FODNW volunteers work in close co-operation with Idverde to maintain the reserve.
Health and Safety is a priority for all concerned for further information the following websites are available:
The Constitution of the Friends of Darrick & Newstead Woods & Common as amended March 2018
Name: The group will be called the Friends of Darrick & Newstead Woods & Common.
Organisation: The Friends of Darrick & Newstead Woods & Common is a non-profit making organisation
The aims and objectives of the Friends will be as follows:
Membership will be open to anyone interested in promoting the aims of the Friends group. Applicants for membership shall normally become members upon submission of their application form with or without a voluntary donation. Membership shall be renewed annually.
Renewals should be received by 30th April and will last for one year.
Membership will entitle each individual in the household over the age of 16 the right to vote.
At its discretion the committee may refuse to admit an applicant.
Monies raised from donations, gifts, or grants awarded to the group shall be used for the express purposes of pursuing the aims and objectives of the Friends of Darrick & Newstead Woods.
The committee is empowered to pursue or make applications for grants to secure funds to support the Friends planned activities and may take whatever steps are necessary to meet the requirements of the awarding bodies.
No persons representing the Friends shall make or enter into any agreement with any persons or organisation that may incur a financial liability save for those purposes as agreed by the committee as necessary to carry out the objectives of the group.
Management of the group
The management committee will consist of the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and at least two other members.
The management committee shall be responsible for the day to day running of the organisation in accordance with its articles and will be answerable to members.
A quorum shall be four members of the committee present.
The committee shall have the power to co-opt.
The committee shall normally meet at least three times a year.
Representatives of the London Borough of Bromley’s Parks and Green Space Contractors shall be invited to attend committee meetings in an advisory capacity.
The Chairman will have a second and casting vote.
Duties of the committee
To keep a register of the Friends of Darrick & Newstead Woods & Common.
To operate a bank or building society account to facilitate deposit and withdrawal of funds. Three officers of the committee will have signing powers in regard to account operation. Any two signatures may be used to effect withdrawal of funds.
Following election at AGM, members of Management Committee will elect from their number people to act for the following year as Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. No committee officer will normally serve more than three years in the same office but in the event of no-one coming forward, the current officers can serve for one more year, during which time another person willing to take on the duties must be found.
Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held in March of each year, with not less than 14 days notice given.
The agenda will include:
The activities of the group shall be approved at the AGM.
Decisions needing a vote shall be decided by a simple majority of those members present, the Chairman having a second and casting vote.
Voting rights shall be restricted to members of the group over the age of 16 years and each member shall have one vote.
Amendments to the constitution can only be made at the AGM or at an Extra-ordinary General Meeting (EGM). Proposed amendments must be circulated at least 21 days before the General Meeting at which they are to be considered, and must be approved by a majority of those members present. A minimum of 4 members may request an EGM.
The Friends of Darrick & Newstead Woods & Common will be dissolved if a resolution to that effect receives a majority of those present at either an Annual or Extra-ordinary General Meeting.
In the event that fewer than four people can be found to form the management Committee then the chairman must call a General Meeting and table a dissolution resolution.
In the event that the friends of Darrick & Newstead Woods & Common ceases to operate, the Committee is given the right to assign any or all assets held by the group to a successor group or another local group with similar aims or a charity if required.
Idverde has been re-appointed to manage Bromley’s parks. Please find attached a letter from Councellor William Huntington-Thresher confirming this good news.
With all good wishes
For the past 4/5 years I have been watering young trees in my road. It is a sad sight to see saplings struggling then dying because of the lack of water. We are fortunate to have a Council that so readily responds to the request for trees to be planted on our roadsides. The introduction of the green bags around newly planted trees has puzzled me; I couldn’t see how it helped with the retention of water and it certainly wasn’t to protect them from any passing deer. I have however, recently discovered how they work. Down one side is a double layer of the green material; in my years of watering, I had not noticed it; this double layer opens up to form a “sack” into which water can be poured; the water then seeps slowly through the bottom enabling more efficient hydration of the tree. May I encourage everyone to look out for saplings in their area and give them the occasional good watering; in the height of the summer when there has been little or no rain, it is particularly important to give young trees sufficient water so that the water can seep down into the roots. You are then likely to be rewarded by a happy, healthy, adult tree to bring pleasure for years to come.
Plant Survey 2018
Using the same Area plan as last year, Sue Hayes and I have completed the 2018 Plant Survey of Darrick and Newstead Woods.
