Come and visit the secret woodland of SE3

Who knows that there are several acres of woodlands between Vanbrugh Hill and Maze Hill, just south of Maze Hill station? This bank of trees on the hill can be clearly seen from the station, and from pretty much anywhere in East Greenwich looking southwards. But rarely have the newly-christened Westcombe Woodlands (which have been owned by the Blackheath Preservation Trust for many years to save them from development) been opened to the public.

Now is your chance to come and have a look – the Friends of the Westcombe Woodlands are having an open day on Saturday June 16th.

All are welcome any time from 11am to 4pm – the entrance will be signposted off Maze Hill cul-de-sac (nos. 67-99 Maze Hill). For further information, e-mail There’ll be tours of the glade in the woodlands, bird and bat box making, refreshments, a display of photos showing work done on volunteer days, and a chance to talk to members of the newly-formed “Friends” organisation about plans for the future.

I am on the committee of the Friends, whose goal is to manage and conserve the woodlands, clear the undergrowth to allow more species of trees and flowers to flourish, and allow limited public access. (This has to be limited as there is no easy way in, other than through a cul-de-sac off Vanbrugh Hill called Lasseter Place, or someone’s back garden on Maze Hill – and the two parts of the woodlands reached by either method have a near vertical slope between them).

The woodlands are a much larger space than you would think, with a large flat area in the middle with steep slopes above and below it. The glade that is being created there feels more like a clearing in a forest in the Welsh mountains than an urban woodland half a mile from Greenwich town centre. The only clue that we are in an urban setting is the new Seren Park blocks of flats, just visible through the foliage, and the sound of trains arriving and departing from Maze Hill station.

Come and see for yourself on June the 16th. On a recent volunteers’ day we unearthed a toad!ImageImageImage


One Response to Come and visit the secret woodland of SE3

  1. Pingback: After 16 years as a Labour councillor in Blackheath and Westcombe Park, Alex Grant says thank you and goodbye | Blackheath Westcombe Labour

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