Burnt Ash Pond in Lewisham hides away in the middle of a housing estate, an oasis close to nearby busy main roads. This little pond is in an area which is rich in green spaces. Northbrook Park and Grove Park Nature Reserve are close by, and Hither Green Cemetery is just across the railway line. The area was woodland in the 17C but the trees had disappeared by the early 18C and the area had become farmland. Surprisingly, farming continued here into the early 20C.
Ecology and Burnt Ash Pond
‘…Burnt Ash Pond is perhaps the finest pond in the Borough from an ecological viewpoint, supporting a good variety of aquatic plants and animals. It is also aesthetically pleasing, with its fringing trees and colourful iris beds and is much loved by residents of the surrounding houses in Melrose Close…’.Nature Conservation in Lewisham, Ecology Handbook no.30
The above description praises the richness and diversity of plants and animal life in this little nature reserve. And there is even a single black mulberry tree! This must have been planted when the pond was in the back garden of the one of the grand villas on Burnt Ash Hill. Because I visited in winter there was no way of finding the tree. I would love to see the irises in flower too, so I will have to return in the spring and summer of the next year.
Why exactly is this pond here? And what feeds it naturally? I understand a standpipe now tops up the water level in a dry summer, but I can’t as yet find anything which helps me with my other questions.
Burnt Ash Pond opens on the first Sunday of the month, but only between April and November.
Burnt Ash Pond in Lewisham is another unexpected discovery as I travel around my London Borough, investigating green spaces. And another green space which I need to visit in spring or summer to see the flowers which grow around the pond.
- London’s Mulberry Trees: https://www.moruslondinium.org
- Burnt Ash Farm: https://runner500.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/wood-burning-farming-dairy-crest-the-story-of-burnt-ash-farm/ and https://runner500.wordpress.com/tag/willows-ii/