Nature Conservation Lewisham

Get involved in Lewisham's parks and nature reserves

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A very wet day in Hither Green Triangle

25 New Pond Ralph and Christine

A couple of brave volunteers in the rain by the new pond

It might not look like much at the moment, but this is the new pond in Hither Green Triangle! Come the summer all of the coir rolls that were planted will grow up, and this will be an amazing haven for wildlife. We already know there is lots of life in this pond, we just hope that they will enjoy there new surroundings and that others will be encouraged to join them! Just of of shot on the right there is also a hibernaculum adding to the variety on creatures we may find there.

Working in the rain!

The Friends of Hither Green Triangle held a work day with Nature’s Gym at the weekend clearing the banks and helping improve the meadows. We all got very wet but this is such a wonderful site, nobody really minded. We plan to go back in the new year to carryout more work.


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Nature’s Gym workday in Hither Green Triangle

Friends & volunteers on the steps ay Hither Green Triangle

Friends & volunteers on the steps ay Hither Green Triangle

Towards the end of October, volunteers with Nature’s Gym and the Friends of Hither Green Triangle worked in the Nature reserve between platforms 4 and 5 of Hither Green Station. This is a little known about and hidden away site, but is full of lots of interesting wildlife.

Working on the bank

Working on the bank

The Friends and volunteers have been working on this site for a long time and a lot of great work has been achieved.  On this work day we worked with a local contractor to clear the bank near platform 5 so that commuters and other travellers can peep in to the site.  They also did another huge litter pick – one of the on going problems of the site.

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Work day at Hither Green Triangle

Group on their cleared footpath

Group on their cleared footpath

Fresh from their enjoyable evening at the Network Rail Partnership Awards the Friends of Hither Green Triangle spent a sunny few hours in the Nature Reserves clearing the footpath and the area around the pond.  They still hope to find funding to restore the pond as it is an important habitat and from a quick pond dip we know there is plenty of life in there!  The path was very overgrown with all the warm weather and rain that we’ve had.  However, the Friends managed to make there way through this and to the pond.  It is amazing how much work a few people can do once they get going!

Many more events and projects are planned for the site and the Friends hope that they can continue to do this in partnership with Network Rail and SE Railway.  A good working partnership will go a long way in helping the group achieve their aims and the objectives set out in the management plan.  Keep an eye out on the blog for more updates!

A well earned tea break (vital volunteer fuel!)

A well earned tea break (vital volunteer fuel!)


The steps are finally complete at Hither Green Triangle

The Friends of Hither Green Triangle have been working hard in the reserve for a number of years.  Recently their work has focused on building the steps in to the site from platform 5.  They have worked in glorious sunshine and pouring rain.  They have come across buried train windows and metal poles.

The window just wouldn't move

The window just wouldn’t move

It has been very hard work and there was still a long way to go, until the nice people from Morgan Sindall offered their services.  They have been working on the platform extensions at Hither Green Station and asked if there was anything they could do to help in the reserve while they were there.  We asked if they could help finish the steps and they agreed!  After a few changes in personnel, a meeting was held on site in early December 2012 and before the year was out the steps had been completed!

We are all very grateful to Morgan Sindall for all their hard work at getting the steps complete.  It will make our work in the the reserve much easier as because access will be easier!  They did an amazing job and even added a few extra flourishes that we were not expecting.

Last week, the Friends were joined on site by Cllr Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Cllr Stella Jeffrey, Labour Councillor for Lewisham Central along with representatives from Network Rail and Morgan Sindall.  This gave the Friends a chance to thank the workers who finished the steps in person and have a few photos of us all on the steps looking very proud and happy.

The Friends were joined by Cllr Jeffrey, Cllr Wise and representatives from Morgan Sindall and Network Rail

The Friends were joined by Cllr Jeffrey, Cllr Wise and representatives from Morgan Sindall and Network Rail

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Friends of Hither Green take 2 steps further

On a glorious Saturday in May, the Friends of Hither Green Triangle made attempts to finish the steps up to platform 5.  The last few times we were there it was pouring, so this was a welcome break! With mattocks, spades and a level in hand we set of ready to tackle this task.  Unfortunately, we were thwarted by a window!

The window was right in the way of the steps

Whatever we tried, the window wouldn’t budge!

The more we dug, the more problems we found! As we dug further, we realised that the window was stuck under a concrete post – which can be seen in the image above!  No matter what we did, it just wouldn’t budge. 

Checking the level – very important!

Some of the volunteers also carried out a litter pick – not always the most exciting job, but often quite rewarding!  As you can see here the view from the steps gives you a great idea of the site.  Note out valliant litter picker in orange!

Overview of the site with a valliant litter picker!

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Hither Green Triangle Steps take a few steps closer

The last time Nature’s Gym and the Friends of Hither Green Triangle visited the site, they all got very very wet, but they managed to get a lot of work done.  Last weekend we all kept our eye eagerly on the weather reports and our hearts sank – another wash out.  Luckily and rather remarkably(!) the weather reports got it wrong and while it was a little chilly there was no rain. 

The volunteers worked hard to get more steps in up to the platform and had to avoid all manner of obstacles, hopefully the next time the Friends are there they will make it up to the top.

Meanwhile at the other end of the site another group built a stag beetle loggery.  These are very important habitats for all sorts of insects.  In fact, decaying wood in the UK is home to almost 1800 invertebrate species!  Stag beetles are found mainly in the south of England and are threatened species in Britain and Europe.  It is our largest insect – adult males can be up to 7cm long.  The larvae are found mainly in rotting stumps where they consume vast amounts of decaying wood and take about five years to develop into adults.

There is still plenty of work to do on site and everyone is looking forward to getting stuck in again.  Future plans include creating more habitats and reviving the old pond on site.  A big thanks have to go to Network Rail for allowing us on to the site.  We are grateful to them for this and all their support.

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Rain, Rain and more rain (with a little step building thrown in)

A group of hardy volunteers braved the elements to continue the work at Hither Green Triangle.  We were joined by members of the Hither Green Community Association who have been doing their own sterling work along the railway embankment at Springbank Road.

The steps were started last year in the bright sunshine (!) and we continued with this work on Saturday 16 July.  Despite the pouring rain 5 new steps were built, but there is a way to go and were are hoping these will be done in November.

Thanks also needs to go to Carl from Glendale for bringing his scanner and expertise.  Before any digging is done on site the area had to be scanned to make sure our mattocks/spades/forks did not hit anything they shouldn’t.  Fortunately, the only thing it picked up were our steep toe capped boots and a few pegs from the previous steps!  As you can see from the photo below, we were all very happy (and a little soggy) with our achievements!