Where unique and endangered species thrive
A wild space with wildflowers, shrubs and trees and a wide variety of invertebrates including butterflies, grasshoppers and crickets. The charity manages both the Discovery Centre site and the Sue Godfrey Nature Park (established in 1984 after a hard won campaign by local residents, including local legend Sue Godfrey). Both spaces are open to the public and are managed on behalf of Lewisham Council by the Discovery Centre staff for conservation and educational activities.
We have a high diversity of species and habitats managed and maintained by our conservationists. About 75 per cent of the grass is cut every year which prevents trees and shrubs from overrunning the site. The cuttings are removed to keep nutrient levels low; high nutrient levels allow a few vigorous species to dominate at the expense of many others.
Creekside Discovery Centre is based on a site that is one of the most biodiverse landscapes for its size in London. It has unique eco-heritage features including a brownfield based landscape, a brown living roof and natural sloping banks to the foreshore of Deptford Creek.
Over 300 species of wildflower thrive on our Discovery Centre site of under 0.26ha. Recently we identified over 40 new plants of the Small-flowered Catchfly naturally colonised on our site. This is a critically Endangered wildflower on the Plantlife Red List, with no other recordings in London.
It’s all about informed management and local knowledge. We work with schools and developers to share our knowledge and expertise to inspire and engage. If you would like to find out how we can work with you please contact us.
In the Creek
A historical and working creek unique to London
As the tide falls each day it exposes almost a kilometre of riverbed providing an opportunity for adventure and education that can’t be found anywhere else in London.
The Creek’s waters, muddy banks and flood defence walls are home to a wide variety of wildlife including shrimps, crabs, fish, birds and many species of wildflower. Deptford Creek has a long history of fishing, shipbuilding and dockyards. Trades and industries from chemical works to tidal mills and slaughterhouses have all used its banks. London’s first passenger railway crosses over it and Bazelgette’s famous sewage pumping stations’ Grade II listed building is alongside it. This makes for a unique habitat where wildlife and flowers can flourish.
The sloping habitat into Deptford Creek is also a historical feature of the Tidal Thames. Only 2% of the Tidal Thames’ edges remain natural today making this feature in our landscape a rarity in London and this is where the natural soft river bank edges provide a great habitat for plants, invertebrates and fish.
Deptford Creek is home to the Chinese Mitten crab and an important nursery for young fish. It is often visited by herons, cormorants and kingfishers.
Small-flowered Catchfly (Silene gallica)