The Friends of Russia Dock Woodland (FRDW) are a group of residents who help to protect and enhance the woodland and Stave Hill ecological park, which together run through the middle of the Rotherhithe peninsula. We address everything from damaged signage and rubbish management to development planning applications which impact the local ecology. We are on good terms with other local groups (see our links page), and we have frequent dialogue with Southwark Council about the management of the Woodland area.
Brief history of the park
Following the closure of the Rotherhithe docks in the 1970s, the Rotherhithe Peninsula was redeveloped by the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC). In 1980, Russia Dock (originally a dock used for importing timber from Norway, Russia and Sweden) was transformed into a native grass area for recreational activities. A series of water channels and ponds provide habitats for kingfishers and herons.
The park still contains surviving dock features including the retaining wall capstones and mooring chains. In 1985, the LDDC added an artificial hill, Stave Hill, to the west edge of the park, using waste material and rubble. A relief map, of the former docks in cast bronze by Michael Rizzello, stands at the top of the hill.
We have been awarded Green Flag status each year since 2009 and in December 2009 the the London Tree and Woodland Award, achievements which pay a huge compliment to the hard work of those who have worked to make it such a terrific place.
Most recently in April 2017 we were delighted to be granted Local Nature Reserve Status.
We are always keen to welcome people who would like to help out so if you would like to support the Friends by participating in our activities please see our Events page.