Sunday, 25 November 2018

Ladywell Fields Orchard Volunteer Session - Saturday 1st December - 10.30 am -12.00 noon

The Orchard Project have helped us to buy two new plum trees for Ladywell Fields orchard. They are of a new variety, Marjorie's seedling, expanding the diversity of our plums. This is a traditional variety which is self-fertile but will also cross pollinate with the trees we already have, increasing the crop. Late autumn is the perfect time to plant them.

We have planned a planting day for Saturday 1st December. Please come along to help and maybe learn something new about tree planting. Rendezvous at the orchard in the south end of Ladywell Fields, near the Bournville Road entrance. Under 16s need to be supervised by their responsible adult. Please bring your own work gloves if you have them, but some tools will also be available to borrow.

Please email if interested, so we can gauge numbers and let you know if there is any hitch in the plan. The planting day is based on the expected delivery week, but if the trees haven't actually arrived or the weather is very bad we may need to postpone to the following Saturday. 

Tree canopy cover

London City Hall have released a new tree canopy map aiming to show every single tree, using Google Earth imagery and machine-learning techniques.  The map section of Ladywell Fields shows in detail how tree growth is concentrated along the course of river Ravensbourne and the railway banks. 

Previous estimates of London's tree cover were based on statistical sampling. This new analysis is  based on high-resolution aerial imagery and artificial intelligence and claims to be approximately 94% accurate.  It will be used to pinpoint exactly where trees are and which parts of London should be targeted for tree planting projects. 

The Mayor has committed to increasing tree canopy cover by 10 per cent by 2050.  Considering even just the impact of climate change to be absorbed over that time scale, this does not seem a very ambitious target.  Currently, London has about one tree per inhabitant and a tree canopy covering around 21 per cent of the capital’s land area.

See the map in its entirety at The map is a European Space Agency funded project, produced by Breadboard Labs in collaboration with the Greater London Authority.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Healthy Walks and Nordic Walks at Ladywell Fields

Parks in London are an essential resource to promote walking and healthy living, and Ladywell Fields is a particularly beautiful place for outdoor activity. 

The Lewisham Healthy Walks programme meets regularly at Ladywell Fields for health walks and Nordic walks for everyone including those Lewisham residents who are less active.

Anyone can turn up and go at one of the weekly events each Thursday at 11am.  For the full program of targeted activities visit

Lewisham Nordic walks are perfect for those who want to get a bit more active. It is simple to learn and the programmes start with four sessions to learn the technique with an instructor--next start date is Saturday 5 January 2019. There is no charge for the sessions and equipment is provided. Visit for more info on Nordic walks.

Lewisham Healthy Walks is managed by GCDA and funded by Lewisham Council. It is part of the Be Inspired Lewisham Programme - you can find out more at

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Planting day for new trees in the community orchard, Saturday 1st December

We have secured funding from The Orchard Project for two new plum trees. Having considered the options, we chose Marjorie's seedling trees. This is a very traditional variety which is self-fertile but will also cross pollinate with the trees we already have, increasing the crop. The trees will replace an apple and a pear because switching to a stone fruit reduces the chances of soil sickness which can arise when replanting like with like.
Planting day is arranged for Saturday, 1st December 2018. If you would like help with this, please email

The new trees will need regular watering for their first two years--just as we lost our orchard water butt. If anyone has a spare, used water butt, or can think of a way to get sponsorship for a new one, please let us know at

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Lewisham Greening Fund announced

London Borough of Lewisham announced on 10 October 2018 a new £250,000 Greening Fund to protect and improve the borough’s green spaces.  Schools, park user groups and community groups looking for grants to improve green spaces in the borough should all apply.

This presents an opportunity for Ladywell Fields User Group to access funding for long overdue improvements of the park.  Suggestions can be emailed to Applications for funding will be invited early in the new year.

New public drinking water fountain open to the public

Ladywell Fields is one of the first 20 locations for new water fountains which are being installed at busy places across London.  The fountain was opened to the public last Saturday, 13 October 2018, in a little ceremony hosted by Lewisham Mayor Damien Egan and attended by park runners, Nordic walkers and other park users. 

The fountains are part of plans by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to cut plastic waste by reducing single-use plastic bottles and instead encouraging people to refill their own bottles.  The fountain in Ladywell Fields will also make a welcome contribution to the health and well-being of those who enjoy outdoor activities--pity it had not been installed ahead of the hot summer. 

