Above: One of the many banks of wild daffodils to be seen at Lesnes Woods.
This article is an opportunity to say that spring is showing plenty of signs of having arrived and that it is therefore time to go exploring into your favourite park or woods. Although much of Central London is becoming more and more built up as time goes by, there are amazing stretches of open land and woodland within Inner London, in addition to the local parks.
Going east, on the south side of the River Thames, the most easterly Inner London Borough is Greenwich. Actually, since the Olympic Games of 2012, it has been renamed the ‘Royal Borough of Greenwich’. We are going to cheat just a little bit and cross over the easternmost part of that borough boundary to take a few steps into the adjacent London Borough of Bexley. Very close to the border (on the Bexley side) is Abbey Wood Station and 10 minutes walk down the road nature puts on a really fine display in the latter weeks of March and the early weeks of April – depending of how cold the weather has been during a particular year.
We are talking about Lesnes Woods, which are well known to local residents but hardly known at all to those in the rest of Inner London or further afield. The two pictures shown in this article were not taken this year so they do not indicate the progress of the flowers. Unless you visit the site you will not know whether they are at their best. All the daffodils are completely wild and therefore they come into bloom on a completely different time cycle to those growing in your garden. The woods extend over a large area of land which rises across several hills. That means that the land is very exposed to chilly winds which can affect the time at which the flowers are at their finest. If you happen to go there at the right time, the display is spectacular. The woodland floor is, as you can see for yourself in the pictures, is a ‘carpet’ of yellow.
Above: The seemingly endless carpet of wild daffodils at Lesnes Woods.
With so many blooms from these and other flowers to look forward to, let’s hope that warmer and sunnier weather is ‘just around the corner’ !