Sydenham Hill Wood
The 2020 lockdown showed us how important Sydenham Hill Wood is for people in the local area. As restrictions were placed on everyday life, we saw people turning to nature for both their mental and physical health and exploring their local area more than usual. Sydenham Hill Wood provided a peaceful refuge for people in uncertain times – now it needs your help.
We’re delighted to see so many of you enjoying the Wood, however, this increase in people has taken its toll on the species that rely on it, like robins, chiffchaffs, hedgehogs, voles, bluebells and wood anemone, as visitors have walked on areas that are outside of our paths. We’ve already seen a decline in birds in our monthly surveys, so we need to act now.
If we can’t protect the Wood from increased foot traffic, we could lose vulnerable species entirely, and this precious local space will become a shadow of its former self.
We need your help to carry out vital work to restore, protect and recover this important reserve, primarily by improving the main path network through the Wood.
If you’re enjoying Sydenham Hill Wood now, please consider donating to protect it for the future.
How your donation can help
£16 could buy two metres of chestnut fencingto protect woodland wildflowers from trampling and mammals like hedgehogs from disturbance.
£40 could buy materials for two metres of new pathwhich will stop visitors damaging important habitats
£100 could pay for one metre of new pathinstalled by a contractor with experience of working in a nature reserve
All donations will go directly towards the upkeep of Sydenham Hill Wood.
If you would prefer to give a regular donation, you can become a member of London Wildlife Trust (this donation will not be restricted to Sydenham Hill Wood)
Other ways to donate
Please download and complete our donation form and send a cheque made payable to London Wildlife Trust: London Wildlife Trust, Dean Bradley House, 52 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 2AF. Please note that this is for the Sydenham Hill Wood Appeal. Please be aware that there may be a delay in processing postal donations due to limited staff in our offices at this time.
If you aren't able to print our donation form please send a note with your cheque including your name and contact details and let us know if you would like to Gift Aid your donation, so we can send you a Gift Aid declaration form in the post. Unfortunately, we cannot claim Gift Aid from your donation unless you have filled in a Gift Aid declaration form.
You are welcome to donate anonymously if you wish.
Call 0207 803 4272 (Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 5.30pm).
In 2020 Sydenham Hill Wood had 343,385 visits, an astonishing 81% increase on 2019. More visits meant that more people were walking off the main paths, trampling new ones, causing loss of ground vegetation that provides important habitat (above), and fragmenting the Wood, making it harder for wildlife to thrive.
Birds and mammals require areas of undisturbed habitat in order to breed successfully and as footpaths increase in number the areas of undisturbed habitat are made smaller and smaller leading to declines in populations.
We need to restore the network of paths to keep people from treading new ones, protecting this habitat and keep it joined up for species like:
Robins and chiffchaffs – which nest in the shrub layer
Hedgehogs and voles – the vegetation provides cover for small mammals, and joined up habitat allows them to move around and breed freely. We should have hedgehogs around the Wood but unfortunately aren’t seeing many lately.
Plants like wood anemone, sweet woodruff and wild garlic, ancient woodland indicator plants that are very sensitive to being trodden on
We know many of you got a lot out of Sydenham Hill Wood during lockdown and beyond. Please, if you can, give back today by donating to protect it.