About us

The Galleywall Nature Reserve is a small plot of land which has been owned by Southwark Housing for decades. It was used by the adjacent Galleywall School for some time before the school closed. It has been maintained by a group of volunteers, the Friends of Galleywall Nature Reserve, since 2004, under an ongoing long-term agreement with the council.

The reserve is based in Bermondsey, South London. It is populated with native trees and shrubs, and a carefully maintained pond. We often run open days on weekends, and children are well catered for, with a number of games organized around the plants and wildlife.


Randomness Guide to London:

Bede House:

London Wild Web:

Better Bankside:

Southwark Council:

Forty years ago the site was low rise housing and had a ‘corner’ shop. It belongs to Southwark Housing. Some time after this was demolished it was turned into a Nature Reserve under Agenda 21, which sought to provide for sustainability. In 2002 it was improved by Barclays’ Prince’s Trust. The keyholder was Galleywall Primary School, which used it for its classes. However by 2004 the school no longer had the capacity to maintain it.

In August 2004 City Hope Church (at Drummond Road) organised teams of young people, who had come to London for the “Soul in the City” event, to clear the reserve of its weed growth. This was done in conjunction with London Borough of Southwark which provided back up. We appreciated the potential of his site for local people and organisations, and its importance for wildlife in this urban area. The future of the site was not secure.

Initial Activity

We called a public meeting on November 16th 2004 in the hope of raising a body of people to care for the reserve and make it more widely available. The hope was to elect a committee and adopt a constitution. We had taken notices of this to local schools and churches. Response was small but with the few who became committed we have held a series of meetings (which are minuted) to obtain advice and work our way to that end. Galleywall school was kept informed as were Borough officers and Councillors.

Constitution and Committee

On 22nd March 2005 a constitution was adopted and a Steering Committee formed. On 5th May officers were appointed. In August 2007 the ‘Friends’ were awarded a Licence by the Borough to manage the Reserve.


We have been greatly helped and encouraged with advice from relevant organisations whose representatives attended our meetings:

Peter Graal – Bankside Open Spaces Trust – 22nd March 2005

Rebekah Clark – Stave Hill – 5th May and subsequently

John Best – LBS Ecology – frequently


We have kept control of the growth, esp. of Hemlock and Japanese Knotweed,by successive scything and pulling. The reserve has been open on the first Saturday of each month since May 2005 for 2 hours so that anybody interested may inspect it. A range of tools has been obtained for maintenance, kept at Winners’ Chapel opposite the Reserve in Galleywall Road. John Best visited and made a list of species growing in the reserve. Jane Stokes devised a quiz to use the ‘Snakes and Ladders’ pitch and engage children with the wildlife of the Reserve. Currently we run ‘Seasonal Activity Days’ to engage children, parents and the local public.

Southwark Park Primary School takes classes to discover its wildlife and plant seeds, and Spa School regularly send a maintenance team.

If you would like to know more please contact us.