Welcome to the website of the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows.


The Information Centre is open on the First Saturday of Each Month 1000 - 1300 between March and November

Our Next event is this Saturday 7th December 2019, Information Centre is open to plant acorns (A Children's University Event) and subject to the weather litter picking all welcome but children must be with an adult. 

10am to midday click here to see the information poster  



A wet Saturday but we were out for our tree walk with Sid in July Pictured here against the bank of trees at North Cray Woods planted as whips by the Friends.




Thanks to all who supported this years AGM 




 This Years AGM will be held on Tuesday 25th June 2019 Formal Notice will be sent to members. The meeting s held at the Information Centre and starts at 7pm. Refreshments are provided. It is important that members do come along and support the Friends at this formal process. Non Members are welcome to attend as observers. 


click here for members notice of AGM  





The Information Centre was open on Saturday 6th April 2019 and we combined this with a volunteers litter pick during this the month of the Great British Spring Clean. The target was the Cleve Road entrance in North Cray woods.  Pictured are the said volunteers with their haul. The bags in the green trolley are drinks cans, now to be recycled. Join us next Month Saturday 4th May 10am. We plan to do a monthly litter pick, especially during the winter months when the rubbish can be located and removed with minimum disruption to the wildlife.  Any ideas as to our 'grott spot' target Area?    



FFCM Committee members joined Daniel Piec from Froglife on Saturday 16th March to plat up the new pond. These marginal plants included Bloodwort/wood dock, Lesser bulrush, Square - stalked St John's Wort , Dutch rush and Wateravens were added to boost the development of this pond as a toad habitat as part of the Charity Froglife's London T.O.A.D project  sponsired by the  Heritage Fund. https://bit.ly/2zUyw7X


 See Information Centre page for details of last Saturday's opening  2019

 Pond Habitat Managwement and survey training sessions witn 'Froglife' start Saturday 16th March full see events paage for full details 


Information Centre Next Open on Saturday 6th April 2019 10am to 1pm 


 Membership subscriptions now due click here for details and form 


A New Local Plan for Bexley - Consultation opportunity 


Notes from Friends of Danson Park meeting held on

Tuesday 29th January at the Boathouse, Danson Park

There was a full agenda presented to cover a normal Friend of Danson Park meeting but the main business centred on the attendance of Joe Collinson and James Luckhurst - Sustainability Officers for Bexley Council and Ray Gray - Chair of Bexley's Natural Environmental Forum (BNEF).

Joe and James ran a slide presentation of the attached eight sheets and basically expanded on each point. The main point of it was that in spite of every effort, THE PLAN IS NOT FINISHED.

They said that over 100 sites in the borough were identified but not all will be included in the final assessment but all have been assessed. This list includes BNEF sites.

The final recommendations will include preferred land use, flood risk and housing. The BNEF have already supplied a seven page comment on the London Plan.

There are three Green Infrastructure studies involving 60 conservation sites. They are:

Part 1: Borough-wide playing pitch and outdoor sports facilities assessments

Part 2: Borough-wide open space assessment

Part 3: overarching borough-wide green infrastructure assessment

There is a 6 week period in which to comment starting in February. To be on the LDF database e-mail SP&Gteam@bexley.gov.uk

Further detail is on the web site: as shown on the presentation.

Having reviewed the web site the following has been taken from the site:

A new Local Plan for Bexley

A new development plan for long term investment and growth in Bexley is being prepared for the next 20 years, up to 2040. It will set out where significant new development should go and will include policies to protect valued environments and heritage, and ensure high quality, desirable places.

We need to ensure our population's requirements for housing, a thriving economy, community facilities and infrastructure are met - as well as safeguarding the environment, adapting to climate change and securing good design. The Council's draft Growth Strategy suggests 31,500 new homes could be accommodated in the borough in the long term, supporting the creation of 17,500 new jobs and helping to sustain vibrant town centres and high quality sports and recreation facilities, parks and open spaces. The Local Plan will be a framework of policies and guidance that will make growth happen in a well thought out, sustainable way.

