Your views count! Lewisham Council Events Survey

The Council are running a survey on events in Lewisham parks, and they would like your views.

What does this mean?
Well, basically, the Council are interested in hosting more events in local parks as a way of making money. They recognise that funds are tight – as we well know, local park budgets have suffered recently – and are exploring whether they could run more events, some of which will be paid ticket only events, as a way of raising funds.

This is a particularly important issue for Mountsfield Park. Our park is one of the largest in Lewisham and is already an established site for large scale events like Lewisham People’s Day. It seems likely that it will be a popular location for any other events that are run.

What are the pluses and minuses to this proposal?
Holding more events means that the Council can raise funds, helping to protect park budgets, and there may well be events that local residents are keen to see and attend. Charging entry is a good way of making money and attracting high quality performers and events.

But events can be disruptive – many of you have commented on the negative impact of People’s Day for example – and there are likely to be events that don’t appeal to you. At this stage, we don’t know what sort of events might be scheduled, when or for how long areas of the park might have restricted access, or what costs might be.

What does FOMP think about the proposal?
Our view is that if Lewisham residents react positively to this suggested course of action, then we would want to see any revenue raised fed directly back into the parks budget. In particular, we believe that parks holding specific events should get extra funds to recognise the impact in terms of disruption and damage which hosting might entail. If managed sensibly, this could well be a good way of raising income in times of financial hardship.

The survey
We would encourage you to think about these issues, and respond to the survey (which can be found here: (look for ‘Lewisham Parks and Open Spaces Survey 2015’).

Yours views really count and a really good response from Mountsfield Park users would help to ensure that we can protect and promote our wonderful space. Please do find just five minutes to respond.

Rory, Maria, Carrie, Ros, Rivke, Max, and Gareth
FOMP Executive

Friends of Mountsfield Park at Lewisham Peoples Day 2015

Friends of Mountsfield Park at Lewisham Peoples Day 2015

(PS – don’t forget the most important event – the FREE picnic and funday organised by FOMP on Saturday 5 September, with our first ever Birds of Prey display!)


Saturday 5 September – FOMP Summer Picnic!


Free fun in Mountsfield Park, including a Bird of Prey display!

We hope you are all enjoying your summer – full of holidays, sunshine (well, some sunshine), and of course lots of days spent in the park. But no matter how much fun you have had, the best is still to come!

The FREE annual FOMP summer picnic will take place from midday on Saturday 5 September:
– A Bird of Prey display, provided by Eagle Heights will start at 13:30pm. Come and see eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls perform in the park, and then spend time with the birds after the display has finished. You can even hold the birds (for a small donation to Eagle Heights).
– BBQ provided by our friends at Sammy T’s will include kid friendly options and the first chance to try some new recipes soon to be offered on the Southbank.
Carrie’s Bar will run throughout the picnic, offering a range of alcoholic and soft drinks.
Tea and cakes will also be available, and you can even take home your very own Mountsfield Park mug.

This is a free event although we will be asking for donations to FOMP to help with the running costs of the Community Garden and to raise money for a new trim trail in the park.

So join us on Saturday 5 September to celebrate the end of the summer and help us to raise funds for an even better park. See you then!

Rory, Maria, Carrie, Ros, Rivke, Max, and Gareth
FOMP Executive

Good news and the promise of more to come!

We are delighted that Mountsfield Park has been awarded Green Flag status – recognition that our park is one of the best green spaces in the country!  Credit is due to the parks team at Lewisham Council, and Glendale who manage Mounstfield Park on behalf of the Council.  And credit is also due to you – the users!  The award is only given out to parks that are welcoming and engage the community.

You can find out more about the Green Flag award at

But we want the Park to be even better – in particular to give it the cafe that you all want and the space deserves.  The Council is about to launch a process to encourage potential cafe developers and operators to put their ideas forward, backed by £50k of Council money.  

We want your ideas too!  These are essential if we are to explore the full range of options for a new cafe, so that those interested in investing their time and money into our park understand what we want.

So, we have written a short paper, setting out our overall hopes for a cafe, which you can read here:


We have also pulled together a few questions for you to answer, and which we will pass onto the Council.  You can do this in two ways:

(1) Fill in this questionnaire and email it to us at


(2) Visit our Facebook page and leave your answers there

We have to send our thoughts to the Council by the end of next week, so it would be great if you could send us your responses by midnight on Wednesday 29 July 2015.

We really look forward to hearing from you all.  And we look forward to an even better park in the not too distant future!

Rory, Maria, Carrie, Ros, Rivke, Max, and Gareth
FOMP Executive

Mountsfield Park Community Garden – Plant and Seed Swap Sunday 26th July 2015 – 10am – Midday

Mountsfield Park Community Garden – Plant and Seed Swap, Sunday 26th July 2015 – 10am – Midday.
Venue: Mountsfield Park Community Garden, Stainton Road SE6 1AN (near the bandstand).

