Garthorne Road Nature Reserve Spring Open Day

Saturday 19th March

2- 5 pm

No booking required

Garthorne Road Nature Reserve are having their first Open Day of the year. As spring is about here and the birds start to nest and the spring flowers emerge come and explore what is about, Bring a picnic along. There will be some children activities as well such as Spring Spotter Sheet to discover what is above also a mini beast hunt and a Tree Trail sheet as well.

Suggested donation £2

Please note there are no toilets on the site

Sorry No Dogs or BBQ’S please.

The Garthorne Road Nature Reserve is run wholly by volunteers. Any profits or donations are used to maintain or improve the Nature Reserve and provide educational events for the local community. Donations to the reserve is welcomed.

The Friends of Garthorne Road Nature Reserve conduct monthly volunteer days are on the second Saturday of each month (apart from April due to Easter) and starts at 11am – 3.30pm. We meet at main entrance on Beadnell Road 11am. The work ranges from controlling non-native species to surveying and recording the many wildlife species. if you wish to join us please reserve a place. Further information can be found on the Garthorne Road Nature Reserve Volunteering page.

How to find us: Main gate is at North end of Beadnell Road

next to the alleyway to Garthorne Road.

Openmap of Garthorne Road Nature Reserve
The Wood That Built London – Grab your copy!

Released last year author Chris Schüler, launched of his new book ‘The Wood That Built London’, which just so happens to be all about the Great North Wood! which covered from Deptford to Selhurst and from Streatham to Sydenham If you missed the virtual book launch, click here to watch a replay.

Friends of Garthorne Road Nature Reserve Bake-off and Cake Sale

Saturday 18 September 2021

Help us to raise money for interpretation boards around the reserve.

There are two trophies to be won – Best Baker and Best Junior Baker. It would be helpful if you could email us in advance at letting us know if you plan to enter and in which category you want your cakes judged

• Entries can be either large cakes which we can slice on the day, or cupcake/muffin style cakes in individual cases or wrappers

• All cakes should be brought to the reserve between 13:30 and 14:00 on Saturday 18 September. Judging will take place at 14:00 and it will be followed immediately by a presentation ceremony at which the winners will receive their trophies

• We will be selling cakes during the rest during the open day (14:00-17:00) to raise money towards interpretation boards for the reserve

Kindly sponsored by Sebastian Roche Estate Agents

For further details:

Reserve Open Day

Saturday 21th August

2 – 5 pm

No pre-booking required

The Friends of Garthorne Road Nature Reserve  are once again opening up the reserve for the public. Come and explore this quiet wildlife oasis bring a picnic and do the tree trail or mini beast hunt.

Suggested donation £2

We are co-vid safe but please wear a mask if queuing occurs and keep your distance from other visitors.

Are you interested in helping out?. We have regular workdays to maintain the reserve ranging from cutting the paths to controlling invasive species and building dead hedges for mammals.

2nd Saturday of each month, ours next one is:

11th September

16th October

We open the reserve to the public from April to October and are looking for volunteers to help us?.


Hand sanitiser will be available

We will be maintaining a 2m distance at all times.

Garthorne Road Nature Reserve it totally run and maintained by volunteers in partnership with Lewisham Council,  are you interested  in getting involved in the Friends of Garthorne Road Nature Reserve (FoGNNR) volunteering as a  committee member or assist in managing the reserve on the  monthly workdays which are either on a Saturday or Sunday you can stay for as little or the whole day as you wish?

A new Friends Group for Garthorne Road

(Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
(Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Friends Groups

Friends groups are made up of volunteers who wish to have a say in how their local parks and nature reserves are maintained, developed and used.  Some of these groups are constituted and organise entertainment and conservation activities as well as apply for funding to make improvements.  They work in partnership with the local authority and Glendale (Park User Groups).  There are already a number of Friends Groups in Lewisham which help the Council out in a number of ways.

We are also very keen to set up a Friends Group for the site, just like our neighbours on the other side of the tracks at Devonshire Road.  If this is something that you would like to be involved in, please contact Jess Kyle for more information.

Why start a Friends Group 

There are many reasons why people want to start a friends group and not just because they want to improve their local greenspace. There are also many social benefits from forming a community group, for example, the chance to get to know your community and make a positive contribution to your local area, make new friends, get exercise, and the satisfaction that bringing about change can give you. Further benefits could include access to training, skills enhancement and improved employment prospects as well as general improvements to health and well being.

Community involvement in the regeneration of green spaces has been shown to be of key importance and it can help in developing a sense of community ownership. Improving a green space can take a lot of work and commitment and is made easier if there are more of you and it is likely to be a funding requirement that you are part of a group that is representative of your local community.

For more information on how to set up your own group, please see visit this very useful site from Leeds City Council.

Starting Up

Many groups tend to start up with a specific project in mind – for example they may be concerned about the condition of a local area of open space or about litter in an area. The way to start up a new group is to get together with a number of people who share your particular interest or concerns. Some groups may start up with as few as two or three core members and that is fine although most groups will find that they benefit from having more members. The more members your group has the more able the group will be to support members and share out tasks. Often getting things done can require a great deal of enthusiasm and involve a lot of hard work and patience so the more people involved in your group the easier it may be!

Nature Reserve Friends Groups in Lewisham

Burnt Ash Pond

Burnt Ash Pond is perhaps the finest pond in the borough from an ecological viewpoint, supporting a good variety of aquatic plants and animals. It is also aesthetically pleasing, with its fringing trees and colourful iris beds, and is much loved by residents of the surrounding houses in Melrose Close. The site is open on the first Sunday of every month between 11am-12pm.

Dacres Wood

Dacres Wood is a small nature reserve beside the railway line between Forest Hill and Sydenham. Despite its name, a major nature conservation interest on the site lies in its ponds and wetlands, which are relics of the old Croydon Canal. The site is usually locked (apart from the monthly open days) for health and safety reasons but is well used by both schools and conservation volunteers. A field centre, opened in 1993, is available for use by schools and also serves as a base for volunteer workdays. Sessions at the site can be run the Lewisham’s Nature Conservation team.  If you are interested in using the site as part of outdoor learning, please contact them.

The Friends group at this site is one of the newest to be established on Lewisham’s Nature Reserves and they are already very active!

You can join them by filling out their membership form on their blog.

Devonshire Road

Devonshire Road Nature Reserve forms part of the Forest Hill to New Cross Gate railway cutting. This is a site of metropolitan importance for nature conservation as it contains probably the finest suite of railside wildlife habitat in London. It is four kilometres long and over 200 metres wide at its widest points.  You can use the walks leaflet to help guide you around Devonshire Road guided walk.

Grove Park

Grove Park Nature Reserve, situated across the railway from Hither Green Cemetery, contains a good variety of habitats, including the only substantial area of grassland with a calcareous influence in the borough. These habitats support a wide diversity of plants and animals, including a number of locally rare species. The reserve is greatly appreciated by many local people, whether walking their dogs, picking blackberries and plums, or quietly enjoying a peaceful wild space.  Download a illustrated nature reserve guide here:

Grove Park poster

Hither Green Triangle

Building steps
Building steps

The Sidcup and Orpington lines diverge at Hither Green station to make two sides of a triangle, the third side of which is formed by engine sheds and sidings. As all of these are on embankments, the land within the triangle appears from platform five (which provides the best view) as a large hollow. Regular sessions are held here where work includes maintaining the footpaths and building steps. You can read the Management Plan and see more photos at the Lee Manor blog