016 Achievements
Lewisham Biodiversity partners carried out 290 events (144 environmental education, 103 volunteering events and 43 walks and presentations). The engaged 7206 people and nature conservation volunteers carried out 2,451 hours of work worth over £23k during the last quarter.
The scarce Firecrest recorded at Bell Green Pond and at Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery
Nature conservation volunteers carried out 2,451 hours of work worth £23,897 during the last quarter
Beckenham Place Park receives £4.7m Heritage Lottery Grant to implement a major restoration program
The Partnership has directly engaged 1,829 adults and 4,545 children with nature and wildlife in the last 3 months
“Street trees for Life,” a Brockley Society and Lewisham Council partnership, wins £18k for borough wide street tree planting from the GLA
11 bug hotels, 150m of hedgerow and 2 reptile hibernacula were built & installed by Lewisham nature conservation volunteers
Keep your eyes peeled! Sparrowhawk recorded 7 times in Brookmill Park including a “female with freshly killed pigeon”
July – September 2016 Achievements
Lewisham Biodiversity partners carried out 528 events (132 environmental education, 274 volunteering events and 122 walks and presentations). The engaged 9446 people and nature conservation volunteers carried out 3,084 hours of work worth over £30k during the last quarter.
Ladywell and Brockley Cemetery butterfly diversity judged as exceptional for an inner urban Site of Importance for Nature Conservation
Nature conservation volunteers carried out 3,084 hours of work worth £30k during the last quarter
Sand Martins successfully nested in Deptford Creek purpose built sandbank
Annual output monitoring reveals that the Partnership has directly engaged a staggering 24,643 children and 10,118 adults with nature and wildlife
Nothing to fear from the rare flowering “Railway-yard knotweed” the hybrid of Japanese knotweed and Russian vine as it does not take after its bully parents
Little egret and green woodpecker are Lewisham’s birds of the quarter
April – June 2016 Achievements
Lewisham Biodiversity partners carried out 412 (232 environmental education, 147 volunteering events and 33 walks and presentations). The engaged a record 11, 922 people and nature conservation volunteers carried out 5,748 hours of work worth £54k during the last quarter.
Purple Hairstreak butterfly and nationally rare shield bug parasitoid fly (Gymosoma rotundatum) recorded at Devonshire Road Nature Reserve
Male and female Peregrine fledglings seen around Citybank Tower and Sedge Warbler recorded at Cornmill Gardens
Work to improve Garthorne Road Nature Reserve entrance will benefit from £2.5k Kenneth White Legacy Award
52 Marbled White butterflies recorded at Ladywell and Brockley Cemetery confirms another bumper year for the species
Lewisham’s Nature Reserves retain all 5 Community Green Flag Awards
January – March 2016 Achievements
Lewisham Biodiversity Partners delivered 431 events (148 environmental education, 211 volunteering and 72 walks and presentations). 8151 people were engaged. 1560 m2 of living roof; 8 bird boxes, 8 bat boxes and 6 bug hotels were all secured via the planning process.
Local entomologist confirms the likelihood that bumble bees could be attracted to mouse urine http://www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/advice-bumblebees.pdf
The Partnership carries out 431 events, engaging 8,151 people and nature conservation volunteers carry out 5,739 hours of work worth £52.5k during the last quarter
Peregrines continue to hold territory around Citybank Tower and flock of winter migrant Siskins recorded at several parks
£2.5k Kenneth White Legacy Award to support biodiversity in Lewisham launched
Lewisham Gateway developer to help the Council mend the Ladywell secondary channel weir
‘A Natural Renaissance for Lewisham 2015-2020,’ the Lewisham Biodiversity Action Plan is endorsed by the Council http://councilmeetings.lewisham.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=2708
October – December 2015 Achievements
Lewisham Biodiversity Partners delivered 244 events (130 environmental education, 79 volunteering and 35 walks and presentations). 5214 people were engaged. 2603 m2 of living roof; 44 linear metres of hedgerow, 25 bird boxes, 12 bat boxes and 2 bug hotels were all secured via the planning process.