  • Come along to the Mountsfield Park plant and seed swap with rooted cuttings, plants in pots, seeds…
  • Meet the Mountsfield Park Community Garden volunteers,
  • Buy a Friends of Mountsfield Park mug for £5.
  • Mountsfield greetings from the big dig postcard byy James Blackman

Public meeting – we want a cafe!


Thank you to everybody who came to the public meeting and gave views to the Council

FOMP held a public meeting last Tuesday, and we are grateful to everybody who came along to support our Park.  We are particularly grateful to Cllr Onikosi, Martin Hyde (from the Council), and Angus Fraser (from Glendale) for giving their time so freely.

Lots of things were discussed, but top of the list was the ongoing demand for a new cafe.  The Council have confirmed that £50k is still available, and have agreed to run an expressions of interest exercise over the summer to persuade potential cafe operators to get involved in Mountsfield Park.

And you have a role to play!  By the end of July, FOMP are committed to sending the Council our ideas for the cafe.  We want an open process – focusing on essentials to give operators the maximum flexibility and creativity to create something.  We will shortly be circulating something and would love your thoughts and comments.

And then, in September, we have agreed to host an open day to show potential operators how wonderful the Park is, and why they should consider getting involvement.  We will send you more details over the summer because that open day will only work with your support.

The full minutes from the meeting are available here:

FOMP PUBLIC Meeting 7 July 2015 MINUTES_1.pdf

Thank you for your continuing engagement and enthusiasm.

Rory, Maria, Carrie, Ros, Rivke, Max, and Gareth
FOMP Executive


Lewisham Peoples Day! – We will be in the Mountsfield Park Community Garden on Saturday 11th July 2015 from Midday

Friends of Mountsfield Park at Lewisham Peoples Day 2015

Friends of Mountsfield Park at Lewisham Peoples Day 2015

Lewisham Peoples Day! – We will be in the Mountsfield Park Community Garden on Saturday 11th July from Midday. Come and buy a FoMP mug, a plant, or find out about our plans for Mountsfield Park.

We will also be consulting on the design for a new Mountsfield Park trim trail and fundraising for it!

Trim trail for Mountsfield Park

Trim trail for Mountsfield Park

We want to hear about what you want for your park!

Continue reading

Friends of Mountsfield Park public meeting Tuesday 7 July 7.00 – 8.30pm


The heat is on!
Summer in Mountsfield Park
Lots of you will have been enjoying the summer sun in Mountsfield Park. When the weather is like this, the playground and the rolling fields really come into their own! We are delighted that so many of you are continuing to stay involved with the Friends of Mountsfield Park, and to offer your support to make the Park even more amazing in the future.

So, we are hoping for a good turnout at the public meeting on Tuesday 7 July from 7:00-8:30pm at Hither Green Baptist Church. This is your chance to speak to us, as well as to representatives from Glendale and the Council – including Cllr Onikosi who leads on public spaces in the Mayor’s Cabinet. We’d like to hear your views on:

– the future of the cafe – how can we work with the council to ensure that Mountsfield Park gets the cafe it deserves?
– security in the park – how can this be maintained and improved, especially given the recent cuts to park keeper service?
– protecting funding for the park in the future – what will the impact be of the planned cuts to local government funding?
– forthcoming events – including the annual FOMP summer picnic and People’s Day!

We are also looking for volunteers to help us think about the best way to make use of the BBQ and pizza oven in the community garden. We are keen to ensure that these can be enjoyed by everybody, but need to think about how to make sure use is safe and sociable, as well as the need to protect the rapidly developing garden. This is your chance to shape the way the Park is used. If you’d like to be involved, please let us know (by email or at the public meeting).

Or you can come and find us on People’s Day in on 11 July where we hope to unveil the first ever FOMP mug – a must have kitchen item for all Mountsfield Park aficionados!

Finally, a save the date. The second annual FOMP summer picnic will be held on Saturday 5 September. More details will follow soon, but for now block the date out in your diary – you won’t want to miss it!

We hope to see as many of you as possible at the public meeting on Tuesday 7 July. As ever, thanks for your support, kindness, and determination to make Mountsfield Park a place the whole community can enjoy.

Rory, Maria, Carrie, Ros, Rivke, Max, and Gareth
FOMP Executive

Greater London National Park City talk by Daniel Raven-Ellison, hosted by Lewisham Parks Forum, The Honor Oak Pub (upstairs) 7pm to 9pm, Wednesday 24th June 2015

‘Greater London National Park City’ talk by Daniel Raven-Ellison. Hosted by Lewisham Parks Forum at The Honor Oak Pub (upstairs) 7pm to 9pm, Wednesday 24th June 2015.

