Community Autumn Fair Saturday September 19, 2015

This ever-popular annual event will take place at All Saints Church West Dulwich and outside in Lovelace Road SE21 8JY from 2.00 to 5.00 pm.


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Filed under Belair Park

Martin Knight’s Autumn River Effra Walk

When: Afternoon, Sunday October 11, 2015.

River Effra walks and talks are always very popular and a walk last year led by Effra expert Martin Knight was predictably over-subscribed. Here’s another chance to find out about our local “lost” river. First priority will be given to those who could not be accommodated on the previous walk, but all are welcome (space permitting).

We have received the following notice from Martin Knight: “We will be walking about 2 1/2 miles of Effra watershed from Upper Norwood to Hornimus, via Sydenham Hill. There will be no charge, but a small charity donation will be invited, as before. If anyone is interested they can contact me for further details.”

If you want to come please contact Martin by email (, or telephone (020 8693 8639).

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Filed under Effra, Norwood

local blogger Candy Blackham visits Belair Park

Local blogger Candy Blackham set out in 2013: “I am going to explore London using shoe leather and my Freedom Pass and enjoy activities and events which are free of charge.”  She began with the tour as recommended by ‘Bradshaw’s Illustrated Hand Book to London and its Environs, 1862′ – which was used as a starting point for interesting and historically-informed day-trips around the capital.   You may be interested in reading her recent experiences of Belair Park on her blog: www.

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Southwark – please change your mind over Southwark Woods

This is the newsletter of May 25th, 2015 as a PDF:

Community Action May 25, 2015

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Filed under Southwark Council, woodland

Southwark should re-think and preserve our woodland insists May 13 campaign meeting.

This newsletter edition is formatted as a PDF:

Community Action May 20, 2015

I direct you to the website of  should you wish to sign any of their many petitions.

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Filed under Southwark Council, woodland

Belair Park nominated for flood award

FOBP reproduce this e-mail from John Kissi of Southwark Council:

Dear All,

 I am pleased to inform you the Herne Hill Flood Alleviation Scheme has been shortlisted for the Institute of Civil Engineers – London Evening Standard People’s Choice Award. The winner will be decided by public vote.

 I should be most grateful if you could please vote for us and also encourage others to do likewise. The Herne Hill FAS is on third column, third row on the link below.

 Thank you very much for your support.

Best wishes

John Kissi

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Filed under Belair Park, flood works

Election Time Questions

Norwood forum motto

But who will speak for us in Parliament?

Who will be our next MP?

Rathy Alagaratnam – UK Independence Party

James Barber – Liberal Democrats

Helen Hayes – Labour Party

Resham Kotecha – Conservative Part

Steve Nally – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Rashid Nix – Green Party

It’s up to you!

To help you make up your mind, come and raise the issues that concern you at our
To make sure your topic is covered, send your questions, particularly local constituency issues, in advance

All candidate have been invited; so far only the above have confirmed.

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Anyone for Tennis?

Have you been meaning to get back into tennis? Would you like to meet new people to play? Join the brand new Belair and Dulwich Parks Tennis League! Open to men and women (aged 18+) of all standards, it’s a great way to have some competitive fun and set yourself a new sporting challenge. Players arrange their own time to play over 8 weeks, from Thursday 14 May to Wednesday 8 July.
Entries close: Monday 11 May
Join online:
For more details, email or ring Sally or Nigel on 0750 328 1732


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Filed under Belair Park, Dulwich Park

Rain garden planting day Saturday 18th April, 10am – 4pm (or drop by anytime)

Why not celebrate the start of spring by getting your green fingers out and helping us to plant up the exciting rain garden project at Cressingham Gardens! Come along for a day of planting in the sunshine, everyone is welcome and the community centre will be open with refreshments so we should be well catered for. Please find full event details here and feel free to contact me via email or on the mobile number below for more information. If you are local and cold bring along a spade and some gardening gloves without too much inconvenience that would be a great help.

 I look forward to seeing some of you there!

With best wishes,

 Helen Spring

Lost Effra Project Coordinator

London Wildlife Trust – Protecting London’s wildlife for the future / Facebook / Twitter

Mobile: 07971 315 245

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Filed under Green Spaces

Swamp Cypress tree in Belair Park – previously hit by lightning – to be saved

Since the Annual General Meeting late last year, the Friends have been hard at work, liaising with Southwark councillors and officers to improve your Park and working also in defence of other local green spaces. We have a backlog of news, much of it concerning the aftermath of the flood relief works, and we shall be bringing you this in a series of bulletins of which this is the first.

T. distichum Sept 16, 2012 mjh

the Belair Swamp Cypress in Sept. 2012

T.distichum April 11, 2015

the Belair Swamp Cypress in April 2015

We begin with an update about a much-loved tree in Belair Park, the American Swamp Cypress, close to the mansion. It has been a much-admired feature of the Park for many years (see the photo taken on September 16, 2012). The species (Taxodium distichum) is otherwise known as the Bald Cypress because it drops its leaves annually.

A long-lived tree, often reaching ages of over half a millennium, it is a native of swampy forests in the SE corner of the USA. One of its notable feature is that in environments in which the water fluctuates, it typically produces woody “knees” that rise out of the water-logged surface and enable the tree to get oxygen down to its submerged roots. There has been no need for our specimen to produce “knees” in its present location.

swamp cypress growing in Delaware

a forest of swamp cypress growing in Delaware (Credit: Kej605. CC BY-SA 3.0)

Sadly, our tree was struck by lightning in mid-October, 2014, and the top section came down. There has been talk about removing the remaining section (the present appearance of the tree is shown in the photo, taken on April 11, 2015), but during this month, after a brief email exchange between Martin Heath, Chair of the Friends, Paul Highman, Dulwich area parks manager and tree officer Ian Williams, a decision has been taken to preserve the lower part of the tree.

It was not the only swamp cypress in the Park, but it was the easiest to find!

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Filed under Belair Park, Friends of Belair Park