This one year Heritage Lottery funded, Embrace Cooperation Ltd project (starting September 2009) was run in partnership with Trust for Urban Ecology (TRUE).

Heritage Lottery Fund Website:

Embrace Cooperation Ltd Website:

TRUE Website:

Embrace Woodlands! Blog:

The project focused on traditional woodland crafts, environmental conservation, increase awareness of, and encourage participants to maintain and preserve the Dulwich Upper Wood (London) nature reserve site for future generations.  These traditional woodland crafts have been developed over many years and the local native wildlife has also adapted slowly over time. As the wildlife benefits from these practical crafts they have become part of the site management.

The following woodland crafts and environmental conservation techniques were covered by the project:

  • Wildlife Surveys / Walks
  • Small Tree Felling / Coppicing
  • Hedge Laying
  • Dead Hedge Creation And Maintenance
  • Traditional Wooden Fencing
  • Glade Maintenance
  • Wildlife Pond Maintenance
  • Making Bird And Bat Boxes

All these techniques are traditional, sometimes ancient methods of conservation and it aims to encourage wildlife and native plants to thrive.

Project Film

A project film was created with oral history film interviews being organised. The interviews were about woodland conservation techniques and the site history.  With wildlife experts and local community members being interviewed by project volunteers.  Also project practical conservation events were filmed to show the techniques involved in management of the site and woodland crafts.

Site History

The present day shape and composition of Dulwich Upper Wood can be traced back to the Great North Wood (12th to 15th century) and the rapid land use changes in the Crystal Palace area since the mid 1800s. Within the wood lies two old woodland boundaries – a line of ancient coppiced and pollarded trees and a ditch – marking subdivisions of the Great North Wood.
In 1981 the Dulwich Society, together with the GLC and the London Borough of Southwark arranged for the Trust for Urban Ecology (then the Ecological Parks Trust) to manage the wood as a nature park. Since 1988 a number of improvements have been made to the site to enhance wildlife value, improve educational facilities and disabled access.

Site Wildlife

The site has stag beetles which is a globally threatened species, protected under the Wildlife and CountrysideAct 1981 (as amended), and listed as a priority species in the London Biodiversity Action Plan.The site has a small fragment of ancient oak woodland, surrounded by secondary woodland of oak, sycamore, lime and ash with a good variety of other trees and shrubs. Ground flora in the ancient part includes wood anemone, bluebell and yellow pimpernel. A good selection of breeding birds are present, and some interesting migrants have also been recorded. Fungi are particularly well recorded, with over 250 species noted.


There was lots of opportunities for volunteers on this project including:

  • Learning practical environmental conservation
  • Wildlife surveying
  • Help run wildlife walks
  • Graphic design for project flyers / event posters
  • Administration
  • Project blog design / updates
  • Project Myspace / Facebook / other social networks design & updates
  • Film making
  • Film editing
  • Photography
  • Help developing new projects

Local community groups & schools

We like to work closely with local community groups and schools, including developing tailor made events / sessions for community group members & school students.

Project films


please email us to be added to our update list for photography workshops or nature workshops.

Phone: 0207 274 4950

or email:

Please take our poll so we can find out what future project activities people are interested in.


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