January Update – Subscriptions please and a Public Meeting

With a Thank you and apology to those of you who have sent your subscription or recently joined us.

January is the start of our member ship year and I remind you to pay your subscriptions for 2023. You can pay the £5 pa per household into our bank account at HSBC, Account number 61550985 and sort code 40-42-01 (please add your home address as a reference and confirm by e mail to ffcm06@gmail.com ). Our membership subscription pays our costs and maintains the capability to deliver events and host organisations through the Information Centre.

As a member you receive our newsletter and regular updates of our events and activities. You have a vote at the Annual General Meeting. Being a member is also about belonging and making a difference, we want to be inclusive, welcoming new and younger people with new ideas to take part and be engaged with us for the Meadows.    

Nick Grant and I attend the St Mary’s & St James Ward Panel, where we have an opportunity to bring any criminal and anti-social behaviour issues on the Meadows to the local police. The ward panel has an open public meeting on Wednesday 1st March 7pm at the United Services Club, Sidcup. See below for full details.

It would be good to see some of the Friends Members at this meeting especially if you are a resident of St Mary’s & St James Ward.

Our pictures to cheer up this ‘Money Please’ message have been submitted by Michael Melia a big thank you, and why not take some seasonal pictures when you are out on the Meadows and send them in to the e mail above.

Many Thanks

Michael Heath – Chair FFCM

A Dull Weekend but Keep Sending your Pictures

Windy and wet meant not many Visitors to the Information Centre or even out and about. But a visit to Foots Cray Meadows is always a joy even in this weather.

Do cheer us all up, and send in your photos, below are a selection from the ‘Autumn Colours Theme’ from Ray and Raj. send to ffcm06@gmail.com

Hopefully we will open next month Saturday 4th February 2023, don’t forget to renew your membership or join the ‘Friends’ see members page.

Information Centre Open 7th January 2023 from 10am

First Saturday of the month, indeed of 2023 and the committee will open the centre from 10am to 12noon. Come along for a chat. To find us follow the Lane from the Rectory Lane car park for about 500m past the stable block building through the gates and the centre is to your left – Members don’t forget to renew your subscriptions see below.

Keep sending in your winter photos of the Meadows to be published here, Our picture here is from the archives, The River Cray beside Loring Hall Sports Ground on a wet early spring day in 2014 and a pot of Gold possibly in Joydens wood.

Our Christmas Message

Seasonal Greetings from the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows at a time when the Meadows have just presented a December winter snow scene in this the seventeenth year of our organisation. I am incredibly pleased to report that the FFCM is in fine form.

Our AGM in September heard how the Friends has developed over the years and how the past 12 months have seen a return to normality with the ongoing challenge of being an ever (and seemingly increasingly) popular public open space along with the issues of arid-like conditions during the extended and spectacular heat wave last summer. Our members enthused on future challenges and heard how we shall continue to deliver our aims and objectives, as well as engaging with our visitors.

A big ‘thank you’ to our committee, which continues to open the Information Centre on the first Saturday of each month from 10 am. Check for full details on our website at https://footscraymeadows.wordpress.com/

Thank you to Ray Hudson and his group of River Action Volunteers, who are out all year on the River Cray at Foots Cray Meadows. I am sure many of you have seen them working on riverbank habitat and keeping the water clear of rubbish. We thank you for your committed work whatever the weather. This is an opportunity for volunteering, and an event to focus on clearing and monitoring the plastic rubbish inflicted upon the river is being planned for early next year.  

We are, of course, asking for subscriptions for 2023 and you can continue to pay the £5 pa per household into our bank account at HSBC, Account number 61550985 and sort code 40-42-01 (please add your home address as a reference and confirm by e mail to ffcm06@gmail.com ). Our membership subscription pays our costs and maintains the capability to deliver events and host organisations through the Information Centre.

