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March 3rd, 2021:

Work to the Lane

THE LANE

The mature hawthorns along this lane are probably the oldest trees in the park. Mentioned in the Edwardian tales of “Young Philip Madison” by local author Henry Williamson

‘Away [from the crest] in the distance, under much-climbed thorn trees, played the hatless children.’

We have dug out a width of the brambles and planted new hawthorn trees and sown hedgerow seeds, comprising of: garlic mustard, hedge cranesbill, hedge woundwort, pink musk mallow, sweet cicely, sweet violet, tufted vetch and white campion.

We have built new stag beetle loggeries. Stag beetles are Britain’s largest native terrestrial beetle and nationally are endangered, so we are lucky to have a healthy population in SE London, but they don’t travel far so it’s important to make sure they have lots of suitable habitats.

The self sown ash is competing for sunlight and hence is growing very tall and spindly. Some has been laid and we have inter-planted with native hawthorns, hazels and wild crab apple. The ash tree is under threat from ash die back, so if our ash should succumb, we will have a diverse range of established plants to take its place. We are also giving space for a few selected ash to fulfil their growth potential.

The introduction of different species will support more insects and supply pollen and a variety of berries over a long period.