East Wickham Open Space

East Wickham Open Space

Where can you go to get away from the London summer crowds? Try a section of the Green Chain walk. A recent walk from Eltham Park South to Lesnes Abbey resulted in encounters with a few dog walkers. Yes, that’s all and it was the first week of the school summer holidays. The Green Chain in this part of South East London will take you through some stunning countryside and it’s still part of London. An urban haven.

East Wickham Open Space - Green Chain

The yellow and gold shimmering grasses with the ragwort and yarrow standing proud in West Wickham open space could make you gasp. It will certainly will trick you into believing you are somewhere other than London. The vast panorama and the canopy of trees are only interrupted by Shooter’s Hill Water Tower. Well, there are a couple of telephone masts but they are so slim they are rendered inconsequential to the view.

East Wickham Open Space

This section of the Green Chain takes you through grassland, dense woods and heathland. I noticed for the first time the London’s Heathland Heritage logo on the signs. Up until the 18th Century London had considerable heathlands and now only 80 hectares remain. The Heathland Heritage project is trying to preserve this valuable land. This section also boasts an area of metropolitan importance for nature conservation. As well as the usual suspects I was particularly pleased to spot a heron and a pair of woodpeckers.

I finished my walk at Lesnes Abbey which I have written about previously. Bexley Council is currently consulting on ways to improve access and signage. The display in the visitor centre was lack-lustre but the sentiments are worthy. Improved signage will certainly be a big improvement.

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