When I was still teaching geography, one of my favourite techniques was by means of Field Lectures: encouraging students to observe, describe,
and explain for themselves the features of the landscape and environment around them.
I have fruitfully used and developed that technique in my retirement
through the medium of Guided Walks in various localities in which I have
lived and worked. (Background information for these walks is available on other pages of this website, listed in the left hand margin).
I will be leading 2 hour, 2 mile, Local Guided Walks in June and September 2018, meeting at the former 'Vicar's Oak' Boundary site at the junction of Crystal Palace Parade and Anerley Hill at 11 am. On Saturday June 23rd we will hear about the old Great North Wood and the role of the Croydon Colliers in ancient boundary disputes. We will visit former sources of Lambeth's River Effra, admire the views of London from the Crystal
Palace Triangle, and introduce Camille Pissaro's association with the area. We will then follow the Effra watershed via Dulwich Upper Wood Nature Reserve and the former
Crystal Palace High Level Railway Terminus, pausing to view the entrance to Charles Barry's elaborate Subway into the Palace, and the railway tunnel through the ridge. We will walk back along Crystal Palace Parade to finish about 1 pm.
The September Walk will consider Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace itself, and proceed along the Kent side of the Effra watershed on South London's Green Chain Walk above Sydenham Wells to learn how the local association with cures for Plague came about. We will view the steep wooded site of the former Upper Sydenham Station and a second tunnel portal, then drop down into Dulwich and Sydenham Woods to review the conservation work of the London Wildlife Trust around the source of the Ambrook, the only Effra headwater that still flows above ground. The Walk continues along the old railway trackbed to the Cox's Walk footbridge, and the site of the now vanished Lordship Lane Station (near Horniman's Gardens, with more splendid views). For this Walk the return to Crystal Palace will be by 363 bus.