Tag Archives: heath

Lunar Picnic on the Heath

Supermoon over Blackheath, taken by twitter user howierayner
UPDATE: Map and more info in this post.
Flamsteed (the amateur astronomers club, based at Greenwich observatory) wrote:

On 15 June,from 9pm onwards,we will be having a picnic on Blackheath with @ROGAstronomers to view the lunar eclipse. All welcome. #eclipsnic

According to @TimandraHarknes The total lunar eclipse is on 15th June, and starts when the moon rises at 2112 untill late. It should be in a South-East to South direction.

NASA Techy eclipse info here (PDF).

Photo shows a non-eclipsed Supermoon over Blackheath, taken by twitter user howierayner.

4 Comments

Filed under astronomy, blackheath

The Blackheath Festival organisers

853blog has an interview with the organisers of the proposed festival on the heath, now provisionally branded as “On Blackeath”. They have a website too, where you can sign up for more info, or send a comment. It’s good that they’re providing more info. I still wish it was a freebie though. Maybe I’ll take my mandolin and start an illegal rave down at the other end of the heath…

16 Comments

Filed under blackheath, events

Can I graze my sheep on the heath?

Marrow with feta and mint
A friend of mine really likes feta cheese. He lives in Blackheath. As a way of reducing costs in this age of austerity, someone suggested that a way to beat the supermarkets at their own game would be to buy a sheep, graze it on the heath every day, and return it to the back garden in the evening.

Is this possible? I had no idea, so I fired off an email to both Lewisham and Greenwich councils. Lewisham council got back to me very quickly, saying that it definitely isn’t legal. Here are the relevant bits of legislation, if you’re interested:

Metropolitan Commons Act 1866
Metropolitan Commons Supplemented act 1871 [Ch Ivii]

6. “except for those persons who now by law are entitled to do so, it shall not be lawful, without the consent of the board in writing, to turn out on the heath for grazing any cattle, sheep, or other animal”.

Existing bye laws London County Council 1932

25. No person shall turn out to graze or feed or allow or suffer to stray or remain any cattle, sheep, swine, horse, ass, mule, goose, duck, fowl, or other animal in any open space without right or without the consent of the council in writing under the hand of its Clerk.

Interestingly an additional bye-law on this subject is currently being drafted between Lewisham and Greenwich councils, with the Blackheath Joint Working Party, which includes the following clause:

Draft Byelaws
London Borough of Lewisham
Blackheath Open Space, London SE13

13. No persons shall without the consent of the council turn out or permit any animal for which he is responsible to graze in the ground.

Which is pretty specific, although I note with interest that no consideration is given to scavenging home-made robots. Which may have to be left for a post another day.

The photo (including feta) above shows a recipe for feta and stuffed marrow, from the wonderful Smallest Kitchen blog. The marrows are from the farmer’s market, and it is highly recommended.

6 Comments

Filed under blackheath, food, history

Pop Festival – the anti NIMBY nimby leaflet

Leaflet from the Blackheath Society - Two Day Pop Festival on Blackheath
Here’s the leaflet from the Blackheath Society about the proposed pop festival on the heath. I didn’t get one – maybe they were only distributed along the edges of the heath?

Text shown below – not because I necessarily agree with the sentiment!

TWO DAY POP FESTIVAL ON BLACKHEATH
SEPTEMBER 2011
A MESSAGE FROM THE BLACKHEATH SOCIETY

Are you aware that Lewisham Council has granted a licence for a company called NIMBY Events to put on a major Pop Festival on the Heath? It will be in the same location as the 2009 Climate Camp, but will occupy much more of the Heath. It has been fixed for 10/11th September 2011.

  • Major features [aside from loud music] include:
  • A start at midday each day and finish at 11.00 pm (10.30 pm on Sunday)
  • An audience of up to 25,000 on each day
  • Fully licensed bars until 30 minutes before the finish
  • Road closures
  • Licence granted in perpetuity

The Blackheath Society is concerned that the grant of this licence, with minimal conditions, will result in a major nuisance to local residents during the event as well as crime and disorder when the festival goers leave.

The Society is not against events on the Heath in principle, but expects them to be carefully planned and regulated. In this case, very little detail has been provided. If NIMBY is allowed to go ahead in this way, it will set a dangerous precedent.

We are therefore appealing the decision to the Magistrates Court in early March. This is a costly exercise, and we are looking for support beyond our existing membership.

lf you share our concern, and would like to support us or would like more information or give us your views – you can contact the Society on 020 8297 1937 (leave a message out of hours) or blackheath.soc@lineone.net Further details are also on our website: www.blackheath.org

8 Comments

Filed under blackheath, events

NIMBY Pop Festival on the Heath?

