Will the old saying “A dripping June keeps all in tune” sum up our weather this month? We’ll have the summer solstice to celebrate and sunset at 9.30!
In our parks and gardens June is the month for Roses; look out for the Dog Rose, their wild cousin, in our park hedgerows. Our oldest hedge, planted in the 1370’s, runs from Butterfly Lane along the west side of Grey’s meadow (the rugby field) and follows the boundary of Charlton Athletic ground and the university Sparrows Lane sports area. It has plenty of wild (Dog) Rose; look out for another wildflower, Goose Grass, it has tiny velcro style hooks along the stems earning itself the local name of “Sticky Willy”! Teach this plant name to your children and I can guarantee they’ll remember it forever!
There will be plenty of wildflowers in our park this month, along the edge of our circular walk is a good place to find them. These were planted when the path was installed. Well done Greenwich Parks and Open Spaces! Another wildflower hot-spot can be found at the “mound” at the corner of the path out to 40 foot way. This large heap of soil was made when this field (Greater Stony Acres) was levelled to improve the sports pitches. All the soil and the wildflower seeds in it, were scraped into this one great heap. It’s a great place for bat watching if you’re here at dusk! It’s a hot spot for butterflies too, Orange Tip and Meadow Browns will be flying this month.
Trees in flower this month, Elder and Horse Chestnut. In the past decade most of our Horse Chestnuts have been infected with leaf miner. Their fruit, the conker beloved by school kids, hasn’t been prolific. Avery Hill Road used to have the best conkers for miles around! We have two Red Horse Chestnuts, rubbish for conkers! One at each end of the line of trees bordering the large Holly hedge that runs from near the MUGA pitch to the top of the wild-flower meadow in the Pippenhall stream valley. This little stream usually dries up this month; rarely getting further than the bridge unless we have a summer storm. Hopefully we can enjoy many sunny days this June, so get out there and enjoy our park!
All parks have a great history, created as public open, green spaces by visionary men and women for the people to enjoy.