Roundshaw Ramble: Put some bird song into an evening amble

Up on the Downs: the meadows at Roundshaw Downs are in full bloom right now

Inside Croydon’s doughty troup of walkers and nature-watchers are long overdue a return to Roundshaw Downs to catch up with the fascinating fauna and flora to be found there.

That’s why next Thursday, June 15, we’ll be staging the latest of our occasional ambles around the tall grass, to catch-up with the skylarks, small blue butterflies, foxes in their dens and kestrels or sparrowhawks on the wing, for our own version of Springwatch on a tract of magnificently rewilded land on what was Britain’s first international airport, all with the tower blocks of central Croydon in sight.

It’s mid-summer, and Roundshaw is at its blooming best, with dog roses in the spinney and ox-eye daisies dappling across the meadows.

And then there’s the birdsong.

Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?
Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still!

Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine;
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
Of harmony, with instinct more divine;
Type of the wise who soar, but never roam;
True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!

To The Skylark by William Wordsworth

We will be meeting at 6.30pm for this gentle evening stroll (you will receive confirmation and directions by mail from EventBrite in the week beforehand).

Oak, ash and elm: Dave Warburton’s guiding one of our walks in 2022

The walk will last around one and a half hours and cover less than three miles. We’ll all be heading for home just before dusk.

Once again, we are delighted that local wildlife and conservation officer Dave Warburton has agreed to be our expert guide.

Everyone’s welcome – our regular and previous attendees, but also newcomers and those curious to discover what wonders can be found on our doorstep.

The walk should suit all ages, although probably a bit dull for the under-eights. We ask that each walker aged under 14 should be accompanied by an adult.

The walk is free, though donations to the Sutton Nature Conservation Volunteers, who do much of the conservation work on the Downs, are invited and appreciated.

Paying subscribers to Inside Croydon will get priority places.

To sign up as an iC patron, for less than a fiver per month, click here.

Bring your binoculars or cameras. And a water bottle, and make sure you have sunscreen and other suitable protection from the rays. The walk will be mainly off paths, so make sure that you are wearing suitable footwear.

Regular iC readers may remember our year-long project that tracked the seasonal changes on the Downs, the early spring, the summer drought and the wildfire that took place during our last evening amble at Roundshaw last August. Next week’s walk is a great opportunity to see the Downs at their very best, and try to spot some re-list endangered species that are being helped by some careful, long-term conservation work.

So: 6.30pm, Thursday, June 15, for one-and-a-half hours (go on, there’s nothing on the telly), and it is free.

To book, please visit our Eventbrite page by clicking here

And read about our year-long study of Roundshaw: Fire, thunder and ice – real life drama up on Roundshaw Downs

  • Sutton Council’s biodiversity officer Dave Warburton continues to arrange volunteering days and other events at Roundshaw and elsewhere.
  • Email for more information and to get involved with undertaking habitat management (lots of cutting back the brambles) on site. All training and tools provided.
  • Otherwise, the Biodiversity Team provides volunteering opportunities on Tuesdays through Thursdays every week of the year, undertaking practical habitat management, including botanical surveying during the summer months. More info here.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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