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Autumn on Hilly Fields

It was such a beautiful morning on Hilly Fields today and I couldn’t resist taking a few photographs of the autumn trees.

This is an abandoned nest – possibly a squirrel’s drey – surrounded by autumnal oak leaves.

The silver birches by the tennis courts are just past their best but still worth a look if you’re passing in the next few days. Their drooping leaves and catkins are delicate and difficult to capture in photographs. A native tree, one of the best for wildlife.

Berries of the Whitebeam tree in the north field. Much loved by the Mistle Thrushes in the park, the Whitebeam is native in Southern England and Ireland. The white leaves which are scattered on the grass at the moment can look silvery in autumn and the veins are finely etched . The whiteness is what gives the tree its name, ‘beam’ being an Anglo-Saxon word for tree.

A beech tree, also in the north field, and one of only two in the park. A native tree with many benefits for wildlife. The beech nuts (collectively known as beech mast) are not produced every year and this appears to be a ‘no-show’ year.

A carpet of leaves in the shade garden next to the bowling green.

I forgot to check what species of tree these are, but I like the way their foliage complements the yellow of the bin at bottom left!

TREE PLANTING 30th November, 2019

Even trees don’t last for ever, especially those threatened by spreading diseases. Our new tree saplings will widen a stand of horse chestnuts. This species is currently under attack from at least three pests and diseases. The most serious of which is ‘bleeding canker’. That’s what it is called, not what I think of it. So we are planning for the potential long term loss of the boundary trees.

Meadow Maintenance

SUNDAY, 3rd November: We need to sort out our WWI meadow so that it is ready for re-seeding. We’ll be at the meadow, up the bank on the corner of the lane, the other side of the lane to the tennis courts. Bring gloves and tools if you have them. We will have some extra. We will start around 10.30 and finish at 12.30.

The meadow towards the end of summer.

our batty day

Join us for bat themed craft and junior yoga.

This Monday, 21st October, by the stone circle.

South Meadow Botanical Survey, 2019

Hilly Fields South Meadow – Species found 13 July 2019

Flowers (39)

Achillea millefolium Yarrow

Anthriscus sylvestris Cow Parsley

Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed

Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle

Cirsium vulgare Spear Thistle

Convolvulus arvensis Field Bindweed

Crepis capillaris Smooth Hawk’s-beard

Echinops sphaerocephalus Glandular Globe-thistle

Galium aparine Cleavers (Goosegrass)

Galium mollugo Hedge Bedstraw

Galium x pomeranicum Hybrid of Hedge and Lady’s Bedstraw

Galium verum Lady’s Bedstraw

Geranium dissectum Cut-leaved Crane’s-bill

Geranium pratense Meadow Crane’s-bill

Helminthotheca echioides Bristly Oxtongue

Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed

Lathyrus pratensis Meadow Vetchling

Lotus corniculatus Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil

Malva moschata Musk-mallow

Oenanthe pimpinelloides Corky-fruited Water-dropwort

Plantago lanceolata Ribwort Plantain

Plantago major Greater Plantain

Potentilla reptans Creeping Cinquefoil

Ranunculus acris Meadow Buttercup

Ranunculus repens Creeping Buttercup

Rumex obtusifolius Broad-leaved Dock

Senecio jacobaea Common Ragwort

Sisymbrium officinale Hedge Mustard

Smyrnium olusatrum Alexanders

Stellaria graminea Lesser Stitchwort

Symphytum tuberosum White Comfrey

Tanacetum vulgare Tansy

Taraxacum agg Dandelion

Tragapogon pratensis Goat’s-beard

Trifolium pratensis Red Clover

Trifolium repens White Clover

Urtica dioica Common Nettle

Vicia cracca Tufted Vetch

Vicia sativa Common Vetch

Grasses (14)

Agrostis capillaris Common Bent

Agrostis stolonifera Creeping Bent

Alopecurus pratensis Meadow Foxtail

Anisantha sterilis Barren Brome

Arrhenatherum elatius False Oat-grass

Dactylis glomerata Cock’s-foot

Elytrigia repens Common Couch 

Festuca arundinacea Tall Fescue

Festuca rubra Red Fescue

Holcus lanatus Yorkshire-fog

Hordeum murinum Wall Barley

Hordeum secalinum Meadow Barley

Lolium perenne Perennial Rye-grass

Phleum pratense Timothy

Wild Flower Scavenger Hunt

Our latest scavenger hunt is available from the café. The flowers maybe a little scarcer this week as it isn’t long since the green flag inspection lots of them were mown in favour of ‘amenity’ grass.

