March 2023 newsletter now available

Join the Friends of Crofton and Sparrow Woods to receive your quarterly e-newsletter packed with news about the woods - from its history through to events and new project deveopments. Hard copy availabe for local people who are not online. 


Pair of Mandarin ducks spotted in Crofton Woods

Good news for 2023, our pair of Mandarin Ducks are still with us this year. They were spotted by two Friends Group members as they waded along the eastern branch of the Kyd brook picking up litter. (Please don't fill dog waste bags, and throw them into the water - it makes clearing up after you horrible!).

These lovely wood ducks actually nest in trees overhanging water, and their nestlings fledge by dropping in the water. We have seen a pair every year for 5 years - but no sign of successful fledglings. 


Photograph of sudden high stream water level

Friends of Crofton and Sparrow Woods has recently confirmed that sewage is discharged into the western branch of the Kyd Brook that runs through the woods - the branch that runs alongside the Eynsford Recreation Ground and playground. You can see this when the sream runs very high suddenly - as seen in the photos below.

Committee Member Kirsty has been researching the issue. We have long known that rainwater from some of our very local roads is run through pipes into both branches of the streams - which does cause some pollution from diesel spills and if people dump unsuitable liquids into the road drains.  

More concerning is the sewer system. This was designed many may years agao, and as time has passed we have more toilets with longer flushes, and there are more houses. All that waste goes into the sewer, with waste water from our houses.  However, those sewers are also required to carry a lot of rainwater, so when it rains hard for along time, the amount of liquid can become so great that the sewer floods.  The sewers are designed with over flows -and we have confirmation that at least one is discharging into the stream.

That is being monitored, so that the number of times a discharge takes place can be checked using the link https://www.thameswater.co.uk/edm-map?embedded_webview=true -and the postcode BR6 8LT. Click on the tick that appears for more informaton.

We know that there is a storm drain in Crofton Road, but we do not yet know whether this also is a sewer overflow- Kirsty is curretly trying to find out.

So, after a lot of rain, we suggest you keep children and dogs out of the stream.


Gull numbers are reducing as we move into Spring -but we think that we have Common Gull with us.

The first sweet violets are in flower, the catkins are starting to emerge, and our seagull numbers are dropping - although we think this is a second winter Common Gull, which makes a change from the usual Black-headed and Herring Gulls.  


Cherry laurel clearance, path widening and rubbish collection at Gumping Common

The alternate Tuesday morning Work Group decided to tackle Gumping Common. Dividing into three Groups, we have tackled some of the cherry laurel. It is a non-native species which spreads like wildfire and blocks light from our native flora. We also tackled holly that was overhanging the path, as well as tackling the woodland edge. It took idverde a while to load all the rubbish into their truck! 


December 2022 Friends of Crofton and Sparrow Woods e-newsletter now available - join to receive your copy

The December edition of our e-newsletter is now with members (hard copy is available for non-computer users). Packed with information about what has happened in the woods in the last three months, a summary of the butterflies seen in 2022, and more on the history of the woods and the link with the Isleworth Blue School. Join to receive your copy. 


Lucky dip success - we have bulbs to plant before Christmas

We applied for a ‘Lucky Dip’ run by the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association for a package of around 400 plant bulbs of several varieties. 

We were delighted to be successful, although the need to plant them all before Christmas along the entrance track to the Recreation Ground car park is a real challenge. 

There are going to be two very cold planting sessions on Saturday 17th and Tuesday 20th December to plant then - please do come along and help. idverde have leant us some bulb planters. 

There have been daffodils alongside the entrance for some years – although they are diminishing as their vigour reduces, so we are hoping for lots of colour in Spring 2023.


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.