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The Wood That Built London: Lewisham

In the northern part of the Borough of Lewisham, a four kilometre railway cutting forms a green corridor through Brockley and Forest Hill. Although severely encroached upon by the construction of the Croydon Canal in 1801 and the railway in 1838, the landscape still preserves some traces of Honor Oak Wood and Gorne Wood, and has been designated a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation, known as the M112 Nature Corridor. An ecological survey conducted for the Greater London Authority in February 2006 described the cutting as ‘Probably the finest selection of railside habitats in London . . . containing woodland, scrub, grassland and reed beds . . . The breeding avifauna includes tawny owl, lesser spotted woodpecker [now mostly absent as a breeding bird in London] and bullfinch. A surprisingly diverse invertebrate fauna includes several nationally scarce species, amongst which is the whiteletter hairstreak butterfly.’ A SINC review conducted for the London Borough of Lewisham in 2015 found that much of the cutting, particularly to the east of the railway line, consisted of native woodland.

From The Wood That Built London by C.J. Schüler

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C.J. Schüler

C.J. Schüler