East Wickham Open Space (EWOS)

The EWOS site is a 90 acre area on the north-western border of the London Borough of Bexley. You can see its location in London by interacting with the map below.

It supports a variety of habitats and wildlife and the Green Chain Walk dissects the Open Space from east to west. The land is owned by Bexley Council and has been transformed through the efforts of the East Wickham Conservation Volunteers, who have worked with the Council in for many years to enhance it for the benefit of the community.

The name “East Wickham” or “Estwycham” dates back to 1284, and the term Wickham means a dwelling place or settlement. The East Wickham Open Space site is made up of land previously forming part of East Wickham Farm and East Wickham House. The farm’s present facade dates back to 1843 and the original timber structure is much older.

In 1902, the area was transferred from the Manor of Plumstead into the Borough of Bexley, and during the late 1950s, Bexley Borough Council used part of the area as a landfill site, consisting of green waste and bomb damage rubble. After some years, the area was levelled, grassed over and became a mown public open space. The streams flowing west to east across the site were culverted.

1977 saw the establishment of the Green Chain Walk network and part of this crosses the Open Space from Highbanks Close in the north-east to Glenmore Road in the west (see map). During part of 1988 the East Wickham Conservation project was born and approximately half the site was left unmown, with some 400 native trees and shrubs planted with funding from Bexley Council, Shell, NatWest and British Gas.

East Wickham has been identified by the London Ecology Unit as a site of local importance for nature conservation.