Programme for 2017
GUIDED WALKS of DISCOVERY
All our walks are slow and easy – a meander rather than a hike!
Meeting in Selsdon Wood car park, Old Farleigh Road, at time shown. Why not join us for about 2 hours?
March Sat 4th 2pm ‘Family Woodland Walk’ with Meike Weiser (for families with children aged 5+)
April Sun 2nd 2pm 'Spring Walk' with FSW
May Sat 6th 2pm ‘Bluebells and Birds’ with FSW
June Sun 18th 11am ‘Summer Flowers’ with Malcolm Jennings
July Sat 15th 11am ‘Butterflies’ with Malcolm Bridge
July Thurs 20th 9.00pm ‘Bats & Moths’ with Malcolm Bridge
August Wed 16th 2pm - ‘Mini-Beast Hunt’ with Roger Hawkins (of interest to young children)
September Sun 10th - 12noon to 4pm ‘Open Day’ (plenty of interest for adults & children)
October Sun 8th 10am - ‘Fungus Hunt’ with FSW
November Sat 11th 1pm - Autumn Leaves with FSW
Habitat management and general maintenance – helping to improve our wood! You work for as long as suits you and choose jobs to suit your strengths. Tools are provided .
We do need more help and would welcome your assistance.
Meeting in Selsdon Wood car park on Sundays at 10am.
January 29th, February 5th & 26th, March 5th & 26th, April 2nd, May 7th, June 4th, July 2nd, August 6th, September 24th, October 1st & 29th, November 5th & 26th, December 3rd
AGM & MONTHLY MEMBERS' MEETINGS
All are welcome to come along – we would value your opinion.
If you are interested in the future of Selsdon Wood, we need your views.
Members meetings are generally on the last Monday of each month – except where this is a Bank Holiday
All meetings start promptly at 8pm at The Forum, Forestdale.
AGM - Monday March 27th
January 30th, February 27th, April 24th, May 22nd, June 26th, July 31st, August 21st, September 25th, October 30th, November 27th
(see Walks and Workdays pages for reports of those)
Calendars (sold 10) £50
Contributions from Stalls: Epilepsy £5, Vegan £5 Uncle Ria’s Jams £20 (to come RSPB)
Memberships - Total £15
Donation Buckets £60.88 – up approximately 30% from last year
Walks Report from Ted Forsyth
The first walk involved a dozen people including several youngsters who were looking for Scavenger Hunt items based on sheets prepared by Heather last year. Our first item was “a leaf with spots”, i.e. Sycamore leaf showing Tar Spot. Where normally at this time of the year we would expect to find all Sycamore leaves covered in black blotches we saw that most leaves were untouched by the fungus. Keeping an eye open for other items, we walked through David’s Crook to Linden Glade where we looked at a well-grown Beefsteak fungus. Returning via Smith Grove we found another Beefsteak at the junction with Bluebell Grove. Following Bluebell Grove to The Wend we were able to see the collection of Common Earthballs. The last task was to find a Hornbeam which we did in Field 3. We finished the walk in one and a half hours.
The later walk had no Scavenger Hunters and had ten adults. We followed the same route but in Linden Glade, after admiring the large Beefsteak, someone spotted a bright yellow fungus further into the wood. It proved to be a group of Chicken of the Woods in marvellous condition spread along a fallen log. When I remarked that I usually saw them in a tier of brackets my attention was drawn to a nearby tree which had just such a tier protruding from the trunk. On the way back we investigated differences between Common Hawthorn and Midland Thorn, and also compared Sessile-, Pedunculate- (English), and Turkey Oaks. We were back at the car park in less than an hour.
Student Filming in
Selsdon Wood 9th/11th November 2015
In November our wood had a visit form a group of students in Filmmaking, at Kingston University. They were led by Jade Lederer who was shooting an adaptation of "The Wonderful Musician", a Grimm's fairytale as part of her assessed coursework. We gave her and her art director a tour of the wood looking for suitable locations and after they had cleared everything with the Council they came to film on 9th and 11th of November. The weather was kind to them on both days and I saw them shooting by one of our significant landmarks (see right) at the junction of Bluebell Grove and The Wend on Monday and near the Monster Trees in Beech Grove on Wednesday (see below). We are told that the film will be available on the web in due course and we shall be sure to let you know when it appears.
Beavers Litter Pick in Fox Shaw - 30th September 2015
Around 25 Beaver Scouts supported by 8 teenage Explorer Scouts and half a dozen leaders and parents assembled in Quail Gardens by the footpath to Selsdon Wood at 5.30pm on Wednesday 30th September. The objective was a litter pick in Fox Shaw and also along a stretch of the London Loop and Vanguard Way running along footpath 515. The Croydon Clean and Green team handed out lots of litter-pickers, collecting bags and gloves and hi-viz jackets for the children to wear. All the children were also fitted with Fantastic Foxes badges (see right).