Lewisham Biodiversity Partners carries out 244 events, engaging 4,501 people and nature conservation volunteers carry out 2109 hours of work worth £19,297 during the last quarter.
‘A Natural Renaissance for Lewisham 2015-2020,’ the Lewisham Biodiversity Action Plan to go before Mayor and Cabinet on the 23rd March
Exceptional (unverified) report of a Bittern in Ladywell Fields
Extraordinary winter weather conditions cause early flowering; over 80 lesser celandine seen on grave in Ladywell cemetery on new years day.
Firecrests recorded in Brookmill Park and Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery
The aspirational ‘Ravensbourne Catchment Plan 2015-2021’ goes public.
The partnership’s achievements between October 2010 – September 2015
This page sets out the history behind the Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership and what they are doing towards Local and National Biodiversity targets. You will also find regular updates of interesting projects that our partners have carried out in the Borough along with quarterly achievements, along with ways in which you can get involved. In 1992 the UK Government signed the Rio Convention and committed themselves to halting biodiversity loss. In response to this the UK Government published the UK Biodiversity Action Plan 1994. This led to the production of 436 action plans between 1995 and 1999 to help many of the UK’s most threatened species recover. A review of the UK priority species list in 2007 identified 1,150 species and 65 habitats that met the BAP criteria at UK level. For information up to March 2012 on the progress of local and national plans please visit the Biodiversity Action Recording System (BARS) website. This is an old website, but still has a lot of useful information on it. Progress between 2007-2011 can be found on the new BARS website or you can have a look at the summary spreadsheet produced by the partnership.
Local Biodiversity Action Plans
There are 119 local biodiversity action partnerships and nine regional biodiversity that have been established across England. This has helped bring about a groundswell of activity and innovation to meet the challenges faced by our biodiversity.
The role of local biodiversity action plans
Local Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAP) identify priorities for biodiversity conservation at a local level. They work to deliver agreed actions and targets for priority habitats and species and can focus on locally important wildlife and sites. They aim to reflect the values of local people and provide a focus for local initiatives hope to further the wellbeing of their local areas. LBAPs, including the one in Lewisham are delivered through wide local partnerships that involve wildlife organisations, local authorities, businesses and other interested parties. More information about the achievements of LBAPs can be found at Natural England’s report, ‘The Achievements of local biodiversity partnerships in England.’The functions of LBAPs are:
- To translate national targets for species and habitats into effective action at the local level,
- To identify targets for species and habitats important to the local area, reflecting the values of local people,
- To stimulate effective local partnerships to ensure programmes for biodiversity conservation are developed and maintained in the long term,
- To raise awareness of the need for biodiversity conservation and enhancement in the local context,
- To ensure opportunities for conservation and enhancement of biodiversity are promoted, understood and rooted in policies and decisions at the local level,
- To provide a basis for monitoring and evaluating local action for biodiversity priorities, at both national and local levels
Lewisham Biodiversity Partners delivered 219 events (92 environmental education, 53 volunteering and 74 walks and presentations). 6780 people were engaged. 12,170 m2 of living roof; 2,383 linear metres of hedgerow, 83 bird boxes and 56 bat boxes all secured via the planning process. These events included the very popular theatre walk with London Bubble Theatre Group as part of the 3RCU.
Sparrowhawks breed and fledge two young in Ladywell Fields
Living roof and wall, eco-shipping container for tools & equipment granted planning permission @ Albion Millennium Green
12,170 m2 of living roof; 2,383 linear metres of hedgerow, 83 bird boxes and 56 bat boxes all secured via the planning process
The Partnership carries out 219 events, engaging 6,780 people and nature conservation volunteers carry out 969 hours of work worth £8,866 during the last quarter
Check out: Wild About Gardens Week
Lewisham Biodiversity Partners delivered 679 events (264 environmental education, 45 volunteering and 370 walks and presentations). 22,439 people were engaged, 6709 were adults and 15,640 children. Between them they planted 125m of hedgerow, built 9 stag beetle loggaries, 32 bird boxes, 20 bat boxes and 7 bug hotels. As well as this a number of exciting projects and events took places in Lewisham!