Given the success of the first 20 fountains, the Mayor of London has announced that a further 100 will be installed across London. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Ladywell Fields River Clean-Up, Sunday 14 October 2018

Join other volunteers on our next regular River Clean-Up on Sunday, 14 October from10.30am to 1.00pm. 

We will meet at the adventure playground, middle field, close to the curly bridge and the far end of Malyons Road, Ladywell. 

The event is facilitated by Thames21. Arrive in good time so that you don't miss their important safety briefing.  Children under 16 must be under the close and constant supervision of an adult.  Waders and all necessary safety equipment are provided. 

Do you have some time to lead on a local nature conservation project?

Between Ladywell Fields, Bournville Road and Ravensbourne Park Road is Iona Orchard, a secluded nature reserve. It would benefit from regular volunteer sessions throughout autumn and winter.  If you have some spare time, enthusiasm and a love of nature, why not step forward and take a lead?  Contact Robert for more information.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Ladywell Fields User Group meeting, Wednesday 19 September 2018, 7pm

Venue:  Environmental Studies room in the North Field (adjacent to Ladywell railway station)

On the Agenda:
  • Notes of last meeting and any issues raised 
  • Tennis shelter and meeting facility
  • Middle field - new path issues 
  • Community orchard and Iona Orchard volunteering
  • Proposed park leaflet
  • Autumn River Clean-Up
  • Events in South Field   
The minutes of the meeting can be viewed here.

Free learn to cycle lessons on 18 September 11am to 3pm

In the run-up to London Car Free Day 2018, Lewisham Council is giving you the chance to take a free 'learn to ride' session to learn to cycle for the first time, or a free 'cycle confidence' session to improve your current skills.
Sessions are held outside the Ladywell Park Cafe and will last 30 mins each. 
If you have a bike please bring it along, though there will also be training bikes for those who don't. Bring a helmet and a hi-viz vest if you have one. You must book in advance by emailing

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Lewisham Council invites views on new Parks & Open Spaces Strategy

The draft for consultation of Lewisham's next Parks & Open Spaces Strategy is expected around the end of this year or early in 2019. 

Right now, all residents and interests groups can express views and opinions about how the borough's parks and open spaces should meet our needs now and in the future.  Visit Follow the link to the Online Survey to give your suggestions and express your preferences. 
The survey closes on 28 Oct 2018. 

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Ladywell Fields Orchard Volunteer Session - Monday 27th August - 10.30 am -12.00 noon

The plum trees in the orchard would benefit from a late summer prune, which will stimulate the trees to produce fruit next year. We have therefore planned another work day for Monday 27th August. Please come along to help and maybe learn something new about tree maintenance. Rendezvous at the orchard in the south end of Ladywell Fields, near the Bournville Road entrance. Even if it is warm, covered shoes are a good idea as there are thistles around the trees. Under 16s only with close supervision. Please bring your own (sharp) secateurs if you have them, but some tools will also be available to borrow.

Please email if interested, so we can gauge numbers. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Food 'n' Fun in the Fields is back on Saturday, 28 July 2018

Catford Community Association are organising another Food 'n' Fun in the Fields event for Saturday, 28th July 2018, from 10am to 6pm in the North Field near Lewisham hospital.

This will be a fun and informative occasion for all age groups, including guided walks, under 12s' Fun Fair, Cake Challenge, Children’s Arts Competition and treasure hunt. 

The day coincides with National Park City Week, so it’s the ideal opportunity for a day out in a beautiful green space to celebrate some of the great outdoors that London has to offer.

Ladywell Fields User Group will be present at one of the stalls, so come along and say hello.  Catford Community Association are accepting stallholder applications from traders and groups and can be contacted by email, on Facebook and on Twitter @catfordca. 

Sunday, 17 June 2018

London Rivers Week launch 2018 on Sunday June 24, 12-3pm

Ladywell Fields is now recognised one of the capital’s best riverside locations.  This years London Rivers Week launch and Citizen Science Showcase will be held near the Good Hope Café in the North Field.

