A trail leads through 25 hectares of woodland and meadows which form part of the watershed between the rivers Ravensbourne and Cray. The area was probably part of 200ha estate attached to the Crofton Roman Villa (by Orpington Station) and it has been managed by man ever since. Look for some of the many plants and animals which live in this historic landscape. Some are indicated by posts numbered and banded in green. Others may be difficult to spot but are indicated on Nature Trail leaflet (available on request). Phone 01689 862815 for more information.
The area near the swimming pool formed part of the grounds of Darrick Wood House, built in 1890 and from 1926-1939 the home of the Newport Market Army Band School, a Shaftesbury charity school originally set up for poor boys in Victorian London. Houses were built around the area from the 1930s and Kent County Council bought the remaining land from St Thomas’s Hospital in 1957. Ownership passed to the London Borough of Bromley in 1965.
Flint scrappers and fire-cracked stones found around Darrick and Newstead Woods show the area was used by man over 4000 years ago. In the Domesday Book (1087) it was part of Crofton Manor which was sold in the early 1500s to Sir Robert Rede. Chief Justice for Henry VII and VIII. He donated it to charity and in 1553 it came into the possession of St Thomas’s Hospital. Darrick is ancient and was an important source of fuel , timber and wood products, obtained by regular coppicing (cutting the tree’s to just above ground level and allowing them to regrow). The meadows were farmed to meet local needs and those of expanding London; the 1841 tithe map records them as growing crops.
Memorial to Alan Filby
Following the loss of our much respected chairman; Alan Filby, his family have kindly given us permission to publish the following presentation on A History of the Grounds of Darrick Wood House, Orpington, Kent (on the link below).
Bromley Biodiversity Plan
Click on the link shown below to download the Bromley Biodiversity Plan 2015-2020 from the London Borough of Bromley website. These guidelines are used by The Landscape Group when planning the management of Darrick & Newstead Woods.
Plant Survey June/July 2014
A plant survey was conducted by the Friends of Darrick and Newstead Woods during June and July 2014. This information is used by the Rangers at the London Borough of Bromley Countryside and Parks Department.
Plant Survey June/July 2015
Here are the wild flower survey results for 2015.
Plant Survey June/July 2016
Here are the wild flower survey results for 2016.
Butterfly Species List
Click on the link shown below to view a photo gallery of all the butterfly species recorded at Darrick and Newstead Woods.
(Click on a photograph to identify the butterfly).
Park User Survey 2014
The Friends conducted a survey of park users on Thursday 3rd July 2014. This included questions on what they liked / disliked about the park, as well as asking for suggestions for further improvement. The results can be found in the PDF shown below.