A new project is in the pipeline to create a Greater London National Park City. (Officially a notional national park), the originators of this project would like to make their vision a reality. Daniel Raven-Ellison, a founder of this project, will talk about the vision, followed by Q & A.

All Welcome!

Continue reading

Mountsfield Park Community Garden – Teddy Bears’ Picnic

Thanks Ros and Carrie for organising this very successful event on Sunday 17 May 2015. And thanks also to Toru for barbecuing Heaps sausages, Rivke, Gareth, Maria, Max for preparing, serving up the food and drinks, cake makers, Dr Elias and the Soul Surgeons for the music, Macaroon Mamas, Wiggly Wild Show, lemonade makers and all of the people that came and enjoyed the event!

Teddy Bears Picnic!

Teddy Bears’ Picnic – Thanks for the photo Rivke!

BBQ at Mountsfield Park Community Garden

Queue for Heaps Sausages at Teddy Bear’s Picnic BBQ at Mountsfield Park Community Garden



Teddy Bears Picnic at Mountsfield Park

Teddy Bears Picnic at Mountsfield Park

Dr Elias and the Soul Surgeons at Teddy Bears' Picnic Mountsfiled Park community garden

Dr Elias and the Soul Surgeons at Teddy Bears’ Picnic Mountsfield Park community garden


Teddy Bears Picnic at Mountsfield Park Community Garden

Mountsfield Park – Change to Park Keeper Service

It’s Jon Hooker’s last day tomorrow, Mon 30th March, as our park keeper. We haven’t been offered a full time replacement but have been offered the Manor House Gardens park keeper 2 days per week on Monday and Friday.

Glendale/ Lewisham Proposed Mountsfield Park park keeper rota 2015

Glendale/ Lewisham Proposed Mountsfield Park and Manor House Garden  park keeper rota from the beginning of April 2015

We think that we definitely need a full time park keeper at Mountsfield Park for all sorts of reasons, but would like to hear from park users what they think?

Mountsfield Park play area – Contractors are back at Mountsfield Park play area retrofitting drainage/ land drains, to reduce the quantity of standing water, so that the Lewisham Council can reopen the play space

Contractors are back at Mountsfield Park play area retrofitting drainage/ land drains  to reduce the quantity of standing water, so that the Lewisham Council can reopen the play space. Mountsfield Park play area has been closed for 6 months (approx). The new sand play area hasn’t been included during current drainage works, which will mean that it will be soggy during wetter months. Will the drainage swale be retained within the the play area?

Continue reading

Update on the Play Park


Dear Friend,

At last spring is here, and we are all very excited for what that means in Mountsfield Park, especially the community garden which is beginning to show the results of all the hard work volunteers have put in over the winter. Thank you once again for your support, and we hope to see some more of you there on Saturday for coffee and cakes!

Most of you will have seen that the new play area remains fenced off and waterlogged. This is doubly frustrating as the new play equipment is clearly such an improvement on what was there before. We have been in regular contact with the Council to push for the problems of drainage to be resolved as soon as possible, and they assure us they moving forward as fast as they can. Although it is difficult to take, we are keen that the issues are dealt with properly and for the long-term, rather than a rushed approach, but equally we want to make sure that the Council remain focused on the task in hand. We will keep you updated.

We have also been speaking to the Council to scrutinise the spend on the project so far, and understand how the wider plans for Mountsfield Park can be taken forward. The Council have reiterated that the money we fought for to support the development of a new cafe building – £50,000 – remains intact, which is good news. We will be sending around an invitation soon for you to attend a public meeting to discuss current development of the park, what the changes to the park keeper system mean, and what the future holds, and hope that the Council will be able to attend to respond to your questions.

In the meantime, there are plenty of plans afoot for activity, including during the forthcoming Hither Green Festival, so watch this space!

Rory, Max, Gareth, Maria, Carrie, Rivke, and Ros.
FOMP Executive

Mountsfield Park – Pruning and tidying the shrubbery next to the community garden, Saturday 28th February 9.30am

We will be pruning and tidying the shrubbery next to the community garden, Saturday 28th February 9.30am – midday. Please come and join us. The shrubbery is located at Mountsfield Park, behind the community garden cabins. If you have any of the following, please bring them along – loppers, secateurs and pruning saws. We have agreed this with Glendale and are restricted to using these tools only.

Mountsfield Park community garden, installing a polytunnel Saturday 21st February 2015

Mountsfield Park community garden, installing a polytunnel Saturday 21st February 2015 9.30am – midday.

Are you good with flatpack? Please come and help us install a polytunnel at the Mountsfield Park community garden. The polytunnel will be used for growing vegetables!