This is a family-friendly celebration of London’s rivers with free fun activities, enabling you to discover and explore the Ravensbourne and learn about exciting river projects all across the city:

  • The secret life of the river: See and hear the river with our underwater camera and hydrophones
  • Test drive a brand new prototype ‘pollution detective’ mini boat (and give it a name!)
  • River dipping and mini-beast monitoring
  • Arts projects and Nordic walking
  • A guided wade along the Ravensbourne river

Londoners who value their rivers and want to find out more about the secrets of the 600km network across the capital can connect with them in more ways than ever before.  The week, now in its third year, has the theme of ‘Valuing Water’ and will showcase some of these new ways the public can get involved, including through plastic litter picks, collecting plastic data, monitoring eels and dragonflies, and by test driving prototype pollution-testing lab boats.  Otters, trout, bats, kingfishers and eels all use London rivers - but they need help from the public to survive and thrive, in the face of plastic pollution, sewage and the impacts of climate change.
A full list of London-wide events can be found at

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Ladywell Fields User Group meeting, Wednesday 6 June 2018, 7pm

Venue:  Environmental Studies room in the North Field (adjacent to Ladywell railway station)

On the Agenda:
  • Notes of last meeting and any issues raised 
  • Works carried out under Catford Green development S106 Agreement (Jordan Ogbeide-Ihama from LBL Greenscene)
  • New tennis courts (Written update by Andy Thomas LB Lewisham) 
  • Proposed park leaflet (Tim Gluckman, LFUG Secretary)
  • Upcoming volunteering sessions, tbc
  • Food and Fun event on Sat 28th July (Catford Community Association,   
The meeting was followed by a walk about in the park with opportunities for informal discussion of park issues and proposals for investing planning gain funding (such as improving the basketball court, sponsored group exercise sessions, outdoor gym equipment, or improving the skate park).

The minutes of the meeting can be viewed here.

The date of the next meeting will be Wednesday 19 Sept 2018, 7pm.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

New shared path for Ladywell Fields

Construction on the new cycle/pedestrian path in the Middle Fields is now completed.  It links the Catford Green Development to the Ravensbourne bridge, connecting to the existing main path in the Middle Fields.  Now that the path has been laid, the next stages of work include the installation of lamp posts, tree planting along the route, and the placement of benches and other park furniture. 

Works in early May 2018
The path had been a condition of the planning consent granted to Barratts for the development on the old greyhound stadium site. The tarmacked surface replaces what had become a well worn, informal foot path along the 'desire line' chosen by park users.  It retains a large section of the middle field, facing the north field and adventure playground, to be used for football playing, dog walking etc.

Works in April 2018

The design of the path and the route had been discussed at User Group meetings in 2017 and 2019.  Anyone interested in getting involved with future changes to the park is welcome to join the User Group mailing list and come to the meetings which are always well publicised in the notice boards in the park.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Mysterious Circles in Ladywell Fields

These strange markings of unknown origin appeared on the ground at the curly bridge.  Get in touch if you can decipher their significance or shed light on their provenance 😉

Ladywell Fields Orchard Volunteer Session, Sunday 6th May 10.30am-12.00noon

We spent a glorious, easy going Sunday morning pruning the row of plum trees in the Ladywell Fields community orchard.  We snipped, cut and sawed to keep the trees growing healthily and into good shape.  The buds are already promising a rich harvest for this year.  We were a small group, giving everyone even better opportunity to benefit from Caroline's expert instruction. Thanks to all who took part in the volunteering.  
Next time you walk through the south field, take a look at our beautiful trees--and don't miss out on trying the fruit when the plums have ripened.  

Monday, 23 April 2018

Ladywell Fields River Clean-Up, Sunday 14 October 2018

Our regular Spring River Clean-Up, facilitated by Thames21, was held on Sunday, 22 April.  About twenty of us, adults and children, freed the Ravensbourne from litter an debris.

Blessed with dappled sunshine under the canopy of some outstandingly beautiful park trees, we could at times imagine ourselves in pristine countryside rather than an urban river.  Admittedly, the removal of dozens of items of plastic litter, discarded clothes and sodden picnic blankets, bits of scaffolding, two safe deposit boxes, a scooter and a shopping trolley all helped keep up the idyllic appearance. 

The surprise find of the day was a Doulton Lambeth glaze earthenware 'Batey' brown bottle in pristine condition, presumably used for selling ginger beer in the second half of the 19th century. 
Thanks to everyone who joined in, many for the first time--young people in particular.  We had some great conversations and made useful new contacts.  Watch this blog for forthcoming volunteering dates in Ladywell Fields. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Petition for the pedestrian bridge from Catford Green development to Doggett Road

This bridge is a vital piece of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure needed to cross the Hayes line railway between Catford Green and to Doggett Road. It would offer direct access between Catford amenities, the Catford Green residential development, and the south and middle sections of Ladywell Fields without having to go via the congested South Circular Road.  It would also be a strategic link for cyclists, offering a safer alternative to the hazardous road bridge outside Catford stations and the narrow, inadequate 'curly bridge' in Ladywell Fields

Although the bridge had been part of Barratt Homes' original proposal for the Catford Green development, it has now been dropped from the plan.

