Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Stave Hill Ecology Park

Thanks to Mike Scott for untangling me re the different management arrangements for Stave Hill Park and the Russia Dock Woodland. I have always been a bit confused about how the two areas, which share the same space, actually relate to each other. The London Docklands Development Corporation were responsible for the development of the Surrey Commercial Docks and the establishment of the Russia Dock Woodland and was later handed over to Southwark Council. Stave Hill Ecological Park, on the other hand, has been maintained by the Trust for Urban Ecology.

My personal impression is that when the London Docklands Development Corporation handed over the park to the local council to maintain things went steadily downhill in the Russia Dock Woodland. Watching from the sidelines, it seemed to take a considerable amount of local action to mobilise official interest in resurrecting the site, which had become tatty and decayed.

It says a lot for the local community that not only do they interface closely with the local council to report problems, raise issues and ensure that maintenance work takes place, but some of them contribute voluntary labour to specific projects.

Stave Hill Ecological Park, maintained by TRUE - the Trust for Urban Ecology is seamlessly connected with the RDW at least from the point of view a visitor's experience, although colourful signs indicate where the main routes into Stave Hill actually begin. TRUE now have secure premises on the edge of Stave Hill Ecology Park, which incorporates their "shed". This is a much-needed base for their work and a meeting place for volunteers of all ages. Recently the Shed was decorated by local children. There are some more photos taken at the Shed at the end of this post.

Details of TRUE's projects and of how volunteers can assist are posted regularly around the park, but you can contact Rebeka Clark, who runs the TRUE operation at Stave Hill to find out more. Here's what the TRUE website says about volunteering at Stave Hill:

Volunteers are always welcome at Stave Hill. Tasks are fun, varied and will suit all abilities. Children are welcome, but must be supervised by a parent or guardian. Tea, coffee and biscuits supplied.

The Stave Hill Irregulars meet on the second Saturday of the month, 11am-3.30pm.

The Stave Hill Regulars meet every Wednesday, 10am-4pm

Volunteers may do a half or full day. We meet up at the Green Portakabin, behind Bacon's College.

For further information, or to be included in the mailing list, please email Rebeka Clark or telephone 0207 237 9175


Dr Plokta said...

I don't think this is an entirely accurate summary of Stave Hill's history. It's Russia Dock Woodland that was handed over by the LDDC to Southwark Council, who are still responsible for it. Stave Hill Ecology Park has been run by TRUE (in the person of Rebeka) for close to twenty years.

Andie said...

Thanks Mike - I'll correct it