Continue reading

Urgent petition from Lewisham Parks Forum to the Lewisham Mayor, Cabinet and Councillors

To the Mayor, Sir Steve Bullock, the Cabinet and Councillors of the London Borough of Lewisham
9th February 2015

Dear Sir Steve and Councillors,

This letter is an urgent petition to you from the Lewisham Parks Forum, which was set up in January 2014 to represent all the Friends and User Groups so far established in Lewisham’s 46 parks and other green spaces.  Our existence was well-known from the start to Lewisham’s Parks Regeneration and Green Scene officers  –  and to the Council parks contractor, Glendale  –  yet it was not until we were invited to a meeting on 25 October 2014 that we were consulted by the Council on the drastic cuts in parks expenditure, which have put our members into a state of crisis.

Continue reading

Mountsfield Park – report problems using Love Lewisham mobile phone app say the Council

Lewisham Council suggest using one of the following mobile phone apps to report problems at Mountsfield Park and any other public space in the borough. Eg litter, bins overflowing, toilet unusable, uneven paths, dog litter, entrance gates left open…

MP Heidi Alexander explains how to use the apps in this youtube video. When submitting a report using one of these apps, there is a ‘Category’  ‘Parks – Damage/Maintenance’.

Click on one of the links below to download either Love Clean Streets, Love Lewisham or Love Clean London:

Love Clean Streeets App




Love Lewisham App





Love London clean streets app







Continue reading

Mountsfield Park community garden 2nd and 4th January 2015 – Planting Raspberry Canes 9.30am – midday


We will be planting raspberry canes on Friday 2nd and Sunday 4th of January 9.30am – midday. Please come and join us. The task will involve using shovels and wheelbarrows to move a lot of bark mulch onto a geotextile fabric and then planting the raspberry canes through the fabric into the ground.
The soil is claggy, wearing appropriate footwear is advisable!

Friends of Mountsfield Park (FOMP)
Friends of mountsfieldpark on Facebook

Merry Christmas from FOMP!

Dear Friends,

Thank you to all those who came to Carols in the Park on Sunday. Amazingly over a hundred people came to sing (and enjoy a glass or two of mulled wine!) which was just fantastic.

This year really has been tremendous for the Friends of Mountsfield Park, the highlight being the opening of the Community Garden at the Big Dig in November. Next year promises to be just as exciting, with the new children’s playground taking shape and due to open in January, and hard work ahead to push for a new cafe.

None of this would be possible without your continued support. We have shown that together, as a community, we can make a positive difference.

So thank you for being so wonderful! Rest assured, we’ll be in touch in the New Year with more activities, campaigns, and events to enjoy.

However you intend to spend this festive period, we hope that you have a fun and relaxing time (perhaps including a Boxing Day stroll in the Park!).

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Rory, Rivke, Carrie, Max, Maria, Ros, and Gareth


Mountsfield Park – Carols – 21 December 2014, 2.30pm

Dear Friends,

This has been a year of change for Mountsfield Park, and we want to close the year with a celebration of this wonderful community we live in.

We have come together to push the Council for improvements to the park, held our very first Friends BBQ and fun day, and of course launched the Community Garden with the fantastically well supported Big Dig!

Next year promises to be just as busy. The children’s play area is beginning to take shape, and is now due to open early in the New Year. We face a challenge to ensure that Mountsfield Park receives the funding it needs to thrive, and to keep our local park keeper. And we remain determined to find a way to give Mountsfield Park the cafe we all want, and the Park deserves.

But that is for next year. Now is a time to say thank you for your support throughout 2014. So come one, come all, to an afternoon of carol singing in your local park!

Sunday 21 December from 14:30

We will also be providing mulled wine and mince pies. What better way to fill yourselves with festive spirit?

Hope you can make it.

Rory, Rivke, Carrie, Max, Maria, Ros, and Gareth

Mountsfield carols 2014


Rushey Green Assembly Fund

It’s been a beautiful day in Mountsfield Park and we had a great time at the Rushey Green Local Assembly. Lovely to talk to other community groups and to contribute to creating a community action plan for Rushey Green ward.

And we’re THRILLED to announce that Friends of Mountsfield Park has been awarded funding from the Rushey Green Assembly Fund for a community notice board. Thanks so much to everyone who voted!



Spring bulbs need planting in Mountsfield Park community garden. Help us make a start. Sat 29 Nov, 10am – midday

Mountsfield #thebigdig

Spring bulbs need planting in Mountsfield Park community garden. Help us make a start. Sat 29 Nov, 10am – midday.

Metropolitan Public Gardens Association in association with Taylors Bulbs of Holbeach have been very generous and donated approximately 85kg of bulbs for our community garden !

WOW! What an amazing community!

A massive THANK YOU to all of the people who came down today to help with the launch of the new Community Garden in Mountsfield Park. And in particular a big welcome to all of our new followers who signed-up to become part of the wonderful group who make up the Friends of Mountsfield Park.