Alison Hay started this petition to MP Heidi Alexander and Lewisham councillors to persuade Barratt Homes to work with the Council to reinstate the bridge.

To sign the petition, visit

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Ladywell Fields River Clean-Up, Sunday 22 April 2018, 10am-12.30pm

Our regular Spring River Clean-Up, facilitated by Thames21 will be held on Sunday, 22 April.  Thames21 provide equipment, safety guidance and leadership at the event. This is always great fun and everyone is welcome. Under-16s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Meet by Ladywell Fields Adventure Playground at the far end of Malyons Road, Ladywell, London SE13.

Ladywell Fields User Group meeting, Wednesday 7 March 2018, 7pm

Venue:  Environmental Studies room in the North Field

On the Agenda:
  • Catford Green development and S106 Agreement works: Update on the new path  
  • Catford Green development and S106 Agreement works: Update on the proposed pedestrian bridge at Doggett Road  
  • New tennis courts – floodlighting
  • Food growing in the park
  • General discussion regarding issues in the park, with Aaron Rickman from Glendale 
  • Volunteering sessions
The minutes of the meeting can be viewed here.

To petition for the proposed pedestrian bridge at Doggett Road, visit this blog post

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Orchard volunteering session, Saturday 24th February, 10.30am-12.30pm

Update of 25 February 2018:  

Given the perfect conditions, we focused on pruning. We did all the winter pruning needed in both Ladywell Fields and Iona Close orchards. Two trees were in real trouble.  We might have saved one, the other is beyond help. You will see the pear tree (next to a missing tree) which is cut right down to a stump. It had a large wound on the trunk but it has a chance as the wood was clean when we cut it. It has a guard plus mulch and its a case of fingers crossed. The other tree is an apple, quite near the entrance to Iona Close. This also had not only one a large wound on its trunk but several more further down at ground level. There is nothing to be done but dig it out. We need to return by April.  Would anyone be available to do this job? It will take at least two people as there is an extensive root system.

There is also some mulch left. The smaller more vulnerable trees all have mulch, but it would be good to use the remainder on the other trees. A bucket and a sturdy pair of gloves is all that's needed. Mulch to be placed around the tree outside the guard to create a circle of about 1 metre diameter. 

An April session would also be at the right time to do some work on the plum trees.

Update of 3 February 2018:  

We will meet for another community orchard maintenance session from 10.30am to 12.30pm on Saturday, 24th February.  At our previous session of 3rd February we got a fair bit done in terms of weed control, mulching and restaking.  However, pruning had to be postponed because of the rain.  
If we are lucky enough to get some dry weather, please come along to help and maybe learn something new about tree pruning. 

Rendezvous at the south end of Ladywell Fields, Bournville Road entrance. Boots and old clothes recommended. Under 16s only with supervision. Please bring your own (sharp) secateurs if you have them! Please email if interested, so we can gauge numbers. Hope to see you there. 

Diary Dates: Ladywell Fields User Group meetings 2018

Our next meeting dates are:

Weds 7 March 2018
Weds 6 June 2018
Weds 19 Sept 2018
Weds 12 Dec 2018 (Christmas social)

Unless otherwise notified, meetings are held from 7pm to 9pm at Environmental Studies room in the North Field (former Ladywell Station waiting room)

Everyone welcome.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Orchard volunteering session, Saturday 3rd February, 10.30am-12.30pm

Our next community orchard maintenance session will take place from 10.30am to 12.30pm on Saturday, 3rd February.  (Our previous arrangement for Sunday 21 January got washed out by heavy rain).  In anticipation of better weather, we are planning to do winter orchard work, followed by a checkup on the gated Iona Orchard, a Site of Nature Conservation Interest.  Please come along to help and maybe learn something new about tree maintenance, including pruning. Rendezvous at the south end of Ladywell Fields, Bournville Road entrance. Boots and old clothes recommended. Under 16s only with close supervision. Please bring your own (sharp) secateurs if you have them! Please email if interested, so we can gauge numbers. Hope to see you there. 

Monday, 15 January 2018

'Nature's Gym' Iona Orchard Workday, Saturday 27 January 2018 11am-2pm

Volunteer day faciltated by Nature Conservation Lewisham and 'Nature's Gym'. This session has been arranged to undertake some basic maintenance before Spring when the birds will start nesting. The main focus will be clearing the overgrown woodchip path and doing as much as possible to clear the areas around the fruit trees of brambles etc. Contact or call 020 8314 2119. See also