A Moorhen with attitude” chases off a Sparrowhawk bathing in Ladywell Fields, local birder reports
61 Marble White butterflies recorded in Ladywell and Brockley Cemetery as this species appear to be having a bumper year
Garthorne Road Nature Reserve website launched in a bid to develop a user group and increase access
Borough achieves 15 Green Flag Awards and 6 Green Flag Community Awards for its green open spaces
262 volunteers take part in this years 3RiversCleanUp and remove over 6,000 invasive plants and collect over 138 bags of rubbish
Firstly, apologies for the big gap in our outputs. I have been away on Maternity leave and unfortunately, nobody was around to take this job on. But now I am back and will be updating this page regularly….
Lewisham Biodiversity Partners delivered 277 events, engaging 7,324 people. Between them they planted 139 metres of hedgerow, created 50 stag beetle loggaries, and installed 15 bird boxes and 9 bat boxes during the last quarter.
Kestrels nesting at Selchp, buzzards mobbed by sparrow hawks over Sydenham Hill woods, red kites sightings becoming more common and peregrines back in residence all indicate raptors are doing well in southeast London.
Badger hairs discovered along the Foresthill to New Cross railway corridor suggest they may still be active in the west of the borough.
Public enquiry success for the Local Authority as the Planning Inspector finds that a proposed development on Hither Green Sidings would have a detrimental impact on wildlife
Sydenham Wells Park Annual Bat Walk 8.45pm on Friday 29th May [Longton Avenue entrance]3RiversCleanUp ~festival dates from 21st June until the 11th July 2015.
Lewisham Biodiversity Partners delivered 252 events, engaging 4,860 adults & 5,270 children in the last quarter!
Hilly Fields boasts Chiffchaffs breeding for the first time, Sparrowhawk seen and Tawny owl heard. Twenty two bird species have been recorded in the park so far this year.
Black redstarts may benefit from the discharge of Planning Conditions promising the installation of 4325m2 of livingroofs (last quarter).See: Adventures in Nature – Redstarts On The Roof video-
Kingfishers are flourishing along Lewisham’s regenerated rivers thanks to the creation and management of good quality habitats and abundance of fish.
Help shape Lewisham and have your say about the River Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Plan. Public Consultation event, 4th December 7.30-9.30pm Lewisham Town Hall Council Chambers
Red kites make it to Lewisham! Lone bird spotted being mobbed by crows over New Cross Gate Cutting on Monday May 13th.
Horniman museum has bumper engagement quarter with 4761 children learning about nature & wildlife.
Borough wins 14 Green Flags and 4 Green Flag Community Awards for it’s Parks, Open Spaces and Nature Reserves. Two more endangered invertebrates recorded in Eliot pits, Blackheath
From January to March 2013 the biodiversity partnership ran 153 events engaging 1434 adults and 2740 children.
Rivers and People Supporting Impact funding worth £74k secured to provide a lasting legacy for environmental educators will be delivered by Lewisham’s Waterlink Way Project Officer.
Raptors abound, sparrow hawks nesting along River pool and signs that Peregrine Falcons may be attempting to nest on City Bank building.
A Woodcock heard on Horniman nature trail.
Small tortoiseshell and Orange tip butterflies seen in Grove Park Nature Reserve
The biodiversity partnership has run 156 events engaging 1383 adults and 2273 children, including river wades, pond dipping, nature walks and life cycles.
The illusive & arguably the smallest UK bird, the Firecrest spotted on the Lewisham/Southwark border at Sydenham Hill.
A 2012 MORI resident satisfaction survey shows highest level of satisfaction of all Council Services for Lewisham’s Parks and Open Spaces – 89%.
The Community Engagement and Park’s Improvement Strategy Officer for Beckenham Place Park post is under threat, the Mayor to decide on 13th February 2013 whether to delete the position.