Over the course of the day more than 100 people helped us dig, barrow, rake, hoe, plant, paint, and, of course, eat pizza! And we were thrilled that several local councillors (James Walsh, Helen Klier, and Stella Jeffrey) and our MP Heidi Alexander rolled up their sleeves and pitched in. Thanks also to our partners – Sandra Plummer and everyone from Lewisham Council, and Laura Ormerod and her colleagues from BDP. 

We really didn’t expect such an amazing turn-out and we are just blown away by the hard graft you all put in. The sense of pride and fun that you brought with you made the day so enjoyable.

We will send out more information about future gardening activities to our mailing list shortly, as well as updates on the development of the playground and the ongoing desire to see a new cafe. If you didn’t get the chance to sign up today, please email us at Keep reading the blog, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter too! 

If you have any photos from today you’d like to share, please do post them on our Facebook page or tweet them: and @mountsfieldpark

And keep an eye out for the South London Press – you might see some photographs in the next few days!

But for now, please relax and give yourselves a big pat on the back! Thank you once again – you are all stars.

Rory, Maria, Carrie, Max, Rivke, Ros, and Gareth
(FOMP Executive)



What’s changing at Mountsfield Park?

If you have been to Mountsfield Park recently, you will have seen that things are changing. The diggers have been in, the ground has been turned over, and old and rusty play equipment has been pulled down.

Two exciting developments are underway.

First, our new community garden is nearing completion and we are all getting ready for this weekend’s Big Dig! If you like getting your hands dirty, fancy yourself as a bit of a Monty Don, or even if you don’t know one end of a spade from another, come along on Saturday 15th November, anytime from 10 until dusk. There will be activities for the kids and pizza for everybody willing to put in a bit of a shift!

The new garden is taking shape and Saturday promises to be a really exciting day!

The second big development is the work in the children’s playground. Work onsite has already seen the old and unsafe equipment taken down, and improvements to the ground and areas. The installation of brand new pieces of modern wooden equipment will begin to take place soon. We hope that the new playground will be ready for use before Christmas.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!





The Big Dig! Saturday 15 November 2014

  • Are you a green fingered guru or a horticultural novice?
  • Have you never had dirt under your fingernails but would love to learn more?
  • Would you love your kids to see things grow, but don’t know one end of a spade to the other?
  • Or are you a committed composter, an enthusiastic digger, and an expert planter?

Come and help us launch the brand new Community Garden at Mountsfield Park on Saturday 15 November 2014! There’s lots to do and we need your help. There’s pizza for everyone who contributes (from our new pizza oven), and fun activities for the kids.

This is our chance to come together as a community and make something grow. Come and find out more…



2014 AGM minutes and updated constitution

The Annual General Meeting for Friends of Mountsfield Park took place on Sunday 18 October 2014 at St Swithun’s church hall. Here are the minutes and updated Constitution:





Hither Green Lane Improvements

Hither Green Lane

Message from the Hither Green Lane improvement campaign 

As you may have noticed, traffic travels very fast on this road and often fails to stop at the Zebras. It’s effectively a little local high street, with lots of useful shops – but the pavements are narrow and there are big gaps between crossings. We think that with wider pavements, narrower roads, and more trees and greenery, this could be a pleasant and safer area to shop and live.

Hither Green Lane has been granted LIP funding from TfL to make improvements – so we wanted to gather local views on how this is spent. We are working with the Hither Green Community Association and have published a draft discussion document at

We have been running a survey, which has now closed, but residents or businesses can email any further thoughts to We will circulate the results of the survey, and a list of residents’ priorities, in the coming weeks.

Friends of Mountsfield Park AGM Saturday 18th October

Friends of Mountsfield Park AGM 2014

Dear Friends of Mountsfield Park,

We sincerely hope as many of you as possible will be coming to this year’s Annual General Meeting at 3.30pm, Saturday 18th October, St Swithun’s Church Hall, St Swithun’s Road, Hither Green.

Here are a few notes for your consideration.

Please click here (FOMP AGM Agenda 2014) to see the AGM agenda and proposed changes to FoMP’s Constitution and Executive Roles that the current Executive will be putting forward at the meeting.

Click here (Fomp AGM nomination form) to open the FoMP executive roles nomination form . The Executive invites submissions for nomination to any of the Executive roles by 5pm, Saturday 11th October.

The current Constitution is available to view on Friends of Mountsfield Park’s wordpress site

We’d love to have an idea of numbers to help us with scone quantities. If you know you will come or think you may please reply to Maybe now’s the time to say if one scone is never enough also! Much appreciated, thank you.

Please do not hesitate to contact FoMP with any queries and we look forward to seeing you there.

For and on behalf of FoMP

Carrie Blackman (Secretary ) Rory McNally (Chair) and Max Calo (Treasurer)
with support from teammate Gareth Conyard

Ruskin Park community garden

Ruskin Park community garden:


The community garden at Ruskin Park is tidy and well maintained. The planting beds are surrounded by short mown grass. The community garden is gated and surrounded by a medium height steel fence. The space isn’t publicly accessible. Poly-tunnel – good idea for Mountsfield Park community garden?