During the Blackheath Climate Camp, photo by Indymedia
After the Blackheath Climate Camp, photo by Indymedia

The mysterious NIMBY Events Ltd are planning a two day pop festival to be held every year in approximately the same place as the Climate Camp (but bigger). The first one is due to take place on September 10th-11th. Lewisham Council have approved the alcohol license (PDF should be here, but has disappeared). Glendale, the contractors who manage the park for Lewisham Council also approve of the deal. The Blackheath Joint Working Party have considered – and rejected the idea twice, but NIMBY continued with the application to the council despite this.

The Blackheath Society are now planning to fight this in the courts, and seem very opposed to it – as can be seen on the front page of their website.

There is another meeting of the Blackheath Joint Working Party on Thursday 3rd February, 7.30pm, in St Michael’s Church Hall, Blackheath Park, 1 Pond Road, SE3 9JL, where the plans will be discussed further.

I can’t help thinking that Twitter user ladywormhill could have a point:

The Climate Camp was unquestionably a successful event held on the heath. These would be paying punters, who wouldn’t tidy up after themselves, but the organisers would have to deal with this. The heath is a big place, and many smaller parks hold similar festivals occasionally without the sky falling on their heads. Opposing it outright seems to summon up images of a rather stuffy form of Nimbyism (unfortunate choice of name by the promoters)… Maybe the solution would be to grant a single license for one year, on the understanding that any additional year would also have to be approved.

Or I suppose the mysterious NIMBY events group could just do what the protesters did, and turn up without permission, assuming they wanted a free rave on the heath, not a profitable enterprise. I’m sure either outcome would be great for local businesses, and is arguably similar to what used to happen on the heath regularly a few centuries ago. UPDATE: Come to think of it, part of the heath was closed for a day recently to allow a golf tournament.

Photos showing before and after the Climate Camp, by Indymedia. If anyone knows anything more about the mysterious Nimby Events, please let me know.

79 Comments

Filed under blackheath, events

Blackheath Fireworks 2010 Roundup

So yet again, Bugle-Dad-birthday (and a wedding to attend) meant that Mr & Mrs Bugle could not, and possibly will never manage to attend the biggest and best fireworks display held in their back garden (almost). So instead, to compensate I have re-lived the event by tragically staring into my laptop screen, whilst waving a sparkler. More below:

Lovely high definition video of the fireworks, from a Nokia phone (youtube user macintoshmorrisson)

An historical perspective on bonfire night in Blackheath from Andreas Moser, with links to more youtube videos.

“As far as I am aware, this is the only country that annually celebrates the failure of an assassination attempt on its head of state.”

When you put it like that, it does sound a bit odd…

Another HD video of the fireworks (no point in watching them at a lower rate!)

Great photo by Liam Hayter. Makes me wish I’d been there.

dclovell on twitter:

Blackheath fireworks were great. Lewisham Council showed Greenwich how to do it: big, not too long, no awful music. http://yfrog.com/eqt1hfj

Perry Luke on twitter:

All of Blackheath is engulfed in a thick low-lying smoke. Quite amazing, feels like a film set.

AnnaBucks on Twitter:

Blackheath fireworks. The best thing Lewisham Council does. http://twitpic.com/34joan

Apart from, you know, the schools, hospitals, GPs, libraries, etc etc :)

12 Comments

Filed under blackheath, events

Running in Blackheath

Running man in Blackheath Car Park
For the last eight weeks, I’ve been running round the heath. As someone who has always hated exercise, I’m amazed that I’ve kept it up this long. But I’ve discovered the secret – as long as I can turn running into a geeky activity, aided by various gadgets, I can enjoy it!

To start with, I bought an app called Couch to 5k for the iPhone. This is a brilliantly simple idea. It allows you to listen to your own music, and promises that each run will take about 30 minutes. Crucially it also only requires that you use it three times a week. In fact, it warns against doing more exercise than this! The secret to the app is you don’t need to think about your progress – you put on your headphones, listen to your favourite music or podcast, and follow the instructions. Every so often the music dips down, and a voice says “Run now” or “Walk now”. The intervals between running and walking are perfectly spaced, so that your first few weeks are gentle – truly I think that anyone who isn’t actually unwell could begin to run using this app. The first weeks consist of running for a minute, followed by walking for 2 or 3 minutes. Really easy. And as the runs go by, these intervals are gradually altered. I’m now running for 28 minutes without stopping.

