Welcome to the website of the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows.

 

The Information Centre is open on the First Saturday of Each Month 1000 - 1300 between March and November

 Bat Walk This Saturday see below or Events Page

Fencing at the Spinney and The Grove 

 

The sudden erection of this low fencing on the boundary of the Meadows at the Spinney and the Grove has rightly caused some angst as it restricts pedestrian access to the Meadows which has been enjoyed here for years.  The fencing has been introduced to replace the rotten wooden bollards and is to act as a deterrent to unlawful access to the Meadows i.e. unauthorised motor vehicles. Whilst a better consultation with the community may have been helpful the oversight of not providing small gaps in the fencing for pedestrian access (following complaints from The Friends, other Groups and individuals) is to be corrected with I am told gaps to be created.

 

This article contains the views of Michael Heath which are not necessarily those of the committee

 6th September 2018

 

 Go to our Events page for details of our events for 2018

and  Next Event 

 

Bat Walk Saturday 8th September 2018 730pm Five Arches Click here for information Poster 


 

 

 

Registrations are now open for Foots Cray Meadows parkrun.

 

 

If you know anyone who wants to start parkrun at the meadows they can register at www.parkrun.com and then select Foots Cray Meadows parkrun as their home run.

 June 2018

FFCM Fun Dog Show 2018

 

We held a very successful Fun Dog Show last Saturday ( 23 June) over 250 people turned up on a glorious summer's day to enjoy the excitement of our fifth dog show. This year we were able to add a Best in Show £100 prize. We will shortly be posting here details of the winners, hopefully with some pictures.

Thanks must go to Margaret, Rob Alleyne our Judge and all the committee in making this event happen.

 

Chairs Report 2018, Friends of Foots Cray Meadows

 

Introduction

Dear Members

I have pleasure in previewing my report to the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows. We have had many successes during our twelve years but last year's disappointing AGM attendance does require reflection, therefore it is crucial for the future of this group that you come along on Tuesday 19th June 2018, offer your support, ideas and comments. That said the current committee have pressed ahead with another year of operation cumulating later this week with our fifth biennial Fun Dog Show (Saturday 23rd June 2018).

From the outset we wanted to: be an activity based group, work in partnership with the London Borough of Bexley and be independent on the conservation and protection of the Meadows. We have remained a vibrant and successful group with a steady 50 household membership.

The last Two Years

Each May we have held a 'Paws for Tea' event - a tea party for dogs and their owners held here and raised £85 and £100 respectively for the Blue Cross Pet Charity. We have the capacity to deliver children's river dipping events, with the group last year delighting and educating a local Beaver Scout Colony. We make this equipment available to other groups including London Borough of Bexley. In September we organise an ever popular Bat Walk with a particularly successful sighting of Bats at the Five Arches last year. This February with the new tree officer Philip Louis we returned to an old activity and committee members and supporters spent a Saturday morning planting over 100 whips (young meter high trees) on one of the pond spoil banks. We need to arrange an activity to mulch these very soon. Through our Newsletter Editor 'Nick' we have published a news letter twice a year. Committee Member Steve Brown has produced and published for a Meadows History and Information Leaflet. Copies are available from the information centre. The centre is opened on the first Saturday of each month (Except Dec- Feb) from 10am - 1pm by members of the committee. My thanks to all on the committee and those regulars who turn out at our events. They give their time to make up the mainstay of our events, attend committee meetings and keep the Friends going. Special thanks to Margaret who is our Treasurer Membership secretary and leads on the Fund Dog Show.

We are also represented on the River Cray Catchment Improvement Group and the local Police Ward Panel. With the Police and Council we are able to promote our concerns for any anti social behaviour on the Meadows. We collaborate with the Grounds Maintenance Team on works and developments I mentioned last year the returning interest of the Local Authority in the Borough's Friends of Groups through their formal 'Open Spaces Scrutiny Sub Group' and we report our activities and volunteer hours to LBB in support of this. We have worked with Bexley Parkrun with their proposals to introduce a 'Parkrun' on the Meadows. As you can read there is much to discuss at our AGM.

In light of the recent legislation updating the Personal Data Regulations, also as practiced by other organisations and following all those annoying e mails last month here is:

The Friends of Foots Cray Meadows Personal Information Privacy Policy Statement.

As a very small volunteer organisation with membership subscriptions we need to know who our members are and to value their membership. We keep records of the information you give in your application/membership form. These are Name, Address, e mail and Telephone number. This is stored privately on a personal computer by our Newsletter Editor. As you are subscription members we will keep in touch with you, by way of newsletters, group notifications and membership renewal requests. We do not share this information and will not disclose without permission. You are able to contact us to unsubscribe at any time.

Finally and to repeat your attendance is requested at the AGM 7pm Tuesday 19th June 2018 wine and refreshments are provided. Then come along to the Fun Dog Show Saturday 23rd June 2018 from 11am.

Michael Heath Chair FFCM

June 2018

 

 

 23 June 2018 Fun Dog Show, Registration Starts 11am click here for full details

 

Dear members

 

You should have received the Notice of this year's AGM by e mail. It really would be helpful if members could find the time to attend and contribute. As well as the formal business of complying with our constitution and ultimately continuing the Friends, it is an opportunity to meet up and discuss the many issues facing the Meadows and the Group. We very much look forward to seeing you and we shall be serving refreshments during the meeting. Non members who are interested in joining the Friends are welcome to come along.

