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New Planting at Vicars Hill Entrance funded by MPGA Grant

We’ve just about completed our new planting at the Vicars Hill Entrance. We have a honeysuckle and a Japanese quince still in their pots, which we intend to grow over our future dead hedge. The Friends contributed the additional funds to enable the upgrade from chainlink to estate railing and the plants were purchased with a grant from MPGA https://www.mpga.org.uk/

Planting in progress and completed…we still need to do some extra weeding and mulching!

Beautiful Morning…

…on Hilly Fields. The trees like the horse chestnut below are coming into leaf.

The birds are singing and calling like this Starling.

While this Goldfinch shows an interest in the seed balls of a plane tree.

If you want to see and hear more of the Birds of Hilly Fields, come on the Dawn Chorus walk on 4 April. Meet outside the HF Cafe at 6.00 am.

Scavenger Hunt

Our winter scavenger hunt.

Part of our ‘walk on the wildside’ project, funded by a grant from the Community Fund.

Watch the Birdies

Our Big Birdwatch event (in conjunction with the RSPB) took place on Sunday 27 January as advertised. Unfortunately, a strong cold northern wind put many of the birds off and the count was low. However, a surprising number of humans turned up and we thank you for your support. A fuller report can be found on the Hilly Fields Birdwatch blog here.

This years Dawn Chorus Walk will be held on Thursday 4 April. If you’d like to come along, we meet outside the cafe at 6 am. As in previous years, we will listen to the birds on Hilly Fields and around the Brockley and Ladywell cemeteries. You can leave at any time to get to work but we’ll be finished by 8 am at the latest. Hope to see some of you there.

Orchard Maintenance and Wassail

Sunday 3rd February, maintenance session: we’ll be weeding and mulching the trees, pruning the trees and fixing stakes. We also have a couple of new fruit trees to plant. We’ll start at 2pm and finish at 4pm. So that we can plan the tasks and tools; if you plan to come along, it is helpful to contact us. email hillyfields4@googlemail.com

Painting by John Kerry, local resident..thanks.

The Wassail will start at 4pm, with musicians and wassail. Please try to remember your own cup!

Wassail 2019, 3rd February at 4pm

This coming Sunday at 4pm, we will be holding our annual Wassail. Please try to bring your own cup for the wassail drink…and your best singing voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfncJavzoB8

Big Bird Watch

Tree Consultation from Defra

Consultation on Protecting and Enhancing England’s Trees and Woodlands

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/forestry/protecting-trees-and-woodlands/

Vicars Hill Entrance – Progress

Nearly finished. The bad weather put back repairing the stone wall, but it is in hand for the new year. We’ve started planting the neglected triangle of land, so hopefully we’ll have the beginnings of our bank of snowdrops..with some winter aconites for spring. The dead elm which is left as a good source of insects for birds and maybe bats, will be used to support a native clematis, old man’s beard and a hop. Thanks to the MPGA for funding our new planting.

http://www.mpga.org.uk/index.php

No more Farmers’ Market

The support of the farmers’ market, particularly Whitegates Farm in Kent, has meant that we’ve had some regular funding for our smaller projects. We’ve been able to purchase wild flower seeds for the WWI memorial for the last five years, we’ve sown seed and planted yellow rattle plugs in the Southern Meadow. We’ve bought bird seed and supplies for making bird feeders and I’m sure there are a few other extras in the park, which we couldn’t have done without them.

They told us last month that they couldn’t manage to keep us on their rounds. So thanks to everyone who came and bought their produce over the years. We’ll have to look for a new source of local vegetables and fruit with no plastic packaging and great prices.