The Great North Wood was a vast wooded landscape that once spanned from Deptford in the north to Selhurst in the south. For centuries it was a crucial source of timber, charcoal and oak bark for leather tanning, but as these woodland products declined in value and as London sprawled southward much of the wood was lost. Today the Great North Wood lives on as a scattering of ancient woodland fragments, with Sydenham Hill Wood and Dulwich Wood forming the largest. Ancient woodland is interspersed with recent woodland and other greenspaces and the landscape continues to be a vital resource for wildlife and people alike.
In 2017, the London Wildlife Trust initiated a project, funded by the National Heritage Lottery, to raise awareness of the remaining fragments of the Great North Wood and to carry out conservation and educational work within them. Streatham Common woodlands, although not ancient, were included in this project.
For more information about the Great North Wood visit London Wildlife Trust.