You don’t have to be a mother to qualify

We have started this week with a spring in our step, not least because of a fantastic full house for our seasonal opener with Paul Wood exploring the urban forest in Herne Hill where the cherry-tree lined streets were such a draw.

Former Southwark Councillor, Robin Crookshank-Hilton, who was pivotal in getting Winterbrook Road lined with Yoshino cherry trees, came to speak to our group towards the end of a tree-filled walk that took us into Lambeth, so we were able to compare different borough’s planting strategies.

We are also fully booked for our next street tree walkshop, this time commissioned by Two Temple Place, to complement the Power of Seeing exhibition celebrating the life and work of John Ruskin, whose bicentenary it is this year. Ruskin pops in Herne hill too, having lived for many years at the top of the hill, before leaving London for the Lake District – now you know from where Ruskin Park and the Ruskin Wing at King’s Hospital got their names.

We are back in Ruskin Park in May, with Mel Sutton running her popular Mindfulness amongst Trees walkshop there as part of the Urban Tree Festival (18 & 19 May), which we have been able to revive again this year, with the generous support of Trees for Cities and countless hours of volunteers’ time. Look out for details when the Festival programme is announced towards the end of April.

So what is it one can qualify for without having to be a Mother?



Hurry:  Book now



I’ve got the supper, Ma.’ said Martha, when Nenna returned.  Nenna would have felt better pleased with herself if she had resembled her elder daughter. But Martha, small and thin, with dark eyes that already showed an acceptance of the world’s shortcomings, was not like her mother and even less like her father. The crucial moment when children realise that their parents are younger than they are had long since been passed by Martha….Nenna felt tired, and sat down on the keelson, which ran from end to end of the flat-bottomed barge. It was quite wrong to come to depend too much upon one’s children.”

How are mothers treated in modern era fiction – do they come out well or are they misrepresented? Who is your favourite fictional mother and why? And who are the authors you feel can create mother characters well?

Nenna is the mother in Penelope Fitzgerald’s Booker winning novel ‘Offshore’ but a lot of the book and many of the characters are drawn from the author’s own life – yes, like Nenna, Penelope Fitzgerald was ‘down on her uppers’ in the 1960s and lived on a houseboat on the Thames.  In this walk we follow her story as much as that of fictional Nenna – come celebrate Mother’s Day with Nenna, Penelope and your mum and seek the answers to the questions above.  Book now

All about walking blog posting is unpredictable – if it’s raining biblical downpours then a blog post is more likely to appear, in most other weather conditions we are out walking and not blogging on a keyboard…..