On April 20th The St Johns Society in collaboration with Lewisham Council will be organising an open day at the Brookmill Nature Reserve.  The aim is to provide everyone that lives within the local area, the ability to experience the natural wonders that we have at our fingertips. 

In summary the Brookmill Nature Reserve contains part of a disused railway embankment between Brookmill Road and the busy lines from Lewisham to St Johns.

Historically the railway from Nunhead to Blackheath Hill opened in 1871, and in 1888 extended on to Greenwich Park. It was not a great success and stopped operating at the end of 1916 as a wartime economy measure. After the war it was left to quietly decay.

The section west was re-routed to connect directly to Lewisham in 1929, while the section through to Greenwich Park was formally abandoned and the tracks taken up.  It was left to its own devices until 1979 when Lewisham Council purchased the freehold of the land from British Rail.

In 1981, the newly-formed Lewisham Group of the London Wildlife Trust prepared a management plan, and established a series of regular working parties.

An education site with many habitats has been created largely due to the efforts of David Larkin, a local London Wildlife Trust member who has put enormous amounts of time into the management and monitoring of the site.

The steep sides of the embankment are wooded. Sycamore was the dominant tree before the site became managed, but many of these were removed and replaced with native species such as hornbeam and hazel and a large plum tree was kept, and provides lots of fruit in late summer for visitors to the reserve – birds and humans alike.

However, up until now the reserve has been kept locked and whilst there are regular conservation work days and the site is well used by local schools for environmental education it is now time to create a Brookmill Nature Reserve Friends Group so that we can extend its use to all that are interested.

Therefore, please come along, meet the St Johns Society Greening Team and show your interest on 20th April from 1230 – 1530 and together let’s create the Brookmill Nature Reserve’s Friends Group!!

Contact:  Paul Middleton – Chair@st-johns-soc.org