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Grange Lane Tree Rescue Hub 

Guardians of the Great North Wood 
Southeast London 
Hectares: 0.8

Guardians of the Great North Wood at the entrance of Dulwich Wood and Sydenham Hill Wood, October 2022

About the Great North Wood 

The Great North Wood is the nearest ancestral woodland to any capital city centre in Europe, and a unique natural heritage, home to rare species like the Jersey Tiger Moth, wood anemone, whitebeam and several species of bats. 

There are many historic trees in the area like William's Blake Angel Oak, the Vicar's Oak (named after the legendary Vicar of Lewisham), the Oak of Honour (named after Elizabeth I), and the Guardian of Beulah Heights, thought to be the oldest living oak in London. The area is also home to some of the most extraordinary old boundary trees in London, survivors of the historic woodland that once stretched from Camberwell to Croydon.

Guardians Worldwide is working with Dulwich Estate, Dulwich Wood, Friends of Dulwich Wood, Grange Lane Allotments, Wild in Washington, University of Manchester, Leeds Conservatoire and GWW volunteers to protect and regenerate this amazing woodland.

Grange Lane Tree Rescue Hub

Sydenham Hill Station

Located in a strip of land between Dulwich Wood and Grange Lane allotments, our Tree Rescue Hub is a 0.5 hectare area where we rescue local saplings from the nearby woods, sports fields, gardens and allotments, and where we grow trees to be planted in dedicated areas of the Great North Wood. We are also custodians of the small woodland area containing several ancient oak, an ash grove, yews and sycamores, where we conduct training and nature reconnection activities. We are planting up to 1,500 new trees in the next year.

Dawson Hill Reserve Tree Nursery

Honor Oak Park Station

We have so far created a seed bank (400 acorns from an ancient oak associated with the legend of William Blake); we have facilitated community building and woodland walks, and we have a grown nursery of 200 sessile oaks.


We are currently planning for a long-term heritage project that seeks to revive the cultural and natural heritage of this amazing land, especially the ancient woodland and the River Effra (a Welsh name, perhaps indication of ancient Celtic inhabitants of this land). We are working with guardian communities that have helped protect this invaluable heritage for hundreds of years, such as English Gypsies.

You can see a Google Maps plan of the Tree Rescue Station and Guardians Tree Nursery HERE

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Sessile oak tree nurseries, in Dulwich Wood, growing under a mother tree, and at the Dawson Hill Reserve Tree Nursery, grown from the Angel Oak associated with William Blake.

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