This may not sound like much – I’m sure that if I had really tried on the first day, I could have run for 25 minutes continuously – but I would have given up after a few runs.

After 2 weeks, I started to get some pain in my legs. I was convinced that I’d done myself a terrible injury, and that I wasn’t cut out for running. But a bit of research showed that this was caused by shinsplints, because I was wearing my usual crappy trainers. So I bought some fancy new trainers. At £85, these are the most expensive trainers I’ve ever purchased, but they still cost less than two months at a gym.

The running shop I bought them from was truly amazing. They put you on a treadmill, and film you running. Then they give you some other shoes, and film you running with those. Then some really ingenious software syncs up the two videos, side by side, plays them back in slow motion, and compares the angle between your foot and your leg, to see if the shoes are helping you to run without damaging yourself.

The shinsplints went away within a week.

Then I started to get annoyed by the nasty white in-ear headphones that come with the iPhone. They fall out of your ears when you try to run. So I got these Sony MDR-AS30 headphones. They cost about £15, sound better than the white earbuds, and crucially never fall out of your ears. If you wear them for more than about an hour, they can get uncomfortable, but unless I double my running time, there’s not much chance of that happening.

And that’s the complete cost to my running. £100.
Squirrel in Blackheath by Flickr user waldopepper

  • Things I’ve noticed about running in Blackheath:
  • Seeing Blackheath & Greenwich park lit up by the morning sun – it’s something I never used to see.
  • Chasing the squirrels down to the Observatory, and back again.
  • Seeing the beautiful Observatory, and the view across London in the first light, completely deserted.
  • The people who clean up the litter on the heath in the mornings. Usually just one guy in a little buggy.
  • The Greenwich council van cleaning the roads up to the observatory. Really noisy, must cost a fortune to run – guess it’s cheaper to burn petrol than to employ more people with a broom.

I can’t help feeling sorry for groups of people on the heath (like you know who), knowing that they are spending hundreds of pounds a season to be shouted at by an ex-army instructor, when they could have bought an iPod, an app, and some headphones, and a more pleasant experience!
Squirrel photo by Flickr user waldopepper.

5 Comments

Filed under blackheath, things to do

Blackheath Funfair back on the heath

Blackheath Funfair 2010
UPDATE: For photos and prices of the current fun fair, see Blackheath Fun Fair 2011
The funfair has been back on the heath all weekend. Lots of people coming to the blog, looking for the opening times. Today (Monday) it is open from 12noon until 10pm. Spooky photo by flickr user superba_ (would have posted this even spookier one, but it’s copyrighted unfortunately).

7 Comments

Filed under blackheath

What were the skies like when you were young?


Lovely timelapse video of Blackheath at sunset, filmed and suggested by David Boyle, using a TrouserMac application called iTimelapse.
Previous example by KhE 龙.
Any my attempt back in July 2008.

Leave a comment

Filed under blackheath

Blackheath Bike and Kite Festival 2010 on Saturday!


Here are a few tips from the locals, to all the people who will be descending upon Blackheath over the weekend, for the Bike and Kite Festival.

Take an umbrella. If it rains, you’ll need it, and if it’s sunny there’s next to no shade on the heath, so you can hide under it when you get too hot. The pubs will be packed, so best to come with supplies. (Nicholas, the off license in the village does a very nice dry cider).

Take a bike. Don’t drive – there’s almost no parking in Blackheath at the best of times, and over the weekend it will be even worse than usual. Plus, if you take your bike, there’s usually a free Bike Doctor at the festival who will check your tyres, gears, brakes, etc.

Take a kite! Just don’t take a good one! Loads of people will be flying them, and there’s a good chance you’ll get tangled up (happened to me last year)…

There are usually a few really good plant stalls, if you feel like stocking up. Other stalls include advice from the council about recycling, bike & kite sales etc.

Make sure you know what to look out for! There’s an expert’s guide to the kite performers here at The Kite Society.

Finally, if you know anything about Kite Aerial Photography, bring your rig, so that you can improve on my hopeless effort!

Below are links to my pages from the event for the last two years:

2009:
https://blackheathbugle.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/blackheath-bike-and-kite-festival-2009-today/

https://blackheathbugle.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/more-photos-from-the-bike-and-kite-festival-2009/
https://blackheathbugle.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/the-flying-cat/

2008:
https://blackheathbugle.wordpress.com/2008/06/15/photos-from-the-bike-and-kite-festival/

1 Comment

Filed under blackheath, events, things to do