After about 30 minutes of successful litter hunting in Fox Shaw we regrouped (see the photo below) and walked into the wood and along Vale Border in the direction of Yew Tree Way. We stopped by the badger setts and fox holes where the lovely picture of a baby fox used on our badge was taken (by FSW member and Photo Competition regular Sheila Woolcock in the spring of this year). We showed the children the full photograph and explained where it was taken and pointed out the badger diggings. We then walked along the London Loop footpath to Goldfinch Road picking up a huge amount of litter along the way. We pretty much managed to fill the Council van with the results of our work and all went our separate ways at 6.30pm after a very fruitful hour.
A big thanks you to Diana Walters and the 5th Selsdon and Addington Beavers group and to Tracey Bellamy and the Croydon Clean and Green Team for all their support.
Open Day 2015 - 13th September - report from Ted Forsyth
Having watched weather forecasts slowly improving over the
last days and even hours before Sunday’s opening, it was with some optimism
that I got to the car park at 8.30am. I opened up the toilet block and the gates to the extension car park
then checked Linda’s marking out of the various stalls.
Over the next half an hour most of the
FSW Committee arrived with husbands, daughters and granddaughters in tow, joined by Richard Lock,
Simon Morris and Joseph Stone, and later one or two others who would help on
the stalls. Our trolley, with its
colourful new wheels, was in use to ferry gazebos and other heavy items from
the toolstore and, as the gazebos rose in their positions, a constant stream of
materials came from cars and store. I helped David erect his impressive display of the work we do in the
wood (see right) then directed the various stall holders to their places.
The woodworking group alone had seven
cars, all of which we were able to retain behind their marquee, as we did with
all the other stall holders vehicles. This helped to give an impression of a much bigger event and was only
possible because the grass cutting had been so well done this year. I was given the notice indicating where
to meet for the walks and was about to attach it to the bear when I saw that
the refreshment vehicle was stuck behind the entrance barrier which was still
closed as I had not expected a high vehicle. I soon managed to open that then got back to the bear only
to discover that the string had been cut last year and no longer fitted round
the bear. That was sorted out by
attaching a longer piece (and at the end of the day it was removed without
When I pay for items
using cash I frequently get a handful of 1p, 2p and 5p as change and usually
throw them into a container in a drawer. I had no idea what I intended to do with them eventually but decided to
spread them around the collection buckets so that we began with something in
the buckets to encourage others to donate.
By now it was getting close to the first walk so I wandered
over to the bear and was joined by a lady who said she walked in the fields but
did not like to walk in the woods unaccompanied. The group was completed by the addition of a couple and we
set off up Greenhill Way, chatting about anything which came to mind, including
some of the items for the children’s scavenger hunt. We had a good look at Ash keys and discussed the fruits of
Sycamores and Maples, then I began pointing out fungi. They must have been paying attention
for one of them pointed out a large number of fungi (Inkcaps) growing on
branches off the path just before we turned towards David’s Path. One of the ladies was Italian and we
talked about the effect of continental immigrants, who know what they are
doing, who pick fungi for consumption. Perhaps that is why I do not see some of the more interesting edible
fungi – they have got there before me! We followed an unplanned route through
Pool Grove, Linden Glade, Leafy Grove (Yellow Stagshorn), The Wend (Common
Earthballs), Smith Grove (Small Stagshorn), Great Field (Common and Turkey
Oaks), past Centenary Plantation (where the Broad-leaved Helleborine has
returned again and is now in seed) and back to the car park. The first lady had picked up a small
map from David and I had a spare map I had printed out, which I gave to the
couple, and at times we consulted the maps to show where we were. They seemed to enjoy the walk and I
certainly did. It took just over
I took pictures of most
of the stalls (see the gallery below) and was asked to supply a copy of the jam lady’s stall as she
never had a picture of the completed stall (see right). At the RSPB stall I was told that a large flock of House
Martins had flown over earlier. There was a moment of panic around 2.10pm when I thought the next walk
was to start at 2.00pm but a quick check confirmed 2.30pm. I discovered that Neale was encouraging
any intending scavenger hunters to join in on the walk so instead of the three
I had on the first walk I set off with at least 23. Neale had printed some of Heather’s scavenger sheets and
backed them with a copy of the map, then laminated them in case we had rain. My morning route changed to bring in
more of the desired items for the hunt so we were able to talk about
Pedunculate-, Sessile- and Turkey Oaks and Knopper Galls, the new Shaggy
Bracket fungus in Bluebell Grove, and the couple of dozen Common
Earthballs. Again the walk was
about one hour and everyone seemed happy.