You can also print here and cut so you have four separate sheets.

(right click opens in new window for printing on my computer!)

45th Midsummer Fayre

The 45th Hilly Fields Midsummer Fayre, Saturday 22 June 2019 

12 noon to 5pm


The Brockley Society still need volunteers!  As always, the fayre is run entirely by volunteers. They need  nearly 120 volunteers on rotas on the day. Many different roles for varied skills and time commitments at: 


or express your interest by emailing: volunteer@brockleysociety.org.uk

Art in the Park Saturday 8th June, midday – 6pm

A fantastic day for all the family! Bands times for the Felix School of Rock Stage are now confirmed! Children’s Magical Art Marquee Face Painting Storytelling Tent Felix School of Rock Stage Brockley’s Rock Fishing Pond Music and dance performances Brockley Max Art Market Pop-up food stalls Brockley Brewery & parlez bar Brockley Max raffle draw 5pm…https://brockleymax.co.uk/events/venues/hilly-fields/

Much Ado About Nothing: 5th, 6th and 7th June, 2019 at 7pm

Join the company of Hilly Shakes for their Premier production of Much Ado about nothing! An evening of high jinx and romance in Hilly Fields stone circle. Tonight, 5th June at 7pm by the stone circle in Hilly Fields.


Brockley Max at Hilly Fields

Brockley Max – our local community festival – runs this year from Friday 31 May to Saturday 8 June with a huge range of events at local venues including Hilly Fields. To see the full programme, click here or pick up a paper copy from the HF cafe or other local outlets. Meanwhile, scroll down.

The Hilly Fields cafe (‘Pistachios in the Park’) is hosting three events. On Monday 3 June from 7-9 pm, an evening of poetry and stories presented by Write Brockley, a group of local indie authors. At this point, I should ‘declare an interest’ as I’m one of the authors reading along with Jason Shelley, Diana Pooley and Richard DeMox. Our styles range from traditional narrative to hip-hop poetry and electronica prose with humour, down-under demotic and existential musing in between. The event is free, the ‘Dionysian refreshment’ (a reference to wine, I believe) is free and our books will be on sale at reduced prices. Please bring cash.

Tuesday 4 June sees Professor Nohair and the Wiglifters (presumably the ‘heirs’ of Professor Longhair and the Shuffling Hungarians) playing ‘fast-fingered jazz and boogie woogie’ at the cafe from 7.00 – 9.30 pm. This is a free event, but donations are welcome. And on Thursday 6 June from 7.30 – 9.30 pm, there’s a priced event at the cafe – ‘Learn the Harmonica in Two Hours’. For £20, you get a harmonica, a glass of wine, free tuition and the opportunity to play on the Art In The Park stage on Saturday 8 June.

There are two big events elsewhere in the Park. In the Stone Circle, Hilly Shakes will be giving a performance of Much Ado About Nothing. This will take place on 5, 6 and 7 June from 7 – 8.30 pm. ‘High-jinx, clever wordplay and romance.’ Free, but donations welcome. And on the final day, Saturday 8 June, Hilly Fields will host the big Art In The Park event ‘for all the family’. See here for details.

One last plug, Quaggy Printmakers are exhibiting in the chapel at Brockley and Ladywell cemeteries on 1-2 June and 8-9 June between 10.30 am – 4 pm as part of Brockley Max. This free exhibition is called ‘Flights of Fancy’ and includes demonstrations of print-making techniques.

Hope you can get along to some of these events, especially the Write Brockley one!