Elm Trees

Image credit Iain Leach Butterfly Conservation

If you are lucky, in the summer you might see pairs of male White-letter Hairstreaks spiralling in mock combat at the top of the canopy of the Elm trees near New Church Road entrance.

This butterfly is entirely dependent on Elm trees, the eggs are laid and the caterpillars feed on the Elm. In order to encourage the butterfly some new Elm trees were planted in Southampton Way woodlands as part of the Burgess Park west development in 2018.

Unfortunately the Elm tree is under attack from Dutch elm disease. The disease is caused by a fungus spread by a bark beetle. This includes dead leaves on the tree, yellowing or other discolouration in autumn or spring and wilting leaves and young shoots. One way of tackling this is to encourage new growth and reduce old wood. 

Looking after the woodlands and managing the Elm trees will help the uncommon White-letter Hairstreak butterflies.

Read Simon Saville’s blog about butterflies in Burgess Park


This QR Code is part of our Woodland Trail

High-rise development threatens Burgess Park’s precious woodlands.
Support our Crowdfunder to allow us to assess the impact & challenge the plans.

Burgess Park has beautiful woodlands which are vital for local wildlife. They are a precious resource in an urban area. We fear that plans for tall buildings on the edge of the woodlands will reduce the sunlight and change the habitat. 

We need to fully understand what impact tall buildings would have.
Help us raise funds for an independent wildlife report that we can present to Southwark’s Planning Committee. We want to raise £3000 by the end of May 2021.

See our Crowdfunder for more info.

Help protect our Metropolitan Open Land – one of the final pieces of the Burgess Park Jigsaw

On the west edge of Southampton Way Woodland at the entrance to Burgess Park is an area of derelict land used for what was supposed to be temporary scrap-yards & car-washing.

This land has been designated as part of the protected Metropolitan Open Land of Burgess Park for over 30 years, as the council steadily CPO’d (Compulsory Purchased) the various bits of privately owned land, designated to be the park for local people, in the original Abercrobie Plan after WW2.

This is one of the final pieces of that precious jigsaw.

However, a developer has bought an option on the site & are suggesting up to a 6 storey residential tower-block on this entrance to the park.

The council had promised to CPO the site but has yet to implement the promise.

Find more information and sign the petition below.

Read our woodland blog over at Friends of Burgess Park