By now the main car park and the extension car park had filled up with cars. It was soon time to pack up and materials began drifting back to stores and cars, gazebos came down and were packed away, and visitors’ cars disappeared – except for one which was parked at the far end of the extension car park. When this happened on a previous occasion we left the gate between the car parks looking as though it was closed but put a message on the car windscreen as explanation. We considered doing the same but as we stood talking as the last car was filled with David’s display, etc, the owners of the vehicle arrived so we were able to close the gates, including the height barrier, and leave the site (at last!). It had been a long day but the predicted rain had not appeared so we did not have the problem of dismantling gazebos in the rain and later having the problems of drying off wet ones.
(As we waited at the end a very large flock of House Martins flew over as they hunted for insects over Vale Border).
Report on the Kid's gazebo and Scavenger Hunt from Sarah Malins
We enjoyed ourselves, it was fun and we did work together as a team. Neale went round and gathered troops for the story and the scavenger hunt, which was good for us. Once we got going we were joking with the kids and the parents.
Some of the parents, when they knew it was free,
wanted to donate something. We
directed them to the collection bucket in the FSW gazebo. A separate bucket in the Kids area would be good in future. The parents were as enthusiastic as the kids and they were all so nice
and very polite. They did put effort into it.
The easier Scavenger Hunt sheet was better, the
children were mostly 7/8 and below. However the other sheet was good in that it gave hints of where to find the items, so it was useful to have both. Lots of children didn't find pine
cones, but then lots did.
They kids liked the badges and Neale has recorded what prizes were most popular. It was a good idea to have samples of the items to be found, especially as I didn't know what sloe (is that how you spell it) was. However all the adults seemed to know it was connected to gin!
The children enjoyed looking at the skulls but there was no great interest in colouring activities - we just has 2 kids that coloured in. We did put some pictures in their bags. That was it. People were interested in maps of the wood and the leaflets.
Sophie enjoyed talking to the kids and thought the kids liked adding their names to the list of participants that she maintained. She thought we should get their ages next time. I think there were over 40 names on the list.
I think it went well and around 50 children were involved at one time or another.
Financial Report from Treasurer Sandra Crapper
Tombola + Bric-a-Bac £245
Stall holders £50
Memberships + Donations £150
So we did very well - raising almost £600 to fund our work in the coming year.
The FSW display and recruitment tent was organised by David Malins with the support of Janet, John and Ted. Subs were paid by 17 new members and 3 renewers (£95) and there were donations totalling £25.
A Thank You from FSW Chair Heather Govier
I was unable to attend Open Day this year and I would like to offer a personal thank you to everyone who made it so successful. The main work of planning and preparation was all down to our secretary and Open Day Organiser, Linda Morris so we owe her a huge vote of thanks. Ted (see above) and all the rest of the FSW Committee - and members of their families - worked hard on the day and my thanks to each of them for their efforts.
On behalf of the FSW, I should also like to say thank you for prizes and sweets donated by Snappy Snaps, Vintage 62, Clarks Newsagents and Friends. Thanks too to John Wren of Croydon Council for arranging for the grass cutting and subsequent clearing. Everyone commented on how well it all looked.
See the gallery below for photographs of many of the stalls. Thanks to Ted Forsyth for these.
Those of you who live in Courtwood Lane may well have noticed that the stretch of Selsdon Wood running beside the road from Cascades to the end of Markfield is a real magnet for litter - see the “before” photograph top left. The main culprits seem to be those households who persist in putting general rubbish in the street bins and the foxes that pull this into the wood and spread it about the area known as Court Wood. The litter is especially visible at this season of the year when the trees are bare and so this was a perfect time to get in there and clear it up.
The FSW organised a community clean up in the area at 10 am on Saturday February 7th. Croydon’s Clean & Green team were eager to support us by supplying posters to advertise the event. News got out via the Forestdale Forward group and we also notified the Head at the nearby Courtwood Primary School. As a result we were approached by several individuals keen to help and also by the leader of the 5th Selsdon & Addington Scout Group and the Pinewood Seahorses Explorer Scouts who offered the support of his young charges working toward their Community Challenge badges.
