Exciting plans for 2020

Join the Friends’ Steering Group and help make plans for 2020 a reality.

We’re planning a third series of talks in the pub from February to April about local history, impacts of climate change on wildlife, flood risk and other topics by great speakers.

We’ll be holding the summer picnic on Sunday July 5th and a series of arts workshops from May to September – if we can secure the funding.

The garden group meets regularly on the first Wednesday and first Saturday of every month at 2pm at the park hut. Just drop in. Gloves and tools provided. No skills needed. We help to keep the formal area of the park enjoyable for all and always new members for whatever time you have available.

We’re always looking for more people to join the Steering Group, help put up posters, help with communications and design.

Contact friendsofbrookmillpark@gmail.com and let us know what you’re interested in.

Creative workshops

The amazing trees and other plant life in the park have inspired the first art workshops organised by the Friends of the Park with support from Brockley Assembly. The sessions are led by local artists Xanthe Mosley and Cash Aspeek. People have been invited to learn to draw trees and make blueprints, an early type of photograph. For full details of the third workshop and to book, click on Get Creative page

There will also be a free creative workshop with Cash during the summer picnic on Sunday 7 July 12-3.

The first workshop held on May 25, Learn to Draw Trees, was led by Xanthe. We had beautiful weather and 18 people attended. Regular users of the park were joined by others from as far away as Sydenham (!) The youngest participant was 5 and we didn’t ask the age of the oldest but certainly a few were eligible for Freedom passes. It was inspiring to see people of three generations sitting around the park looking closely at the light in the leaves and imagining the weight of our huge trees as they drew with a range of materials. Appreciative comments were offered by participants and we hope people will book again for the next tree session on 29th June. For all details and booking link to guarantee a place, click here.

Our second workshop, led by Cash Aspeek, invited people to create a photo blueprint, using light sensitive paper like a primitive photograph. People found leaves and stems in the park and placed these on paper pre-treated with light sensitive emulsion. Using plant forms to mask the paper from sunlight, beautiful and mysterious images were created.

We hope to hold more art workshops in the future fostering the park not only as a beautiful place to get close to nature but somewhere to get creative and learn new skills. Please sign up to our mailing list if you’d like to be kept informed of park activities.

Plant group May

We have had two good gardening sessions over the last couple of weeks. The ‘barren strip’ will, we hope, be less barren in future. We have cleared weeds from a good section and sown wildflower seeds from Kew’s Grow Wild programme and additional seeds purchased courtesy of Brockley Assembly funding. The mix includes oxeye daisies, common agrimony, yarrow, viper’s bugloss, wild carrot, toadflax, birdsfoot trefoil and many more. Weeds are great but the range of flowers sown should attract a wider range of insects once established.

We also hoed the bare area under the chestnut tree between the creek and the pond. Here we sowed flowers which bloom at night time (from Kew) and woodland flowers including foxgloves. Some of these are biennials, so we won’t see the benefit until next year.

Here is the team from Saturday. On Wednesday, we were joined by Jimmy and Muhammed but we forgot to take a photo.

R-L : Milly, Imelda, Fred and Julia.
Sowing woodland wild flower seeds under the chestnut tree.

Home work: “what matters to you….”

When Greenwich resident, Mick Delap, found his musical grand-daughter struggling with her homework, he gave her assignment a go himself. He kindly gave his permission for us to publish the poem which resulted, bringing to life the delight of seeing kingfishers in Brookmill Park.

Homework: “What matters to you…”

This matters to me – that even here in Lewisham

kingfishers catch fire. I was limping home from hospital

past the black surface of the old mill dam,

light fading in the bitter cold, the willows still –

when a small bird darted out, pitched onto a branch,

sunk its head into its shoulders like a mini Churchill,

puffed out its chest, then quicker than thought launched

off downstream, a streak of light scintillating

electric blue; a bolt from a crossbow

fired deep into the dusk.  Leaving me feeling –

dazzled. Is this how playing Mozart is for you?

A sense of unexpected possibility, reeled in;  

a moment catching fire? Something so new

that when it sparks, it’s yours; meant just for you?

© Mick Delap 2018

Grey Heron Blues

By kind permission of local poet and singer, John Turner, we give you the Grey Heron Blues…

Grey Heron Blues

There’s a Grey Heron standing down on Deptford Creek
In his early morning glory he’s looking down his beak
At the scruffy tufty other birds so noisy and so small
He doesn’t even use both legs to stand so hunched and tall
He could have come from foreign lands must have a latin name
As he folds his wings behind his back quite relaxed about his fame
He could reside in designer aviary or Zoo
He’s soon to be the subject of a television crew
He’s no doubt multi lingual in modern and ancient Greek
Yet he prefers the riff raff down on Deptford Creek

Grey Heron tell me tell me your news
I always want to hear about the Grey Heron Blues

How you could have been a tourist blown off the beaten track
By a big wind from Winetka but you keep on coming back
How you’re worshipped as a God in Vietnam of immortal time
You’re eggs are aphrodisiacs mixed with youth and lime
How hunters wear your feathers to keep the blues away
You’re arrival is the signal of the hottest summers day.
You were used to carry messages by Sultans and Emirs
So brave you flew into the teeth of flights of spears
You were once next in line to the throne of Mar el Sheik
Yet you prefer the riff raff down on Deptford Creek

Grey Heron tell me tell me your news
I always want to hear about the Grey Heron Blues

Last time I saw the Heron down on Deptford Creek
I asked him where he came from where he hailed from so to speak.
The Heron looked back at me standing on one leg
As I polished my shoe on my trouser he took me down a peg
He said that I should never ask where a bird hung his beak
Each bird flew by their own wind their flight paths quite unique.
Their flights could take them anywhere where any nest was home
I said that’s true and I have always fancied ancient Rome.
The Heron said all birds of a feather there agree
That by and large antiquity isn’t all it was cracked up to be.

© John Turner 2019

Image: Redstart Arts

Bumble Bee boy

Bumble Bee boy was seen today,Thursday 22nd November,collecting bees in a plastic bottle.He had about 6-8 bees.I asked him what he was doing and he said he just liked collecting them and he would let them go later.He said he would not kill them.I pointed out that it was important that the bees were able to fly freely and pollinate the flowers.He had a bit of foliage in the bottle with the bees.