Woodland wonders

When you come through the door, you fall in love with it, says Anna-Maria Cahalane-MacGuinness, co-founder of the Buckthorne Cutting Nature Reserve in Crofton Park. She’s right. Under a high canopy of leaves, the path winds between delicate shoots of horsetail, and past steep slopes that lead to handmade benches, beehives and a reed bed.

While the birds are singing, Anna-Maria describes the reserve’s diverse wildlife: slow worms, great spotted woodpeckers, bats, stag beetles, hedgehogs and a heron. It’s rich in history too. The railway that runs alongside it was the former Croydon Canal, and the bridge beside the entrance is an old Roman way. “Once you know that, it changes how you see the space,” she says.

This is an excerpt of an article commissioned for the November/December 2020 issue of The Lewisham Ledger.