One exciting development is we have a working group, led by Jacky Turner, that is exploring the possibility of enhancing our community engagement by bringing QR Code information signs to Foots Cray Meadows. Lookout for more information on this and other updates on our website postings.

On behalf of the committee, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – and we look forward to meeting up in 2023.    

Michael Heath, Chair FFCM December 2022

Banner Photo by Terence Dixon.

This image of the Old sweet Chestnut Tree by D Chudgar.

The Cold Snap on the Meadows

Thank you to Terence Dixon for the atmospheric winter scene of the Meadows followed by two images from Michael Melia one of the Swans in the snow and

The above winter view of the River Cray a chalk stream gives me the opportunity to introduce you to the ‘best ever’ Chalk Stream description, click this link to read the Catchment based approach strategy for the UK’s wonderful Chalk Streams bit.ly/3HQjCDd

Michael Heath

Winter Arrives on the Meadows

We have a selection of images from the current cold snap, the first two are by Kirsty Marshall showing the lake on Sunday afternoon and riparian shrubs just before the ‘White Stuff’ covered Sidcup.

and below thanks to Dilip Chudgar pictures of Lime Avenue and the Burning Path with the Snow.

Posted 13th December 2022. We love to publish your images from the Meadows do keep sending them in.

Cross – Country Run

Two different running events on the Meadows Saturday 26th November 2022. Firstly the usual “park run”, although not quite usual as they had changed to the “winter course” which confused one or two.

Then there was a larger event, Kent County Athletics Association Cross-country run.

Just a few of the clubs shown in the photos below. There was an impressive set of medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd runners in lots of age groups.

Happily the weather has been so much kind than last year’s event, when it was very cold and very wet.

Ray Hudson – FFCM Committee Member and Thames21 Volunteer River keeper. (images R Hudson)

Autumn Colours – send us your pictures.

Further to the post below, your turn to send us via contact page or e mail ffcm06@gmail.com your autumn pictures of the meadows even add a location quiz we look forward to your contributions . No doubt, as to the location of the image below, The lake looking: peaceful and splendid in this mornings sunshine. M Heath 18th October 2022

The lake at Five Arches

Autumn Colours Ahead

Thank you and well done to Jacky Turner for correctly locating our King Crimson ‘North Cray Road between St James’s church and Leafield Lane!. we will see if we can identify when this was planted. mh 18/10 2022

North Cray Road and our king Crimson
Purple Maple

Whatever your feelings for the coming winter a visit to Foots Cray Meadows will do wonders for your Wellbeing. We can look forward to a feast of colour from our trees and as always leading the way is this tree now displaying a riot of reds in the sunshine. It is a King Crimson or Purple Maple. But can you tell us where on The Meadows it can be found? Use the contact page or e mail ffcm06@gmail.com to answer.

Michael Chair FFCM 9th October 2022

FYI is the leaf

Great Ideas – Foots Cray Meadows QR Information Posts (QRIPs).

Following on from our AGM and a big thank you to all who turned up and for an enjoyable evening The Friends now have some project plans designed to enhance the visitor experience to Meadows.

We shall keep you informed with these messages to our members and webpage articles leading to a full newsletter later.

We will start with the agreement to look into implementing a series of Foots Cray Meadows QR Information Posts (QRIPs), which will when the project is live display QR codes to link to information pages on this website. (https://footscraymeadows.wordpress.com), each post relating to particular sites of interest across the 240 acre site of the Foots Cray Meadows.

Our lead on this project is its proposer committee member Jacky Turner who is forming a working group to develop this exciting project. Attached for your information are the slides proposing this to the AGM. Jacky is seeking people to either be part of the working group or who may suggest and have experience and knowledge to assist with the information content of the posts. We want to hear from you and would really value your relevant experience and local knowledge. Jacky can be contacted by our group e mail ffcm06@gmail.com

or through the contact page on our website.  

Michael Heath Chair FFCM 2nd October 2022

The Foots Cray Meadows Information Centre