We need Bexley's stakeholders to tell us what's important to them so that we can make the right choices for the Borough now and in years to come. This page is to keep you informed about the Local Plan's progress and opportunities to get involved in its preparation.


The current and next steps for producing the Local Plan are shown below. More detailed information is contained within our Local Development Scheme.

We are here:

  • June 2017 to December 2018: Preparations of Local Plan preferred approach policies

Next step:

  • January 2019 - Consultation on preferred approach to Local Plan policies

Back to top

Call for Sites 2017

One of the first steps in preparing a new Local Plan is to establish what land is available within the borough for development of all kinds; for example new homes, schools, employment opportunities, parks, leisure and recreation, or community facilities. Between 19 June and 18 August 2017 we asked residents, landowners, or other interested parties to submit details of sites they wish to be assessed for future development potential or change of land use through our Call for Sites process. Work is now underway to assess the submitted sites.

 Click here to view the New Bexley Local Plan 

 These notes prepared by Steve Brown Committee Member




Saturday 3rd November 2018 was the last scheduled opening of the Information Centre by the committee of the Friends for this year.  

Pictured above are Ray, Jan, Sid and Raj having just finished a tidy up and pruning session on the 'wild life garden' situated beside the centre.

This area was designed by Richard Vero of Bexley Open Spaces some years ago and was designed to show case native shrubs and plants that can promote wildlife in your garden. It has to be said that we recently had let control of this area slip and a concerted effort this autumn has gone a long way to recovery. With some further work at the end of winter and replanting in the spring we shall return this area to its former glory.

We shall be back with opening the centre in March. But watch this space there may be some winter litter picking sessions working from the centre.

Michael Heath Chair FFCM 6th November 2018





Fencing at the Spinney and The Grove 



The sudden erection of this low fencing on the boundary of the Meadows at the Spinney and the Grove has rightly caused some angst as it restricts pedestrian access to the Meadows which has been enjoyed here for years.  The fencing has been introduced to replace the rotten wooden bollards and is to act as a deterrent to unlawful access to the Meadows i.e. unauthorised motor vehicles. Whilst a better consultation with the community may have been helpful the oversight of not providing small gaps in the fencing for pedestrian access (following complaints from The Friends, other Groups and individuals) is to be corrected with I am told gaps to be created.


This article contains the views of Michael Heath which are not necessarily those of the committee

 6th September 2018


 Go to our Events page for details of our events for 2018

and  Next Event 


Bat Walk Saturday 8th September 2018 730pm Five Arches Click here for information Poster 




Registrations are now open for Foots Cray Meadows parkrun.



If you know anyone who wants to start parkrun at the meadows they can register at www.parkrun.com and then select Foots Cray Meadows parkrun as their home run.

 June 2018

FFCM Fun Dog Show 2018


We held a very successful Fun Dog Show last Saturday ( 23 June) over 250 people turned up on a glorious summer's day to enjoy the excitement of our fifth dog show. This year we were able to add a Best in Show £100 prize. We will shortly be posting here details of the winners, hopefully with some pictures.

Thanks must go to Margaret, Rob Alleyne our Judge and all the committee in making this event happen.


Chairs Report 2018, Friends of Foots Cray Meadows



Dear Members

I have pleasure in previewing my report to the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows. We have had many successes during our twelve years but last year's disappointing AGM attendance does require reflection, therefore it is crucial for the future of this group that you come along on Tuesday 19th June 2018, offer your support, ideas and comments. That said the current committee have pressed ahead with another year of operation cumulating later this week with our fifth biennial Fun Dog Show (Saturday 23rd June 2018).

From the outset we wanted to: be an activity based group, work in partnership with the London Borough of Bexley and be independent on the conservation and protection of the Meadows. We have remained a vibrant and successful group with a steady 50 household membership.

