Nature Writing Field Trip to the Great North Wood

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Date(s) - 19/05/2019
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Sydenham Hill Rail station car park

Part of London’s 2019 Urban Tree Festival, made possible with support from Trees for Cities, the only UK charity working at a national and international scale to improve lives through planting trees in cities.

We are delighted to welcome Peter Fiennes author of ‘Oak and Ash and Thorn‘ to lead a 90 minute and Andrew Stuck, founder of the Museum of Walking to lead a walk in a fragment of the Great North Wood, on Sydenham Hill, in Dulwich.

Nature Writing Field Trip to the Great North Wood

What makes for good nature writing? There are more books about the woods, meadows, flora and fauna being published than ever before, but what is it about the best that makes them stand out?

Is writing about nature better expressed as poetry or prose? Are the best writers about nature not ‘nature writers’ at all? Or do we find the most resonant writing about place and landscape hidden, almost incidentally, in novels and short stories? Does nature writing have more impact when humanity is absent… or present? Is there enough diversity among nature writers? And is beauty the only goal? Is there any good way to engage readers about climate chaos, habitat- and species loss?

Join us in a walk through the Dulwich & Sydenham Hill Woods, Dulwich, where we’ll try and answer these questions and many more. Bring your own favourite passages and we’ll find time to read them under the trees. People are welcome to share their own writings – and we will offer feedback in the forest.

The walk is being led by Peter Fiennes, author of ‘Oak and Ash and Thorn: the Ancient Woods and New Forests of Britain‘ and Andrew Stuck, founder of the Museum of Walking. 

A special guest is Mathew Frith, Director of Conservation for the London Wildlife Trust that manages Sydenham Hill Wood and currently running the Great North Wood project. Other nature writers will be joining us. We will finish the walk at 4.30pm but we hope many of you will join us for tea and cakes at the Urban Tree Talk at Bell House in Dulwich Village – where the discussion will continue. 

The Great North Wood was a mixture of coppice woodlands and wooded commons that once covered the hilly ridges between Deptford, Selhurst and Streatham. Most of it disappeared during the 19th century but stands survive in Dulwich, Honor Oak, Norwood and Elmers End, together with more recent woodlands, parks and greenspaces.  London Wildlife Trust is now working on a collaborative project promoting, reviving and reimagining the Great North Wood as a home for nature and people – in a modern urban living landscape. Find out more about the Great North Wood here.

Meet Peter Fiennes in the car park of Sydenham Hill station. If you wish you can purchase copies of his book (and collect it at the start of the walk):

  • Oak and Ash and Thorn: the ancient woods and new forests of Britain
  • Hardback: rrp £16.99 – priced at £15
  • Paperback: rrp £9.99 – priced at £8

Please come prepared as we will be walking on rough uneven surfaces, and you will be invited to sit on the woodland floor, so please bring something to sit on.  Come armed with your favourite nature writing, and bring pen / pencil and notebook as we will encourage you to write.

Walking tickets: £8 in advance / on the day. Concession (Under 21 or & Senior Citizen – Proof of age required / Reg Unemployed /Disability): £4

When booking tickets we ask you to provide your name , email and mobile phone number – we only use your e mail to send a reminder of the event, and should last minute changes occur to an event, we can text you details on the day (if you provide your phone number).

Please print off your receipt and bring to start of the event as proof of ticket purchase

Find out about other events in the Urban Tree Festival



Bookings are closed for this event.

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