Stinkhorn in Crofton Woods - Roundabout Wood

Watchout for fungi - we seem to be having a bumper fungi season this autumn.

This stinkhorn fungus (Phallus impudicus) was photographed yesterday. Its shape was once considered so embarrassing that Victorian gentlemen destroyed them lest a lady might see one. 

It gives off a smell of rotting meat - which is why there are flies crawling on this specimen. 


Your support is needed for our application for funding from the Council's Jubillee Fund for new Eynsford Recreation Ground Playground equipment.

Bromley Council has earmarked funds for improvements across the Borough – it is quite a small fund, however one of our local Councillors and Bromley Council have indicated that a bid for refreshing the dated equipment in the Eynsford Close playground is likely to receive reasonably positive consideration. 

Karen King, our Treasurer is therefore working hard on the business case to a tight deadline. The Council want 100 signatures from local supporters for all the bids, so will you sign to support us please? If so, please email the information below to us: friendscroftonandsparrowwoods@gmail.com.

Your nameConfirmation you live in the area ( e.g.1st line of address or postcode)Reason for support (e.g. Important to keep the next generation fit, or family uses the facility)



The September newsletter is now available - join the Group to receive your copy. Lots of news including:

- bidding for playground improvements from the Council's Jubilee Fund,

 - badger sett activity,

- the  link between woodland products and Tunbridge ware,

- the latest on vandalism and woodland camps,

- football club storage plans,

- local history: the link btween St Thomas and Crofton Woods and more recent changes since 1966,

- walks and talks, and

- Scrubs Farm news.


The long hot days of summer are over: autumn has started with a fine display of fungi. Birds are no longer nesting, and so the time has come to restart the alternate Tuesday morning Woodland Work Group.  The first session was on 20 September - and will run fortnightly through the autumn addressing different tasks. We started in the white admiral butterfly hotspot - a clearing that brings light to the woodland floor next to the west branch of the Kyd brook. 

Over the past three years the regrowth from coppicing has been significant, and light levels have reduced. So, the Work Group - including two new members - worked hard to clear back the bramble and other rampant growth.

Why not join in? It is free of charge, you only need to come along when you are free, and there is usually home made cake to enjoy. Contact friendscroftonandsparrowwoods@gmail.com for the next session's meeting place.


The beautiful purple emperor butterfly likes tall trees, particularly mature oaks, and sallow for its caterpillars to feed upon. It is a very large and beautiful UK butterfly, which is only out for a few weeks of the year around now. They spend much of their time high in the trees fending off insects and birds from the territory that they regard as their own. There have been two expeditions in Crofton and Sparrow Woods in the last four weeks to try and find the purple emperor, but without success. 

However they are in Petts Wood - there was a recent confirmed sighting in Little Thrift, so thre is every chance that they are in the woods somewhere. Do take a photograph and share any sightings with us.

Here are some photos that I took of purple emperors at Knepp this year. The orange circular markings are supposed to look like goshawk eyes, to put off preditors. I'm afraid you won't find them on flowers - dog poo is more likely 


The June 2022 e-newsletter for the Friends of Crofton and Sparrow Woods was published today. Join the Group to receive your copy with news of all the lastest wildlife sightings and woodland management improvements.


After a short history talk taking the 180 year 1 pupils from the years 500 to 2022 in the life of Crofton and Sparrow Woods, we set off to explore. The new drainage barrier to keep the stream clear, and the sun dial installed in 2004 were inspected, and the wildlife of the woods was studied before an enjoyable break in the playground. 


How lovely to have a late Easter weekend, with lots of sunshine and dry weather. The paths are all just about passable as the mud dries, the bluebells are coming out, and the woods are carpeted with wood anemones and lesser celandine. We only have a few patches of cuckoo flowers, but the orange tip butterflies are making the best of what is there.  Happy Easter.


The ramsons or wild garlic are through the soil thanks to the warm spell a couple of weeks ago, and are just coming into flower. The smell is filling the woodland. 


Red kites sighted in 2022

A number of members have reported seeing a pair of red kites circling over the woods in late February and early March 2022. Are they looking for a nest site? If they take up residence the air will be filled with the sound of their loud calls, as well as those of ring-necked parakeets. 

Our dogs and cats have nothing to fear - red kites prefer carrion and their feet are too small to kill something even as big as a rabbit. 


The patch of wood violets in Crofton Woods continues to expand, and is flowering well in the spring sunshine.


The Work Group had a tough (and eventually wet) morning digging out bramble roots, but what a difference has been made to restoring our best wild flower meadow area.

The photo below is before we started. Followed by the 'after' shot. We had cut the brambles to the ground last winter, but they recovered well, so it was time to start tackling root extraction!

We meet once a fortnight on a Tuesday morning - everyone welcome regardless of fitness.