Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Community Orchard volunteering sessions Saturday 30th April, 10.30am - 12.30pm

The plum tree blossom has nearly finished in the orchard. Once the fruit has set, we can do some pruning on these trees. For those who wish, there is also the task of weeding the mulch circles around the smaller trees. We will therefore have another volunteer session on Saturday 30th April, 10.30am - 12.30pm. Rendezvous in the orchard, at the southern end of Ladywell Fields, near the Bournville Road entrance. Under 16s only with close supervision. Please bring your own gloves and (sharp) secateurs if you have them, but some will also be available to borrow. Please email email ladywellfields@yahoo.co.uk if interested, so we can gauge numbers and let you know if we have to cancel due to wet weather.

Monday, 21 February 2022

Community Orchard volunteering sessions Friday 25th February and Saturday 12th March, 10.30am - 12.30pm

There is still quite a lot to do in the orchard so we are holding two volunteer sessions in the next few weeks. On Friday we shall be finishing the winter pruning. On Saturday 12th March we will be weeding, mulching and checking guards and posts. Please come along to help and maybe learn something new about caring for trees. 


Rendezvous at the south end of Ladywell Fields, near the Bournville Road entrance. Boots and old clothes recommended. Under 16s only with close supervision. Please bring your own stout gloves. Please email ladywellfields@yahoo.co.uk if you are interested, so we can gauge numbers and let you know if we have to cancel due to wet weather. 

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Rare native black poplar trees planted

You may have noticed some tree planting in Ladywell Fields this January. Twenty new trees are being planted, following a successful application by Lewisham Council to the Treescapes Fund. This grant is supporting planting across five Lewisham parks, and in Ladywell Fields we have taken the opportunity to focus on poplar trees.

 Young female black poplar whip behind protective cage  

Ladywell Fields has numbers of mature black poplar trees growing along the riverside, some of which are reaching the end of their natural lives. As a water loving species which lives about 200 years, some are likely to pre-date the establishment of the park and so form a living connection to its former identify as water meadows. In particular there is a row of four male black poplar trees, which DNA analysis has confirmed to be Populus Nigra Betulifolia, the native black poplar. In recent years several other black poplar trees have fallen in storms or had to be felled. These were previously amongst the tallest trees in the park and the female native black poplars are some of the rarest trees in Britain. We are therefore really pleased that the Treescapes Fund has enabled us to plant seven new female and seven new male native black poplar trees along the river.

If you look for new tree cages near the river, you will see that the black poplar trees are still small. It proved very hard to find anyone who could supply them and these young whips were kindly donated by Kew who have been growing them from mature trees in Sussex. We are grateful that they could spare these fourteen for us. They will need some care for the first couple of years but are fast growing and should soon establish.

In addition to the black poplars, we have planted a few other water-loving trees which have until now been absent from Ladywell Fields. There are two white poplars (populus alba) and two aspen (populus tremula). Ladywell Fields has a lot of naturalised crack willow and some golden willow. We have now added a bay willow (salix pentandra) and hope to be able to include more examples of the salix family over time. Finally there is a new hornbeam near the athletics track. 

All these trees have a watering contract for the first two years. In addition volunteers are asked to help keep the tree pits weed free and mulched as this gives the new trees the best start. Please get in touch if you would like to help. ladywellfields@yahoo.co.uk



Sunday, 9 January 2022

Community Orchard volunteer session, Saturday 29th January and February 2022, 10.30am - 12.30pm


There is quite a lot to do in the orchard at this time of year so we are holding two volunteer sessions in the next few weeks. We'll be doing winter jobs: pruning, weeding, mulching and checking guards and posts. Please come along to help and maybe learn something new about caring for trees. Rendezvous at the south end of Ladywell Fields, near the Bournville Road entrance. Boots and old clothes recommended. Under 16s only with close supervision. Please bring your own gloves and (sharp) secateurs if you have them, but some will also be available to borrow. Please email ladywellfields@yahoo.co.uk if interested, so we can gauge numbers and let you know if we have to cancel due to wet weather.

For those interested, there is also the opportunity to do some orchard maintenance on Fridays. Please get in touch if you are interested. 

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Ladywell Fairy Tales ...

We have spotted some fairy homes in Ladywell Fields recently.  Next time you are out for a walk, look around to see if there are more...