3RiversCleanUp partnership announce that this festival, in its fifth year, will be running for 3 weeks from the 17th June until the 7th July 2013. ~follow them on twitter @3rcu #3rcu Photos of previous years activities can be seen here.
1st record of the invasive Asian clam discovered in Deptford Creek & Steatoda nobilis commonly known as the false widow spider found at Devonshire Road nature Reserve.
In 2012 the biodiversity partnership ran a total of 596 events engaging 6713 adults and 8322 children. This is a fantastic achievement and great credit goes to everyone involved.
The biodiversity partnership has run 186 events engaging 3140 adults and 4153 children in the last 3 months.
There have been numerous reports and sighting of endangered Hedgehogs in Green spaces between Forest Hill & Honor Oak Park.
New river naturalisation project for Lewisham made possible by £10,000 bequest from the late Ken White who was a local historian and friend of Lewisham nature reserves.
Birds of prey seem to be in abundance in Lewisham; Hobby, Kestrel, Sparrow hawks, Buzzard & Tawny owl sightings have all been reported
Survey shows more than 40,000 people a year are enjoying Ladywell Fields new river habitats than in 2010.
Bumper year for Lesser Stag Beetle.
Recent survey shows that 80% more people know about the Waterlink Way than in 2008. However, extensive and consistent vandalism to in-channel river enhancements at River Pool Linear Park is a big disappointment to conservation volunteers, wildlife charities and the Local Authority.
This quarter 138 events were held by the partners of the Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership. These events attracted 1237 adults and 1031 children. These events included planting an orchard in Mayow Park in which the Friends planted 6 apple, 3 pear and 2 plum trees with the help of the London Orchard Project.
Two Scouts joined the Friends of Downham Woodland Walk on one of their volunteer work days, so that they could work towards their Community badge.
The Friends of Devonshire Road built a Green Oak Shelter – that has already been put in to use! Lewisham’s river enhancements have been chosen as one of 41 projects championed by the European Commission to celebrate the 3500 schemes supported by them over the last 20 years.
This quarter 138 events were held by the partners of the Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership. These events attracted 1840 adults and 1588 children. This included Bruno Roubicek digging a pond in 24 hours at Albion Millennium Green. Sydenham Gardens planted 74m of hedgerow and the Horniman Museum planted 15 willow withies. The Forest Hill Society facilitated an Open Day at Dacres Wood nature reserve, with a view in the long run to create a Friends Group for the site. Cardiff may have had 63 plants in flower on New Years day, but a local botanist found 70 in Lewisham!
A focus on Downham Woodland Walk
The Woodland Walk is a long narrow strip of Ancient Woodland that runs for nearly a mile through the Downham estate. It appears on old maps as the boundary of Shroffold Farm, and thankfully was retained when the houses were built in the 1920s.
The woodland is now part of the Green Chain Walk and contains some magnificent old oak and ash trees, as well as relatively rare wild service trees. There are glades of bluebells in the spring, and several clumps of wood anemone. The wide variety of birds and insects there include woodpeckers, long tailed tits and stag beetles. The Friends of the Woodland Walk were set up 12 years ago by a group of local residents who were concerned about the neglected state of the woodland. It had become a target for flytipping, graffiti and vandalism.The Friends group arranged monthly work days to clear the accumulated rubbish and enlisted the help of Glendale to ensure that the bins were emptied and the gates locked at night. They obtained grants from Downham Pride, Living Spaces and the local Assembly and bought new benches and litter bins. New robust notice boards were installed to replace the old vandalised ones. Bat and bird boxes were made by pupils at Bonus Pastor, which borders the Woodland, and loggeries were created to encourage stag beetles and other insects. Recently, large sections of the path have been resurfaced and Green Chain / Capital Ring signage improved.