It was a great success - see the “after” photograph top right!! We had around 20 volunteers and managed to clear up Court Wood really well:-) There was an unbelievable amount of litter - see the photograph below showing what we collected. Tracy Bellamy, Croydon’s Clean and Green Street Champion Coordinator, and a squad of Enforcement Officers set up a table with posters and T-shirts and provided litter pickers, gloves, bags and bag holders for the volunteers to use and even T-shirts for all who wanted them. The Enforcement Officers also delivered fliers around the neighborhood with information about the Don’t Mess with Croydon campaign. There was a caged vehicle where the collected rubbish could be deposited and we more than half filled it! The event was scheduled for 2 hours but most of the work was completed by 11.30 am when we all got together for the group photograph showing what we had achieved. There was a total of half a ton of litter, which was taken away to landfill.
Thank you so much to everyone who came to helpJ I have had complementary remarks from many local residents who have noticed our lovely clean woods.
Open Day 7 September 2014
We had a lovely day for our annual fair, which was a fruitful money raiser, netting over £500 (see report below).
Photos above from Faheem Mirza, Dawn Gibbons, Mark Shoesmith and Linda Morris.
The recruiting and PR area did an excellent job - we have nine new members and six old members renewed. Lots of leaflets were handed out so there may be more memberships to come. Three bags of charcoal and one bag of logs were also sold here Many thanks to David, Janet, Neale & KarenJ
The tombola and white elephant stall was constantly busy and the tombola was a sell-out with the final prize hanging on until the very last batch of six tickets was sold! People enjoyed rummaging through the white elephants to track down a bargain. Some ‘escaped' so do come again next year to see what we have managed to round up to help boost our funds. Thanks to everyone who helped out here especially the two Lindas, Karen, Cecile, Christine and SandraJ
The children’s activity area was busier than last year. Popular activities included leaf rubbing, colouring and word search activities and scavenger hunts at two levels of difficulty (the easy one was most popular). There was also an exhibition of skulls and seasonal nuts, which stimulated interest and discussion. Thanks to Dawn, Karl and Cathy for their work on the stallJ
The storytime session (from 1.45 - 2.30 pm) was held beneath the shade of one of the trees. Using clipboards and coloured pencils supplied by Selsdon Library, the children tried to find all the rabbits hidden in a picture - there were 16 to be found so the older children helped the younger ones. Sandra then read three stories: Bunny and Bee's Forest Friends by Sam Williams (Bunny and Bee are rabbits to follow through with the rabbit theme); Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, which the children really enjoyed. To finish there were photocopy sheets of trees, foxes, rabbits and owls for the children to colour in or to take home. Many thanks to Sandra for leading this sessionJ
The photo competition attracted lots of interest and the winner was Mark Shoesmith with his Squirrel Portrait. Mark also took second prize with his Small Heath Butterfly and Ted Forsyth took third with his Owl in Linden Glade. Congratulations to both winners!!! Thanks to our anonymous donor there are cash prizes for all 3 winners - £50 (first) and £20 (second) to Mark and £10 (third) to Ted - and a Snappy Snaps voucher for each winner. Thanks to Tony for his help hereJ
There were two guided walks during the course of the afternoon, the first with eight adults and one young girl and the second with one adult male. The walkers looked at various fungi, helped with the scavenger hunt, and identified King Alfred's Cakes, Knopper Gall and Artichoke Gall, all found by the young girl. Many thanks to Ted for leading both walksJ
Visiting stalls included Littleheath Woods, Mingles, Bee Keepers, East Surrey Badger Protection Society, RSPB, East Surrey Wood Turners, Selsdon Art Club, and the local Ceramicist, Tim Bartell, and tasty refreshments were ably provided by the 2nd Selsdon and Addington Scout Group lead by Paul Burns. Many thanks to them allJ
Thanks to all who helped with the packing away at the end of the day and a special thank you to Tony and Neale for organising the store to ensure that everything went back neat and tidyJ
The total sum raised for FSW funds was £525.25 - comprised of: £165 – Tombola; £53 – Brica a Brac; £15 – Charcoal; £4 – Logs; £140 – Calendars; £5.25 – profit on Xmas Cards; £40 - Donations from stall holders; £25 - Other donations; £75 - Membership fees.
Thanks again to all those who contributed time, effort and prizes etc this year and a special thanks to Linda Morris who organized the whole shebangJ
Charcoal-making Weekend - 24-26 May 2014
Photos from Ted Forsyth, Neale Fox and John Zareba
See the FSW June Newsletter for a full account of the event from Ted
shown in reverse order with the most recent first
FSW Open Day - 1st September 2013
The additional invited stalls covered a wide range of interests and goods – supporting badgers, birds and bees, and selling wood craft and pottery items. Refreshments were provided by the local scouts and there were guided walks for all ages and activities for children including a scavenger hunt, face painting and story time. Other pages on this website have details of the walks (Walks page) and the Photo Competition (Photo Competition page).
See below for photographs (thanks to Tony Flecchia and Dawn Gibbons)
Below - The girls after the planting