Category Archives: Herne Hill

Hanami in Herne Hill

Hanami is the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival.

As explained in Paul Wood’s excellent book “London’s Street Trees – A Field Guide To The Urban Forest”*, the Hanami festival takes place in Japan every spring, to celebrate both the arrival of the new season and the sensual and transient beauty of flowering cherry trees.

He goes on to say that London is graced with many fine cherry avenues, but that the most beautiful cherry tree street has to be Winterbrook Road in Herne Hill. “It is planted exclusively with the wonderful Japanese Yoshino variety. This exceptional planting scheme – a street uniformly planted with a single spectacular species – is a great role model for other London streets and down to the vision of one woman”.

Cherry trees on Winterbrook Road, April 2018

Mr Wood explains that this was Ms Robin Crookshank Hilton, a former local councillor, who was inspired by the cherry planting in Washington DC where she grew up. Washington is famed for its cherries, gifted by Tokyo after the Second World War. [In fact there are one or two other species on Winterbrook Road but as they are not in leaf when the cherry trees are in blossom, they do not in any way compete for attention.]

The Yoshino cherry is the most frequently planted species in Tokyo. If we get another sunny day in this miserable spring, it is worth trotting over to Winterbrook Road (or the neighbouring Stradella Road) to see our own local display before the wind blows it away like confetti.



*published in 2017 by Safe Haven Books

Urban Forest – Walk to enjoy cherry blossom on Sunday


This event has been postponed: see Twitter announcement below.


It’s not on Fawnbrake, but still worth signalling, as Herne Hill is actually quite famous for its Japanese Yoshino cherry tree blossoms  –  now coming into bloom along Winterbrook Road, we hope.

Paul Wood, author of the excellent ‘London Street Trees‘ (Guardian Nature Books  of 2017) is leading a walk on Sunday morning to entice us to Explore the Urban Forest in Herne Hill.

Sunday 25 March 10.30am-12.30pm Start: Herne Hill rail station, London SE24 0JW.

Details and tickets here.

Herne Hill Magazine- new issue just out

Look out for the spring issue of Herne Hill magazine, hot off the press and shortly to be stocked by Herne Hill Books. It’s published by the excellent Herne Hill Society.

It’s a great issue with a rich variety of content, including a review of the current exhibition of David Milne at the Dulwich Picture Gallery; a well-argued article on What Is the Value of a Park by one of the residents leading the campaign against large-scale music festivals in Brockwell Park; a touching excerpt from a recently discovered personal memoir about growing up in Herne Hill in 1914 – 1918; and plenty of news and updates about developments in Herne Hill, including (see the cover) some old-school ploughing in Ruskin Park..

Seek it out now, or better still – pay the absurdly modest annual subscription to join the Herne Hill Society online and get four issues per year delivered through your letterbox.