Many Thanks

Michael Heath

 

Riverfly Monitoring Initiative for the River Cray




 

 The young trees from the centre of this picture to the foreground on the right were planted as whips and cared for by FFCM Volunteers and youth groups. Now around seven years old they stand proud beside the Meadows ancient Sweet Chestnut. November 2017

 

 

 

 Spring

 

 It is spring at the 'five arches' and our message is - friendly your dog may be but, nesting birds and dogs are not playmates - please keep your dog out of the water.

M Heath 25 March 2017 

 

 

 January 2017

Your Membership for 2017 is due click here for details many thanks for your continued support.

Our thanks to Susan Potter for sending us this You Tube link to her Photograph compilation of the Swans at the Five Arches.

 

Go on have a look three minutes of first class images will make you want to brave the weather and get out to check on the River Cray wildlife at Foots Cray Meadows.

Great Stuff, many thanks Susan

Michael

18th January 2017

 

https://youtu.be/ZsRNnke80ms 

 

 

 

Seasonal Greetings

 

For those members who have read my chairman's chat in our recent Newsletter a walk on the Meadows this Boxing Day will confirm that my predictions for a cold winter remain on hold, these images were taken at 9am this morning and show the Meadows basking in the sunshine with an unseasonably warm temperature. Enjoy the Holidays and we shall see what the first two months of 2017 will bring!

Michael Heath 26th December 2016 

 

 

Breaking Wildlife News -  visit the Bexley Wildlife Website link (below) for exciting news on Bexley's Biodiversity at Foots Cray Meadows.  

Willow Emerald Damselfly at FCM  


Full details and pictures of this years Fun Dog Show  go to the dedicated Page see head of website. 

For details of the Ten Anniversary Trees Celebrating Ten Years of the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows go to the trees and woodland page

Keep Away from the Swans and dogs out of the Water

A brood of seven cygnets at Five Arches, they are three days old and a delight for visitors but please respect this family and view from a distance. Already there have been at least two incidents of dogs in the water being attacked by the parents. Your dog may drown!

The adult swans are protecting their young; they will engage with any threat, in the water and on the river bank. 

posted 13 May 2016 M Heath

 

 

 

 If you have not enjoyed the bluebells this year go to the Meadows and Woodland Management page for a couple of images. 3 May 2016.

 

  Looking for Lunch; where is this? Answer on Members page (April 2016)

Unfortunately we are unable to organise a spring walk this weekend as suggested on this website. But apart from a walk along the river, do take a detour and go out into North Cray Woods and enjoy the Bluebells this Mayday Holiday weekend. posted 29/04/2016 

Lookout for details of our events: on this site, on posters or as sent direct by e mail to members.

Up and Coming:

'Tree Time' at Foots Cray Meadows (London Tree Week 2016)Saturday 4th June 2016 commencing 1030am. see events page 

 Saturday 18th June we shall be at the Sidcup Pageant (Sidcup High Street) The AGM is Tuesday 21st June 7pm at The Information Centre and our Birthday Fun Dog Show is Saturday 25th June 2016, this is also based at the Information Centre. see the dedicated page.

  

Enjoying the Rectory Lane Daffodil's March 2016


New Finger Post Signs at Foots Cray Meadows. These new directional signs have appeared on the Meadows this autumn, It is not something the Friends had discussed prior to there introduction so tell us what you think. e mail ffcm06@gmail.com -  Michael Heath Oct 2014 

 

 


 

Return of the Winter Lakes on the Meadows

The sun is out and  a few April showers, Bluebells and some glorious spring conditions so it may be surprising that the groundwater flooding has returned to the Meadows. But the water table is high the aquifer full and the natural springs in the Cray valley must be at full force feeding into the Cray as they have done forever and why humankind settled along the valleys.  

Whilst there is an obvious overflow from the lake at five arches. This is almost certainly as a result of the high groundwater levels keeping the river in full flood as we have seen throughout the winter. Foots Cray Meadows are a flood plain and meadows beside rivers do flood. This flooding and any risk to properties will be monitored by the authorities and the Environment Agency Flood warning publish updates. The closure of the footpath is an inconvenience especially as it is a key pedestrian route from North Cray to Schools and the railway at Albany Park but excess water belongs on the Meadows and hopefully away from people's homes. I was with Bexley Council today and we will be looking at immediate options to reduce the overflow with the Environment Agency in the next few days. In the meantime do enjoy the nature from the expanding lakes on the Meadows this spring.

 Michael Heath  FFCM and Thames21 24th April 2014

comment ffcmo6@gmail.com or michael.heath@thames21.org.uk. 

 

Further information

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/groundwater-current-status-and-flood-risk

 

 EA Flood warnings

 http://apps.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood/31618.aspx

 

 

 

 

 




  


Renew your Membership for 2016 please complete and send us the Membership Application form; available from the membership page  

 

Image by B Riches 

 go to the events and activity pages for details of  spring and summer  events  

join us  today please complete and send us the Membership Application form; available from the membership page click here 

 

Above three Images raised water and ground water levels Five Arches February 2014