Well stocked vegetable beds and lots of fruit trees


Innovative idea for growing vegetables

Continue reading

Enjoyed a visit to Mayow Park’s wonderful new cafe and community garden

Enjoyed visiting Mayow Park’s wonderful new cafe and community garden:


Mayow Park cafe building (above) with the community garden in the foreground. The cafe building looks great within its parkland and community garden setting. This historic park building was  recently restored with £65,000 lottery money and £18,500 match funding from Lewisham Council. The cafe operator spent a further £25,000 on the attractive cafe building interior design and fit-out.

Continue reading

Mountsfield Park Improvement Plans – Contractors Start Work on Site 22nd September 2014

140815_Mountsfield Park Revised Playground Proposal

Mountsfield Park Improvement Plans – Contractors Start Work on Site 22nd September 2014

(91)LP001 General Arrangement Plan sheet 1 of 2

(91)LP002 General Arrangement Plan sheet 2 of 2

140815_Mountsfield Park Revised Playground Proposal (91)LP001 

Hither Green Lane – Public Realm Improvements

Proposed improvements to Hither Green Lane, which will:

  • Achieve quality in the public realm
  • Strengthen shopping parades
  • Create a safe, clean place to live, work and play
  • Integrate new development in keeping with the existing townscape character of Hither Green Lane

More information:

Please complete the following Survey:


I can smell it from here! The last BBQ of the Summer

IT’s TODAY!!!!!


Lewisham, Catford,

Hither Green, Rushey Green,

Please come along from 12.

Have children bounce on a castle,

Dribble hot-dog onions on your blanket,

Soak in the views from Mountsfield Park

…..What heaven!


Please join us and enjoy an Everyone Togetherly afternoon. 


ps. bring cash, wipes and wine… little reminders!


And… it’s not that the rhyming isn’t there it’s that you’re being treated to some real sophisticated stuff

Mountsfield Park Big End of Summer Cook Out – Saturday 6th September 2014

Mountsfield Park BBQ and Picnic

Mountsfield Park Big End of Summer Cook Out – BBQ (and Picnic) – 6th September from 12 noon – Everybody Welcome! Next to Sammy T’s near the bandstand.

Mountsfield Park BBQ and Picnic


BBQ-tastic Saturday with the Mizens and FoMP


TWO WEEKS TODAY!!!! – Get it into your diary.


Saturday 6th September from 12pm

in Mountsfield Park, Lewisham


Join Friends of Mountsfield, if you please,

BBQ from 12 by Sammy T’s,

Jimmy Botton and his Fair,

Lay out a rug, unfold your chair


……..we’ll see you there, dear friends



ps: the huge charge for this poetic work (yes it rhymes) was waived in the interests of FoMP’s fund-raising ambitions, no need to thank the poet, truly.. no really.



AGM & Tea with the Vicar – Friends of Mountsfield Park

Invitation to all Friends:

Friends of Mountsfield Park’s Annual General Meeting


A Lovely Get-together with Buffet Tea*

3.30pm, Saturday 18th October

St. Swithun’s Church Hall, St. Swithun’s Road, Hither Green

Children will be encouraged to get crafting in the basement while we meet.

St. Swithun’s Vicar Jane has very generously waived the fee for the hall and basement (approx. £130),

instead we’ll be asking for contributions towards church hall hire and children’s entertainment on the day.

Tea, scones and sarnies after the meeting (Let’s hope it’s champagne next year)

 Remember – this is your chance to get involved and to have your say

about what FoMP should be focusing on in 2015! 

* “AGM” is so off-putting! And we want you all there by way of a thank you for your support.

Friends of Mountsfield Park Talk Progress & BBQ

Dear Friends

In the wake of some hairy funding moments and heated Council engagements the FoMP Executive would like to thank all who have come to meetings, offered ideas, and given support to-date. In these last months, FoMP proved itself a force to be reckoned with, respected for its commitment to getting the best deal it can for Mountsfield Park. The Council listened. We should all feel proud that we made a difference.

Work on our Community Garden will begin imminently. With Mayor Bullock, the Council has committed to create a space in which all of us – pensioners, school children, community groups, apprentices, young people, families, and individuals seeking space and calm – will glean many years of enjoyment. Whether getting stuck in with your gardening gloves or just wandering through it whilst the children play hide-and-seek, it will be a wonderful space for us all.

Likewise with the improvements to the Playground, work starts soon. Through the costing/funding negotiations, FoMP and the Council came to a solid agreement over what changes should happen.