The last Two Years

Each May we have held a 'Paws for Tea' event - a tea party for dogs and their owners held here and raised £85 and £100 respectively for the Blue Cross Pet Charity. We have the capacity to deliver children's river dipping events, with the group last year delighting and educating a local Beaver Scout Colony. We make this equipment available to other groups including London Borough of Bexley. In September we organise an ever popular Bat Walk with a particularly successful sighting of Bats at the Five Arches last year. This February with the new tree officer Philip Louis we returned to an old activity and committee members and supporters spent a Saturday morning planting over 100 whips (young meter high trees) on one of the pond spoil banks. We need to arrange an activity to mulch these very soon. Through our Newsletter Editor 'Nick' we have published a news letter twice a year. Committee Member Steve Brown has produced and published for a Meadows History and Information Leaflet. Copies are available from the information centre. The centre is opened on the first Saturday of each month (Except Dec- Feb) from 10am - 1pm by members of the committee. My thanks to all on the committee and those regulars who turn out at our events. They give their time to make up the mainstay of our events, attend committee meetings and keep the Friends going. Special thanks to Margaret who is our Treasurer Membership secretary and leads on the Fund Dog Show.

We are also represented on the River Cray Catchment Improvement Group and the local Police Ward Panel. With the Police and Council we are able to promote our concerns for any anti social behaviour on the Meadows. We collaborate with the Grounds Maintenance Team on works and developments I mentioned last year the returning interest of the Local Authority in the Borough's Friends of Groups through their formal 'Open Spaces Scrutiny Sub Group' and we report our activities and volunteer hours to LBB in support of this. We have worked with Bexley Parkrun with their proposals to introduce a 'Parkrun' on the Meadows. As you can read there is much to discuss at our AGM.

In light of the recent legislation updating the Personal Data Regulations, also as practiced by other organisations and following all those annoying e mails last month here is:

The Friends of Foots Cray Meadows Personal Information Privacy Policy Statement.

As a very small volunteer organisation with membership subscriptions we need to know who our members are and to value their membership. We keep records of the information you give in your application/membership form. These are Name, Address, e mail and Telephone number. This is stored privately on a personal computer by our Newsletter Editor. As you are subscription members we will keep in touch with you, by way of newsletters, group notifications and membership renewal requests. We do not share this information and will not disclose without permission. You are able to contact us to unsubscribe at any time.

Finally and to repeat your attendance is requested at the AGM 7pm Tuesday 19th June 2018 wine and refreshments are provided. Then come along to the Fun Dog Show Saturday 23rd June 2018 from 11am.

Michael Heath Chair FFCM

June 2018



 23 June 2018 Fun Dog Show, Registration Starts 11am click here for full details


Dear members


You should have received the Notice of this year's AGM by e mail. It really would be helpful if members could find the time to attend and contribute. As well as the formal business of complying with our constitution and ultimately continuing the Friends, it is an opportunity to meet up and discuss the many issues facing the Meadows and the Group. We very much look forward to seeing you and we shall be serving refreshments during the meeting. Non members who are interested in joining the Friends are welcome to come along.

Many Thanks

Michael Heath


Riverfly Monitoring Initiative for the River Cray


 The young trees from the centre of this picture to the foreground on the right were planted as whips and cared for by FFCM Volunteers and youth groups. Now around seven years old they stand proud beside the Meadows ancient Sweet Chestnut. November 2017






 It is spring at the 'five arches' and our message is - friendly your dog may be but, nesting birds and dogs are not playmates - please keep your dog out of the water.

M Heath 25 March 2017 



 January 2017

Your Membership for 2017 is due click here for details many thanks for your continued support.

Our thanks to Susan Potter for sending us this You Tube link to her Photograph compilation of the Swans at the Five Arches.


Go on have a look three minutes of first class images will make you want to brave the weather and get out to check on the River Cray wildlife at Foots Cray Meadows.

