The reserveCombined with the adjacent Dulwich Wood, Sydenham Hill Wood forms the largest remaining tract of the old Great North Wood which once stretched from Deptford to Selhurst. In the 1870s large Victorian villas with extensive gardens were established on Sydenham Hill and the wood is now a unique mix of old woodland, Victorian garden survivors and recent woodland. The wood is home to over 200 species of trees and flowering plants including wild garlic, early dog violet and bugle. A multitude of fungi, rare insects, birds and elusive woodland mammals are also present. London Wildlife Trust began managing the wood in 1982, and, with the determined support of local people, it remains a valuable reserve for the continued benefit of wildlife and the public. Cox's Walk is an old avenue lined with oaks that support nuthatch and green woodpecker.
Oak and hornbeam demonstrate the ancient woodland heritage of this site, and in the eastern part of the wood, garden relict trees are still present such as a cedar of Lebanon and a monkey puzzle tree. There is also a Victorian folly, once a garden ornament or conversation piece, now hidden deep in the middle of the wood. The Nunhead to Crystal Palace (Higher Level) railway line once passed through, and you can follow the trackbed up to a disused tunnel, now used as a roost by bats.
Habitats you'll seeWoodland
Species you might spotWild garlic, bluebells, wood anemones and bugle; nuthatch and green woodpecker; bats
What's in my backyard?Find out what species have been spotted on this reserve with the fantastic WIMBY tool, run by GiGL – Greenspace Information for Greater London.Submit your wildlife sightings to GiGL to help Build a picture of London's Nature.
Visit usThere are entrances on Crescent Wood Road, off Sydenham Hill (opposite Countisbury House towerblock) and also on the junction of Lordship Lane and Dulwich Common (Cox's Walk)Unstaffed but you can contact us care of the Centre for Wildlife Gardening - 020 7252 9186Open at all timesAccess Map and further reserve informationFamily Nature Trails Four seasonal activity trails for Sydenham Hill Wood are now available to download FREE! “These trails are a fantastic resource for all the family to learn more about the wildlife and history of Sydenham Hill Wood” Ashley White, Warden of Sydenham Hill Wood. The trails are easy to follow using numbered posts located at points of interest around the wood and contain a handy access map with information about the site and the plants and animals to look out for in spring, summer, autumn and winter.
We run regular practical conservation sessions every Wednesday, Thursday and the second and fourth Sunday of the month.Contact Daniel Greenwood 020 7252 9186
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School visitsFancy arranging a school trip to this site? Our experienced staff can provide your class with a hands-on outdoor learning experience directly linked with the National Curriculum. Have a look at our education pages for more information.
Status: Site of Metropolitan Importance, Local Nature Reserve.
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