Now, the woods are used by several schools as well as large numbers of local people, whether they are walking their dogs, taking a short cut to school or shops or just enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. Our long term aim is to preserve the woodland as a local nature reserve by leaving dead wood as habitat for insects and fungus and brambles as shelter for birds and small mammals. However we are aware that the public want a safe and attractive environment in which to walk, so we do cut back undergrowth close to the path and plant native bulbs to add some spring colour. Our work days continue on the last Sunday of each month, and new volunteers are always welcome, regardless of age or fitness level. We meet at one of the entrances to the woodland (phone 020 8698 6805 or check the notice boards to find which one) at 2pm for a couple of hours’ work. Gloves, tools, refreshments and friendly company are provided!
This quarter 162 events were held by the partners of the London Biodiversity Partnership. These events attracted 2754 adults and 1957 children. This has included some great training events from the Rivers and People Project, some interesting walks in Ladywell and Brockley cemeteries. An area equivalent to 1.8 acres (just under 2 football pitches) of new living roof were given the go ahead, 7 house sparrow terraces, 40 swift & 29 bird boxes; 3 bat boxes and 128m of new hedgerow were delivered via planning conditions.
This quarter 197 events were held by London Borough of Lewisham and their partners, These events engaged 3052 adults and 2978 children. This has included step building in Hither Green Triangle and some Permaculture Courses for kids with Grow Mayow. The Horniman Museum has also run some fantastic events for the family. The 3RiversCleanUp was also a fantastic success and attracted 500 volunteers, 1542 work hours equivalent to One years employment.These are fantastic achievements and everyone involved deserves massive congratulations.
A focus on Grow Mayow
Grow Mayow Community Garden is a voluntary run project located in Mayow park Sydenham. It’s a place which cares for the environment – soil, plants, water and wildlife. Offers all people access to green, breathing space, for relaxation and leisure. Demonstrates practical ideas for healthy living – growing food, recycling waste, art and using Permaculture principles. Learning – through demonstrations and workshops.In June 2009 the group started clearing the site and with funding from Capital Growth they could start with sowing seeds building raised beds installing water tanks. They also had many donations and the site is build with many recycled items and recycled wood from skips finds. Since then work has progressed massively on the site thanks to all the hard work of the volunteers. There are now a number of different areas within the site including an edible playground patch, a cottage garden, recycled garden, sensory patch and wildflower border.In this last quarter alone, Grow Mayow have engaged almost 150 adults and over 70 children. All this fantastic hard work has been rewarded with the prestigious Green Flag Community Award.
So far from the responses that we have had this quarter saw 60 events being held. These events engaged 660 adults and 408 children. Events included a Living Roof Semina , lessons in river restoration, the creation of a willow weave fence and the building of a bug hotel in Ladywell Fields.
A focus on Hither Green Community Association
Hither Green Community Association (HGCA) and local volunteers from the community have been clearing and planting at Hither Green Station Embankment since Oct 2009. When the group started the Embankment area by Platform 1 / Springbank Road, was very overgrown and full of litter and fly tipped rubbish. With so many people using the station, and passing along this road it made Hither Green seem very uninviting and uncared for. It also made people feel unsafe walking along there late at night. With a small grant from the Lewisham Central Mayor’s Fund, HGCA asked Network Rail for permission to work on the Embankment and asked local people to join in. The group meets on a Saturday and has had approx 60 different local volunteers, of all ages and backgrounds, helping. 9 sessions have been held so far, in which they’ve cleared the overgrown vegetation, pruned trees, cleared a path, planted Spring bulbs, foxgloves and Lilies (they won 250 bulbs from the BigBulbPlant!) and taken out 100s of bags of rubbish! It’s really made a difference to the area and there has been some wonderful positive feedback from the community. The group are now fundraising to help us sustain and continue all the work so far and to monitor the current bio-diversity there.
This quarter saw the highest response from local groups submitting their achievements that we have had since we started the monitoring, which is fantastic. I thought that you would like to know, from those outputs alone 63 events were held, engaging 585 adults and 396 children! 3 stag beetle loggeries were built, 200m of hedgerow was planted and a number of ponds were either created or worked on. All these outputs are helping the London Borough of Lewisham to meet and exceed targets set on BARS.