Great Stuff, many thanks Susan


18th January 2017






Seasonal Greetings


For those members who have read my chairman's chat in our recent Newsletter a walk on the Meadows this Boxing Day will confirm that my predictions for a cold winter remain on hold, these images were taken at 9am this morning and show the Meadows basking in the sunshine with an unseasonably warm temperature. Enjoy the Holidays and we shall see what the first two months of 2017 will bring!

Michael Heath 26th December 2016 



Breaking Wildlife News -  visit the Bexley Wildlife Website link (below) for exciting news on Bexley's Biodiversity at Foots Cray Meadows.  

Willow Emerald Damselfly at FCM  

Full details and pictures of this years Fun Dog Show  go to the dedicated Page see head of website. 

For details of the Ten Anniversary Trees Celebrating Ten Years of the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows go to the trees and woodland page

Keep Away from the Swans and dogs out of the Water

A brood of seven cygnets at Five Arches, they are three days old and a delight for visitors but please respect this family and view from a distance. Already there have been at least two incidents of dogs in the water being attacked by the parents. Your dog may drown!

The adult swans are protecting their young; they will engage with any threat, in the water and on the river bank. 

posted 13 May 2016 M Heath




 If you have not enjoyed the bluebells this year go to the Meadows and Woodland Management page for a couple of images. 3 May 2016.


  Looking for Lunch; where is this? Answer on Members page (April 2016)

Unfortunately we are unable to organise a spring walk this weekend as suggested on this website. But apart from a walk along the river, do take a detour and go out into North Cray Woods and enjoy the Bluebells this Mayday Holiday weekend. posted 29/04/2016 

Lookout for details of our events: on this site, on posters or as sent direct by e mail to members.

Up and Coming:

'Tree Time' at Foots Cray Meadows (London Tree Week 2016)Saturday 4th June 2016 commencing 1030am. see events page 

 Saturday 18th June we shall be at the Sidcup Pageant (Sidcup High Street) The AGM is Tuesday 21st June 7pm at The Information Centre and our Birthday Fun Dog Show is Saturday 25th June 2016, this is also based at the Information Centre. see the dedicated page.


Enjoying the Rectory Lane Daffodil's March 2016

New Finger Post Signs at Foots Cray Meadows. These new directional signs have appeared on the Meadows this autumn, It is not something the Friends had discussed prior to there introduction so tell us what you think. e mail ffcm06@gmail.com -  Michael Heath Oct 2014 




Return of the Winter Lakes on the Meadows

The sun is out and  a few April showers, Bluebells and some glorious spring conditions so it may be surprising that the groundwater flooding has returned to the Meadows. But the water table is high the aquifer full and the natural springs in the Cray valley must be at full force feeding into the Cray as they have done forever and why humankind settled along the valleys.  

Whilst there is an obvious overflow from the lake at five arches. This is almost certainly as a result of the high groundwater levels keeping the river in full flood as we have seen throughout the winter. Foots Cray Meadows are a flood plain and meadows beside rivers do flood. This flooding and any risk to properties will be monitored by the authorities and the Environment Agency Flood warning publish updates. The closure of the footpath is an inconvenience especially as it is a key pedestrian route from North Cray to Schools and the railway at Albany Park but excess water belongs on the Meadows and hopefully away from people's homes. I was with Bexley Council today and we will be looking at immediate options to reduce the overflow with the Environment Agency in the next few days. In the meantime do enjoy the nature from the expanding lakes on the Meadows this spring.

 Michael Heath  FFCM and Thames21 24th April 2014

comment ffcmo6@gmail.com or michael.heath@thames21.org.uk. 


Further information



 EA Flood warnings








Renew your Membership for 2016 please complete and send us the Membership Application form; available from the membership page  


Image by B Riches 

 go to the events and activity pages for details of  spring and summer  events  

join us  today please complete and send us the Membership Application form; available from the membership page click here 


Above three Images raised water and ground water levels Five Arches February 2014