There are 14 “Areas” grouped broadly into Meadows (4), Wet Areas (3) and Woods (7). Please see attached map. Inevitably of course, the meadows have woods or shaws on the boundaries and the woods have wet areas or open glades/ woodland edges etc. but the areas are fairly well defined geographically.
In 2014 we identified some 196 species; in 2015, 288 species and in 2016, 321 species. In 2017, we were up to 328 species and this year, rather to my surprise, we are up to 345 having added 17 although not all have appeared this year. I should perhaps say that just because we don’t see any particular plant one year, I don’t delete it from the list because it may be either that I haven’t found it or it may not have fully developed enough to be seen e.g. biennials or orchids that only appear when conditions are suitable.
The new species identified this year are:
110 Columbine 305 Box
114 Common Poppy 320 Shining Crane’s-bill
114 Welsh Poppy 366 Vervain
120 Wych Elm 389 Buddleia
144 Red Campion 392 Great Mullein
152 Sticky Mouse-ear 394 Foxglove
178 Trailing St John’s-wort 402 Wall Speedwell
210 Hairy Bitter-cress R14 Downy Oat-grass
—- Bay (Laurus nobilis)
Page references are to: The Wild Flower Key ———————- by Francis Rose
or: Grasses, Sedges, Rushes and Ferns — also by Francis Rose
Things we have noticed:
Our very grateful thanks are due especially to Judy John who has been the final arbiter of identification and to the members of the Thursday work party who have contributed to our lists by acting as extra pairs of eyes.
Christine Wallace 5/11/2018
This article and photos was originally written for the West Kent Badger Group website and Newsletter and is not based on Darrick Wood. However, I thought it may be of interest to ‘Friends’ members.
It seems a long time ago now but, following a career as a primary teacher, I went on in the early nineties to obtain a job managing an environmental education centre near Dartford for KCC. It was an old village school built in 1857. One of my responsibilities was to develop a range of habitats for wildlife to inspire visiting Key Stage 1 and 2, (5 – 11 year old) children on a 2 acre site. This included a newly dug out pond which was soon teaming with invertebrates, a small meadow and a tiny wooded area.
In addition to enhancing the site for small wildlife I also had the ambition of building a simple badgers Sett. I mean ‘simple’! I didn’t use plastic piping or build a concrete floor like other badger groups have appeared to produce. My brother and I found a corner of the meadow and dug three channels leading to a couple of bed chambers of which we dug down around 50cm to produce a snug sleeping area.(It seemed so comfortable I even wondered if I could be reincarnated as a badger!) We then covered these channels with large builder’s patio slabs. Then a layer of soil on which grass, Cow Parsley and Stinging nettles later grew. My plan was for the badgers originally to have a basic home which they could then extend (without planning permission!) perhaps downwards or sideways – whatever way that suited them – and they later did. Read on.
My original aim was really to build a ‘release site’ for the West Kent Badger Group to use for perhaps recovering injured badgers into the wild. However, unfortunately (if that is the right word!) local wild badgers apparently like it so much that they moved in a matter of weeks before I had a chance to tell the badger group of my plans.
The following year others moved in so that a family group was formed. ‘Hey presto!’ You can guess what happened next. Three cubs were born and in that April they showed themselves above ground. Cubs were born in most years until I retired seven years ago. With friends and volunteers we were able to have the artificial sett wired up with cameras. We had cameras connected to a digital whiteboard in the main classroom so that we could see when a badger emerged without setting a foot outside. Indeed one clever volunteer managed to enable me, using a password, to watch the badgers from the comfort of my home. There were many occasions when my wife Jane rang me in the centre office often as early as 5.00pm when I was just about to leave to tell me not to come home yet as ‘they’ were out.
Our digital interests lead to fitting cameras in nest boxes, cameras pointing on bird feeders, and a camera looking at the whole site for security, together with, of course cameras over the badgers Sett. All could be seen inside the centre classrooms and from home.
I usually managed to get the badgers to emerge very early by enticing them with peanuts which I threw high over the Sett so they would feel them dropping on the ground above. However, I was always conscience of the fact that perhaps the badgers might have been in danger being out so early. However, there were no dangerous roads nearby and the fenced in centre land was very secure. They invariably went straight back to bed after their treat. I often used the badgers as a tool (excuse) to keep the pupils quiet. Whispering to the children with a finger over my mouth, ‘be quiet, the badgers are sleeping, don’t wake them up’. I was able to show film of the badgers to the visiting class groups, however, later in an evening, the local Cub pack, Scouts, Beavers, Rainbows and Guides etc often saw them live. Local companies, Lions groups and the village society, gave the centre funding for some ‘camera traps’ so we were able to obtain film of the badgers in our absence. Indeed, I often felt we were pioneering some aspects of digital equipment. BBC Natural History Unit ‘eat your heart out’!
