Great North Wood

MUST DO: Great North Wood Festival

A one-day bash celebrating the forest that once covered much of south-east London


dmirer of flaura and fauna? Course you are. So spend Sunday at a festival celebrating the vast forested landscape that once covered the low hills that rise between Deptford, Streatham, and Croydon.

Of course since the 1850s much of the space has been swallowed up by pesky developers. But pockets do remain, valuable havens for creatures and plants.

Taking place in Sydenham Hill Wood, this weekend’s freebie fest aims to raise awareness of this largely forgotten locality and encourage people to explore the natural wealth on their doorstep. The spot is home to more than 200 species of trees as well as rare fungi and insects, a bat roost and a Victorian folly.

Locals (and anyone else) can take part in walks led by London Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers, learn how to identify birds by their call, admire the flowers that live in the ancient copse and enjoy art activities, a treasure trail and storytelling. Of course, there’ll be streetfood and bevvies too, plus live folk and acoustic music. So far, so bucolic.

Graphic artist and local resident Tim Bird will also be on hand to discuss his new comic novel The Great North Wood, an innovative retelling of the story of the area.

The Great North Wood Festival takes place in Sydenham Hill Wood (between Sydenham Hill and Forest Hill rail stations) on Sun 9th Sept, 10am-6pm. Find out more here.

Main image: © London Wildlife Trust

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