Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Vivat Ulmas!!

Jubilee Tree Planted in Hilly Fields

On Wednesday 22nd May, a disease resistant Elm tree was planted in the eastern section of Hilly Fields to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II. 

Photo courtesy of Karl Brandt

This was a tremendous honour for Brockley being as it was one of only sixty sites across the UK chosen by The Tree Council who are coordinating this initiative, and who supplied the tree. 

Over sixty people attended on the day, from toddlers and teenagers, to octogenarians. 

The ceremony was mostly coordinated by our very own Brockley Society Tree Warden Nicola Ferguson, who was ably helped by students from Prendergast Hilly Fields College, members of the Brockley 50+ Club, the Friends of Hilly Fields, John Thompson, Head of Lewisham Council's Green Scene, Jon Stokes, Programme Director at The Tree Council and our very own eminent local resident, Sybil Phoenix MBE, OBE, founder of the Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust, a Supported Housing Project for single homeless young women. 

The proceedings were added some drama with the arrival of two police officers from the Lewisham Mounted Branch.

Grateful thanks to Glendale for preparing the ground ahead of the planting, and to Jon Stokes of The Tree Council for these photos (unless noted otherwise)

Monday, 20 May 2013

Vandalism - help please ...

In the early morning of Saturday 18th May, one of our new part-funded street trees in Tyrwhitt Road was wantonly snapped in two, by person or persons unknown. 


The incident has been reported to the Met Police and recorded under Crime Reference Number 3210967/13

If you have any information about this crime, please contact the Brockley Safer Neighbourhood Team in the first instance:

It is our intention to have the tree replanted as a priority.

Thank you. 

Anthony, Nicola, Eamonn & James
Tree Wardens
The Brockley Society

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Hilly Fields honoured with Jubilee tree

As part of the on-going celebrations to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, we will be planting the Jubilee Tree donated by the Tree Council at Hilly Fields on Wednesday 22 May.  

Meet at the cafĂ© from 12.45. Students from Prendergast school will come out at 1.15 pm for the ceremony.  Several people from the Brockley 50+ Club which meets at Brockley Social Club will share some memories of the Coronation with us and then some of them and the students will plant the tree.

This is a prestigious occasion for Brockley as there will only be 60 trees throughout the country to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. A digital record of all 60 plantings will be presented to Her Majesty in June. The tree itself will have a smart plaque which will be readable from smart phones. Please do join us -- Brockley Society tree officers, Friends of Hilly Fields, and Prendergast School students -- for this special occasion. 

If you or anyone you know has memories of the Coronation, do encourage them to attend.

The tree we have selected is a disease resistant English Elm (ulmus procera), a species which was decimated in the 60's and 70's on the arrival of Dutch Elm Disease in the UK. There are two fine surviving specimens in Preston Park, Brighton, believed to be the two oldest surviving specimens in the country:

By Ulmus man (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

PS. Interestingly, there is also a surviving elm in Ladywell Fields, which hardly ever gets any press, so I'll go on a photo hunt soon and post you a picture here ...

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Preaching to the converted ...

Link to BBC News website: Green spaces boosts wellbeing of urban dwellers

Well, no surprise to us, but yet more research to link the considerable benefits of local green space, this time from a UK university who have been collating the data from 5,000 households (10,000 adults) as they move throughout the UK over a period of seventeen years. 

According to Dr Matthew White at the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health based in the Medical Faculty at Exeter University:

"We've found that living in an urban area with relatively high levels of green space can have a significantly positive impact on wellbeing, roughly equal to a third of the impact of being married."

Odd that the rest of us in long-term relationships or those who are single or unattached don't get to feel the benefits, but hey ho, we'll just have to use our imaginations, or just look out of the window on this glorious spring morning: 

2nd May 2013 - View from an attic window this morning