  • The two metal climbing frames will come out and be replaced by far-lovelier, timber towers with bridges, ropes and slide and a timber toddler climber too.
  • A new basket swing should make the park more fun for disabled children.
  • The better pieces of existing equipment are to be kept – including the large net climbing frame, the swings, the zip-wire, and the wooden toddler equipment.
  • The blue low-level, walk-along pieces are to come out, as too are the see-saw, helicopter, snail and butterfly.
  • Planting, boulders and mounds will go in.
  • The toddler swings will move closer to the toddler area.
  • The repositioning of railings will mean all equipment is brought together, (no more dodgy gates to battle Katy).
  • A large grassed area will allow for children to roll on mounds, picnic and enjoy some distance from parents when socializing. All while being kept safe within the playground.

We estimate work will commence in the next month. Dates when the playground will be out of action will be published as soon as we have them.

Now to achieve our Café, which we aim to do within the next 12 months.  Although we are disappointed that the Café will not be built during this phase of work, we are pleased to announce that, after pressure from FoMP, the Council has promised that at least £50,000 will be set aside to contribute towards a new café in the future. A £40,000 contingency fund currently held back for the playground and gardens, may too become available. FoMP will work with the Council to raise additional money. The FoMP Executive and sub-committees will continue to meet regularly with the aim of fundraising and exploring options – new build or upgrade, franchise operation or operator built, private investors or long term bank loans. We will share all options with you in order to get your ideas and feedback. Above all FoMP remains committed to keeping you informed, listening to your views and ultimately getting the best it can for all of us.

With regret we have to let the old walls go. The Council are certain that saving them would be financially unviable whether in making them safe or altering their use. We know this will be sorely felt by many and we are speaking to the Council about keeping some of the old bricks, perhaps to build them into bedding features in the park. We welcome any suggestions for what else to do with them. We’ll need to use them quickly as storage will be difficult – anyone with ideas please step forward!

There is, as yet, no clear way forward with the toilets. We have been reluctant to ask the Council to spend any of the remaining budget on the container loos as we hope they will only be there for the short term, one way or another. But they do need to be better kept and accessible whenever the park is open. If we can achieve this, can we users cope with them until we have a new café? Please let us know what you think.

Finally, thank you again for your hard work, commitment, and help.  We want to celebrate FoMP’s successes and prepare for the next set of challenges, so please accept this invitation to a special BBQ and picnic, to be held outside Sammy T’s on Saturday 6 September.  It’ll be a chance to look at the plans for forthcoming work in more detail, meet other members of FoMP and to play in the wonderful park we all care so much about!  SAVE THE DATE – SEE YOU THERE!




6 AUGUST 2014

  1. Following concerns raised by FOMP, Councillor Rachel Onikosi, the Cabinet Member for the Public Realm at Lewisham LA, convened a meeting on 31 July. This meeting gave the opportunity for FOMP to raise our concerns in person and for the LA to present revised proposals for the redevelopment of Mountsfield Park.
  1. The LA made clear its view that the available budget will not stretch to cover the three main elements of the redevelopment plans – the community garden, the cafe, and the playground – and reaffirmed its belief that the cafe should be removed from the current phase of work.
  1. The LA has asked for comments on the revised proposals, and for these to be given by 8 August in order to influence the final decision to be made by Councillor Onikosi, which has placed FOMP in a very difficult position. We have discussed the proposals and other options within FOMP and across the wider community.
  1. Although there are naturally a range of views about how best to proceed, one fact remains unequivocally clear – there is deep disappointment that the latest LA proposals still fail to include a café in this phase of work, despite it being the most important issue during the last public consultation in 2012, and despite repeated requests by FOMP that a café be prioritised. The temporary solution proposed – a canopy between the existing container units, showed a dismissive lack of imagination.
  1. At the same time, FOMP are pleased to see that the LA has listened to concerns about the proposed improvements to the Children’s play area. Through making more sensible design and budgeting decisions, the LA has achieved a proposal that replaces the dangerous and obsolete pieces of play equipment, and introduces brand new pieces of good quality play equipment.  FOMP are pleased to have the opportunity to influence the final choices over pieces of equipment.
  1. The LA also reaffirmed its desire to push ahead with the community garden. Whilst FOMP have always agreed with this in principle, we have been concerned that the LA is determined, as part of this work, to knock-down the old wall and toilet block, both of which we feel could potentially be of use in the future.
  1. According to the LA’s plans, when the above work is done, there will be around £56,000 remaining. There is also a £40,000 contingency in the LA budget which might be available at the end of the project.  The figures, as we understand them, are set out in more detail in Annex A.

