Blackheath Village Day
The Blackheath Village day first began in December 2014 with the Society at thee forefront of getting a new set of Christmas light in place which were switched on by LBC radio host Nick Ferrari. There was great support for the project, in particular via the Lewisham Blackheath Assembly who voted £6000 towards the new lights for a Village Day to celebrate Christmas and to promote Blackheath. A huge volunteer effort went in to organising the Day which was bigger than anything before and was launched by a morning visit from the King's Troop of Royal Horse Artillery.
In December 2015 Blackheath enjoyed another great Village Day on the first Saturday in December with musicians, singers and other entertainers all joining the families out and about celebrating Christmas. Age Exchange had Santa in his grotto and a Cards for Good Causes shop in the foyer. The Society and the Friends of Blackheath Halls had an exhibition in the Bakehouse celebrating 200 Years of Entertainment in Blackheath. The new local stage on Montpelier Green provided an additional setting for local choirs and bands. Major events took place throughout the day at Blackheath Halls and The Conservatoire.
This year the Village Day celebrations will take place on Saturday 3rd December, 2016
Please see the website for further details and updates throughout the year (activities may vary) and to register for volunteer days - www.westcombewoodlands.org
The Westcombe Woodlands is a steep wooded area almost completely surrounded by residential property. It is in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and lies between Maze Hill and Vanbrugh Hill just south of Maze Hill Station - very near to Greenwich Park.
Being close to the river Thames, the land was the site of gravel workings up until the 18th century. Ships bringing goods to the local docks needed ballast for the return journeys and gravel ballast was a valuable commodity. This commercial activity contributed to the uneven and dangerous terrain we see today. Flatter areas of the site were used at various times as market gardens, allot ments and even pig farms. When these operations stopped, the steepness and seclusion of the site led to it being more and more overgrown. Footpaths that had been long established disappeard under weeds, Ivy, bramble and Sycamore had a field day.
In l982 the Westcombe Woodlands were purchased by The Blackheath Preservation Trust Limited (BPT) in order to protect them against development and they are now owned by a subsidiary of the BPT, itself now part of The Blackheath Society, a registered charity.
In 2011 BPT teamed up with the Charity Trees for Cities on a pilot project to involve local residents in plans for the future of the woodlands and to encourage them to take part in volunteer days, clearing the undergrowth, recreating some paths and planting bulbs and tree saplings. These days were very well supported and the volunteers numbered some 90 in total. The pilot scheme led to the adoption of a management works programme.
The Friends of the Westcombe Woodlands has been formed with the active support of the other local amenity societies - the Greenwich Society and the Westcombe Society - as well as the BPT. Two BPT Directors are on its committee. The Friends now have formal recognition from HM Revenue & Customs as a charity so it can claim Gift Aid on donations, grants and suscriptions received.
The Friends of Westcombe Woodlands will continue to encourage and engage with local residents and supporters and be pivotal in the future management and care of the Westcombe Woodlands.
The aim of The Griends of the Westcombe Woodlands
- to secure the preservation, protection and improvement of the woodlands
Benefits of Membership
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