On the 21st of June I finally got muddy in Deptford Creek with the Creekside Education Trust. The trust regularly runs walks for the general public, and for schools in the local area.
Each walk is organised for low tide as at high tide you would be swimming! You are armed with waders and a trusty stick to keep you upright, and after a briefing in the beautiful surrounds of the flower garden, you are then led down to the creek.
It is a bit smelly, but the pure joy of tramping about in mud soon wafts the aroma of the creek away.
The trust’s base of operations is situated next to the London Bridge to Greenwich Railway Viaduct between Greenwich and Deptford, and the access path to the creek leads you to exact spot where the railway line crosses Deptford Creek.
The bridge itself was modified in 1954 to include a lifting mechanism that allowed boats with tall masts to pass up the creek. The mechanism is now defunct but luckily for us it is safe from removal, and can still be viewed at close proximity from the Ha’Penny Hatch footbridge.
Third DLR bridge over the creek with a view towards the boats permanently moored and lived on in the creek.
My beautiful waders protecting me from the sludge and mud.
A little further upstream we cross the creek at a small weir, and we were carefully aided by the volunteers on the slippy bit!
Now renovated flats, the S. P. & C. Mumford Grain Silo was built in 1897 by architect Sir Aston Webb.
A dead crab shell found by our guide, a brief discussion on the creek’s biodiversity followed, plus a bad joke from me…
Guide: How do you check if a crab is male or female?
Me: Check if it has a willy
Cue many laughs and childish giggles. 😀
Just after the dead crab, we reached the weir at the top of the creek, the weir pushes the water underground as it crosses the A2. Once it resurfaces on the other side it is known as River Ravensbourne, and at Lewisham it joins with another tributary – the River Quaggy.
We then made our way back to the start of the walk to catch some river creatures. You grind the river dirt under your feet to move it about, then see what appears in your net.
View towards the trust’s wild flower garden.
We also walked under the rail bridge and headed towards Trinity Laban‘s dance centre.
View south towards Deptford and Lewisham.
Thank you for an excellent Sunday in the bright sunshine!
Formed in 1999, the trust’s mission is to “work with the local and wider community to sustain and promote the regeneration of Deptford Creek through education, conservation and the forging of partnerships. The trust also aims to act as a voice for nature conservation and biodiversity in the area.”
The centre itself mainly runs on a volunteer basis and more help is always welcomed, if you would like to get involved with this wonderful organisation please click here.