At note for your diary..Big Birdwatch event on Sunday 25 January from 10.30-12.30.
This is the weekend of the RSPB’s nationwide Big Garden Birdwatch and we treat Hilly Fields as our Big Garden. Our stall will be outside the Cafe as usual and we will offer activities for children as well as a guided bird spotting walk at 11.00 am.
Every year for the BrocSoc Midsummer Fayre, we produce a Hilly Fields quiz. It’s a good old-fashioned paper and pen quiz which is completed at the Friends stall and tests your knowledge of our beautiful park. This year, nearly fifty brave people had a go and although some of the questions were challenging, most of you did well. Four people got all ten questions right and they will share the prize which is vouchers to spend at the cafe.
If you missed the quiz but would like to test your knowledge, here are the ten questions. Just find a sheet of paper and pen and scribble down your answers, then scroll down beyond the photo to find our answers. Please note that this is purely for your entertainment and edification as it’s too late to win a prize!
Choose one from the possible answers given after each question.
1. Which social reformer (with an appropriate surname) helped save Hilly Fields from building development in the 1890s?
Answer: a. Octavia Hill; b. Margaret McMillan; c. Emmeline Pankhurst
2. How many stones are there in the Hilly Fields stone circle?
Answer: a. 8; b. 10; c12; d.16
3. Where in the park can you find a mural (or’frieze’) of Hilly Fields painted by Evelyn Dunbar in 1934?
Answer: a. In the cafe; b. In Prendergast College; c. In the children’s playground
4. Who wrote and recorded the legendary retro-psychedelic song ‘Hilly Fields (1892)’ – partly a ‘tribute to Lewisham’s real life Hilly Fields park’?
Answer: a. Dick Dicely; b. Nick Nicely; c. Rick Ricely; d. Vic Vicely.
5. A new elm tree was planted in the park last year to commemorate an event which occurred in 2012. Was it?
Answer: a. The London Olympics; b. the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee; c. UK coming 25th in the Eurovision Song Contest.
6. One of these birds nested in a hole in a Hilly Fields tree this spring. Was it?
Answer: a. Great Black-backed Gull; b. Great Spotted Woodpecker; c. Great Crested Grebe; d. Great Northern Diver.]
7. Which one of these sporting activities can you not do on Hilly Fields?
Answer: a. running; b. swimming; c. tennis; d. calisthenic workouts; e. table tennis.
8. Which one of these hills can you not see from Hilly Fields?
Answer: a. Blythe Hill; b. Richmond Hill; c. Shooter’s Hill; d. Sydenham Hill.
9. Which well-known author lived as a boy on Eastern Rd facing Hilly Fields?
Answer: a. Henry James; b. Henry Miller; c. O’Henry; d. Henry Williamson.
10. Which animals used to graze on Hilly Fields in the good old days?
Answer: a. deer; b. sheep; c. kune-kune pigs; d. alpaca
1. Octavia Hill
2. 12 stones. It”s an analemmatic sundial and each stone represents an hour in the day.
3. In Prendergast College
4. All four names were ticked by somebody or other, but the correct answer is Nick Nicely and you can find his masterpiece here.
5. The Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
6. Great Spotted Woodpecker. The other three are aquatic birds and don’t nest in trees.
7. Swimming. Someone did suggest we should have a pond on Hilly Fields, but for ducks rather than humans.
8. Richmond Hill. Blythe Hill and Sydenham Hill can be seen to the south; Shooter’s Hill to the east.
9. Henry Williamson (see the plaque on the frontage of 21 Eastern Rd). The other Henrys spent their boyhoods somewhere in America.
I’ve had a few queries about our next Friends’ Meeting. It will be 9th September, 2014. We start at 7.30 and aim to finish by 9pm.
They are held in the cafe.
In the meantime, if you want to be involved with making the park an even better place you can join the orchard watering team. We are taking it in turns to water the orchard at the weekend.
You can post below, or contact direct on our email
We’ll be posting our revised development plan shortly and the Annual Report.
The Friends of Hilly Fields are busy preparing the information for their stall at the Midsummer Fayre this Saturday.. from 12pm until 5pm…Please come and visit us.
We will have our draft management plan, for the next 5 years, hopefully some sketch ideas for new signs and of course our annual family quiz, with prizes donated by the Cafe.
We are also planning a special section with Jenny Clark who will have her rescue bats to show you.
The Fayre is organised by the Brockley Society, so you will need to contact them for general information.
Rachel found a nest box on the ground on Hilly Fields a few days ago which had presumably fallen from a tree. There are many nest boxes in the park, most of them having been made by school children who were encouraged to carve their names on the front. This one as you can see was made by’Curtis’.
It is difficult during the breeding season to know how many of the boxes are being used unless you have a lot of time on your hands or a lot of cameras like Springwatch. It was pleasing therefore when we opened the lid to find a nest inside and pieces of discarded egg shell. It looks very cosy and you can imagine how well-protected small birds must feel when they set up home inside. The shells look like those of the Blue Tit or Great Tit. The hole in the front has been widened by the parent birds to improve ease of access.
So well done, Curtis – wherever you are now. You made a home for the birds, they took up your offer and used it to bring their chicks into the world. It’s a simple little thing but it makes a difference and it brings us that bit closer to the natural world. And don’t worry – we’ll make sure it goes back up again for next spring.
PS. If anyone would like to put a bird box in their garden, here’s some common sense advice on where to site it from the ‘one and only’ Bill Oddie.