The FOMP response

  1. FOMP remain committed to an ambitious vision for Mountsfield Park. The LA proposals, whilst an improvement on the current amenities, fall short of doing justice to the potential of a much valued and well used green space.  We have had to weigh our disappointment in the failure to deliver a café against the pressing need to see improvements in the playground area.
  1. Regardless of the outcome of this phase of work, FOMP continues to be determined to mobilise the enthusiasm of the local community and seek ways to raise funds to deliver tangible and long-lasting improvements to Mountsfield Park. FOMP are determined that this phase of work does nothing to undermine any future ambitions.
  1. After careful consideration of the LA’s proposals, and discussions with other local groups, FOMP believe that the best course of action is to offer qualified support, but only if a number of conditions are met:
  • First, work on the community garden should press ahead, and we can see that the LA is determined to knock-down the old toilet blocks. But we ask that the LA does not knock-down the wall that runs along one end of the area before further conversations with FOMP.   All or part of the wall could be a valuable asset in the future, for example as part of the community garden itself, or as a backdrop to other work (e.g. greenhouses, etc.), and FOMP would like the opportunity to discuss these options further.
  • Second, we have lost all confidence in the ability of BDP to deliver a café. Their processes of design and tendering have failed, and their attempts to offer a basic canopy between the existing containers were derisory.  We want the LA to ringfence £50,000 so that FOMP can consider ways to use this money more effectively to deliver the café that the park deserves, and for Councillor Onikosi to give a public commitment that this money will remain available until a café is delivered.  Based on some promising initial conversations, we believe that, taken away from the LA’s unwieldy procurement processes, this money could help us to quickly generate additional funds, to build a cafe that will become an iconic local space within the next 12 months.  In the first instance, FOMP want a discussion with the current operators to consider options.
  • Third, we are pleased that the LA has listened to FOMP concerns about the playground, and have made improvements. FOMP will engage with BDP to influence the final selection of pieces of play equipment.
  • Fourth, it is critical that the LA improves the park’s toilet facilities in the short term, until the new cafe is ready.
  • Fifth, we ask that the LA undertakes a commitment that the contingency of £40,000 only be spent where necessary to deliver the plans as specified, and that money is not transferred to other projects within the park. As much of the £40,000 contingency as possible should be added to the £50,000 ringfenced for the cafe, on the same terms.  To give FOMP confidence, the LA should agree to be transparent about when and why it intends to use the contingency.
  • Finally, we believe that, in order to continue to improve the park for all users, it is important that information about activities and plans are properly advertised. So we ask that the LA uses some of the money remaining to place lockable poster boards at each entrance to the park.  This is something that FOMP have asked of the LA previously.


  1. FOMP now asks the LA to respond quickly to confirm that the conditions set out above can be met, before FOMP is willing to offer public support for the latest set of LA proposals. Without this assurance, FOMP remains concerned that the redevelopment of Mountsfield Park will continue to represent a missed opportunity.


  1. Once the LA has agreed to ringfence £50,000 (to be increased dependent on the use of the contingency), FOMP undertakes to lead conversations with potential partners – starting with the current operators – to deliver the café that users of Mountsfield Park have lacked for too long.


Annex A

LA building costs, as set out on 31 July 2014

Park Area Anticipated costs
Community Garden – includes demolition of WC block and general clearance £94,140
Playground Area £186,860
Paths £8,856
Preliminary and set-up costs £37,806
Contingency £40,000
Amount remaining for café £56,053
Total £423,715

The total budget for the project is circa £525,000, with around £100,000 set aside for non-building related costs.


On several occasions, the LA has referred to the ‘abortive costs’ of not proceeding with its recommendation and returning to the drawing board.  The LA have now confirmed that these ‘abortive costs’ – in other words costs that would be incurred from the overall budget if it fails to move forward with activity as proposed – will total £78,497.

Mountsfield Park Improvements

The meeting with Lewisham Council Officers, Cllr Onikosi and MP Heidi Alexander on the 31 July 2014 was very interesting. As a result of our representations the Council have made some
significant changes to their plans. But their proposal still doesn’t include building a cafe, which is obviously a massive issue for us. We will be meeting with Mehron Kirk of BDP on Wednesday 6 August to discuss options for the proposed play area improvements. We are still waiting to hear from Lewisham Council how their design Consultant, BDP designed a cafe building for us that went out to tender and received no responses from contractors. And that the returned tenders for the other two elements were up to 50% over budget, meaning that there was no money left for the cafe building. During the Council’s Mountsfield Park 2012 consultation phase for improvements, the new cafe building was preferred by a significant majority of those consulted.

HorticultureWeek News story:


Many Thanks to Friends of Manor House Gardens for Hosting the Brindishe Schools Year 6 Overnight Camping Event

Brindishe schools year 6 camp

Many Thanks to Friends of Manor House Gardens, Don and Lynn from Pistachios for hosting the Brindishe Schools Year 6 overnight camping event and doing it so well!

Thanks to Don and Lynne from Pistachios for providing wonderful  BBQ for for the Brindishe year 6 overnight camping event!

Thanks to Don and Lynn from Pistachios for providing wonderful BBQ for for the Brindishe year 6 overnight camping event!

year 6 manor house gardens