Soon I decided that we really needed an outhouse and I thought the simplest and cheapest construction to build was a straw house. However, the only place we could build it was rather too close to the Sett; about forty metres. I managed to get a local farmer to deliver and donate about50 redundant straw bales to the centre. In addition, I bought a number of iron poles and large bricks etc for stability and together with volunteers set about constructing the ‘eco’ building. A number of infant classes carrying out a mini-beast hunt soon also used the straw hut for singing. However, the badgers had other ideas and it wasn’t singing, if you see what I mean. For those who don’t know badgers regularly bring in bedding, perhaps dried leaves and other forms of undergrowth to their Setts. They must have thought Christmas had come early! Soon great piles of straw, which became their bedding, appeared on the Sett taken from the building. Unfortunately we soon had to dismantle the straw hut as it was a safety hazard, not before I had left a camera trap inside the structure and caught one intruder ‘red handed’, or should I say ‘red pawed’! Not one of my best ideas!
The badgers circulated the village at night, probably many of them from ‘my’ sett as I used to have frequent remarks from the locals that ‘my’ badgers had visited their gardens the previous night. I remember many days when I would take a class out to the river or village and hurry past gardens and their front lawns that I had been told about (say no more!)
It seems a long time ago that I/we were in ‘badger heaven’, living the dream.
I often think back to those wonderful days.
Friends of Darrick and Newstead Woods
West Kent Badger Group
We have finally observed a Goldcrest on the 20th Of November; they obviously breed in the woods but we have not seen them in the leaf cover. The temperature was 5 degrees celcius but they survive much colder temperatures throughout the winter. They feed on insects: it amazes me how Britain’s smallest bird, which only weighs a few grams, can manage to survive the winter.
After dark I have been hearing tawny owls in the woods. We have not been able to record them officially yet.
On this survey we observed two pure white domestic pigeons. There are sparrow hawks around so I hope they are able to find their way home.
The latest report is attached below:
Bird Survey as at 26 November 2018
We have been conducting a bird survey, mostly weekly, since 19th April 2018. We have been counting the number of birds of the species that we have seen. Three areas have been surveyed – Darrick Wood and Meadow, Newstead Wood and Meadow and Darrick Wood Hornbeam area/Broadwater Wood.
It should be noted that this is not a scientific survey and bird numbers cannot be accurate as birds are very mobile. We have only recorded species which we can positively identify by sight.
A list of bird species seen and recorded is shown below (29/30 Species):
Greater Spotted Woodpecker
Long Tailed Tit
House/ Tree Sparrow (difficult to distinguish between the two species from a distance)
Ring Necked Parakeet
Common Redstart (06 November)
A Warbler species not a blackcap (06 November) probably a chiffchaff
Goldcrest (20 November 2018)
Collared Dove (20 November 2018)
Common Gull (26 November 2018)
Domestic Pigeon (26 November 2018) pure white
Chaffinch (26 November 2018)
Birds heard on survey but not positively identified by sight (2 or 3 species)
Garden warblers, Black caps – these two species can easily be confused by song.
Chiffchaff – warbler family
Other birds reported as seen or heard by members but not recorded on survey (9 Species).
NB, some members are better at identifying birds by call rather than sight. Also some bird species such as starlings and jackdaws are capable of mimicking other bird species to the confusion of humans and the mimicked species.
Buzzard – Photo Member’s article in News Letter
Black Caps – heard
Possible sighting of Black Cap on Darrick Wood meadow during survey – too fast for positive identification.
Tawny Owl – heard and seen
Black Headed Gull
Not seen on Bird Survey but expected (2 species)
Lord Avebury, of the Lubbock family, has written a letter to Bromley Council concerning the proposal to close the High Elms supply depot to commission the land for the building of residential properties. We have his permission to circulate the letter and we publish it unedited below.
Please see below the Friends of Darrick and Newstead Woods Health and Safety Document which has been written in connexion with our insurance policy.
Please see a poster for this RSPB sponsored talk by clicking on the link below: