The sun is out and we’ve had great news from our friends at the Mizen Foundation. Sammy T’s is open this weekend so you can have a cup of coffee while you enjoy the park, and the new playground.
Have a great weekend!
The sun is out and we’ve had great news from our friends at the Mizen Foundation. Sammy T’s is open this weekend so you can have a cup of coffee while you enjoy the park, and the new playground.
Have a great weekend!
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.
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?
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?
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.
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 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!
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.
Save our parks! Please support and publicise the UK Parks Petition
Click here to sign: http://chn.ge/TXdqhj
Help prevent the slide into crisis of the UK’s green spaces
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:
We will be in the community garden Saturday 24th January, 9.30am – midday, installing timber posts in the soft fruit and ornamental gardens. There is also bark mulching to do using shovels and wheelbarrows!
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!
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
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
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep reading the blog, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter too!
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
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!
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…
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:
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 email@example.com. We will circulate the results of the survey, and a list of residents’ priorities, in the coming weeks.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Mountsfield Park notices to be posted on gates this week:
Ruskin Park community garden:
Brockwell Park glasshouses community garden:
Enjoyed visiting Mayow Park’s wonderful new cafe and community garden:
Mountsfield Park Improvement Plans – Contractors Start Work on Site 22nd September 2014
Proposed improvements to Hither Green Lane, which will:
Please complete the following Survey:
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
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 – BBQ (and Picnic) – 6th September from 12 noon – Everybody Welcome! Next to Sammy T’s near the bandstand.
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.
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.
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.
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!
FRIENDS OF MOUNTSFIELD PARK (FOMP ) – RESPONSE TO LATEST COUNCIL (LA) PROPOSALS FOR OUR PARK
6 AUGUST 2014
The FOMP response
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|
|Preliminary and set-up costs||£37,806|
|Amount remaining for café||£56,053|
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.
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:
Please come again to meet with Lewisham Council Officers and Cllr Rachel Onikosi, to discuss the future of the 2014 Mountsfield Park improvements. The conclusion from the 9th July meeting was that there wasn’t enough support for the Council to proceed with their current proposals to improve the play area, create a community garden and put the proposed cafe building on hold. We are hoping that at this meeting we can find a way that the Council can do all of the improvements including the cafe building in one go. The Council explained to us during the design consultation phase, that we need the improved play area, 90 sq/m cafe building and community garden that make up the Mountsfield Park hub, to make our park a much better place for everyone.
The Council have invited Friends of Mountsfield Park to meet with them to work out a way forward at an open meeting, Civic Suite Catford SE6 4RU, Thursday 31st July 2014 at 7 pm . All Welcome!
More information from email@example.com
Apologies for the short notice.
FoMP play area sub-committee meeting to discuss funding applications for new playground equipment on Thursday 7 August, 19:30, at the Catford Constitutional. All welcome! We will discuss potential funds, their deadlines, and exactly what or how much we will apply for in each case. We will also agree key points to put into all applications so that we can make them as strong as possible. Funding applications will then be divided amongst those willing to fill them out, in the hope of not over-burdening one person. We will have details of available funds, but will no doubt not uncover them all. Please do bring to the (wine/ale filled) table any that you have also found out about or already know of. Also, If there is a piece of playground equipment you particularly would like, please bring details including price. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more. Catford Costitutional, Catford Broadway SE6 4SP.
Friends of Mountsfield Park (FoMP) Meeting to discuss Monday’s emailed update and FoMP statement (after 9th July ‘Way Forward’ Council Meeting’) and to address members’ concerns that there was no opportunity to meet and discuss the statement before it was emailed to everyone.
We are still very much in support of the Council’s original scheme, to provide the Mountsfield Park cafe building, improved play area and community garden this year. However the Council Officers say that the current designs for the play area and community garden don’t leave enough money for the cafe, which is what people have said that they want most from the improvements. The Council say that we need to keep the existing play equipment. We are concerned that the play equipment is close to the end of its life and can’t be replaced easily if we go ahead with the current design proposals. We have suggested design changes that would provide a more cost effective scheme for the play area and community garden and still leave enough money for the cafe building. We hope that the Council will consider our proposals and arrange for the agreed improvements to be completed this year.
Apologies for not organizing enough opportunities to meet and discuss these important issues before making decisions on behalf of FoMP.
The meeting will be at 10am Sunday 27th July, Sammy T’s cafe, Mountsfield Park (near the bandstand).
FOMP – IMPROVEMENTS TO MOUNTSFIELD PARK: POSITION PAPER
20 JULY 2014
Come and meet us at Lewisham Peoples Day, Mountsfield Park, Saturday 12 July 2014. We will be selling plants again this year from our stall to pay towards the initial cost of the community garden public liability insurance. The community garden should be up and running before the end of the year. More donated plants would be very welcome and thanks to those of you who gave us plants to sell last year!
We will have the Council’s proposed Mountsfield Park improvement plans with us for discussion and would welcome any fundraising ideas for the park cafe building.
Lewisham Council to proceed with Mountsfield Park improvements despite the Building Design Partnership (BDP) managed scheme up to 50% over budget and having designed a cafe building that contractors weren’t prepared to build ! Lewisham Council Officers explained last night that the proposed cafe building would be dropped from the scheme because of budget shortfall and BDP would deliver a community garden and play area improvements this year. 35 Catford, Rushey Green and Hither Green residents, Cllrs Klier, Jeffrey and Walsh attended the meeting. Martin Hyde from Lewisham Council’s parks department Greenscene and Lewisham’s Gavin Plaskitt said that they were fully committed to delivering the park cafe during phase 2 of the Mountsfield Park improvements and would help Friends of Mountsfield Park (F0MP) fund raise for the new building. Lewisham Council also said that they will offer the cafe operator a long lease (20 years or more) at a low rent to encourage additional investment in the park building. The Council also agreed that the budget for the community garden area would not exceed £70,000 and that any remaining budget would be spent on improving the existing toilets and cafe eg additional outdoor seating.
Please come to meet with Lewisham Council to discuss the future of the 2014 Mountsfield Park improvements. Lewisham Council says there’s not enough money to pay for all of the agreed improvements, which includes the improved play area, 90 sq/m cafe building and new community garden. The Council have invited Friends of Mountsfield Park to meet with them to work out a way forward at an open meeting, Civic Suite Catford SE6 4RU, Wed 9 July 2014 at 6.30pm . All Welcome – please come! More information from the Project Manager Sandra Plummer email: Sandra.Plummer@lewisham.gov.uk
Proposed Mountsfield Park café building was given planning approval tonight at a Lewisham Planning Committee hearing. Please come along to our stall at Lewisham People’s Day on 12 July to find out more about the 2014 improvements at Mountsfield Park.
Can you identify these circles showing on the current Google aerial view of Mountsfield Park – Any suggestions?
The herringbone drainage pattern on the sports field in Google aerial view probably explains the muddy pool (in Winter) next to Stainton Lodge!
Dear All Friends and Users of our beloved Mountsfield
1) jobs – if you’re available for helping out with jobs in the coming couple of months, writing, blogging, pestering, postering, fund raising, planting, designing treasure hunts, any of these, please come to Sammy T’s on Saturday morning 21st June from 10am, to register interest and put yourself forward to take on a job to do in the run up to works beginning on improving the park.
Manor House Gardens Festival 21 June, Taunton Rd, Lee, Greater London SE13 5SU
Mountsfield Park Community Garden – Sowing ‘Grow Wild’ meadow flower seeds Saturday 28th March 2015, 9.30am – midday. All welcome!
Mountsfield Park’s ‘Green Flag’ application was submitted by Glendale/ Lewisham Council at the end of January, judging usually May/June and decision end July 2015. Unfortunately the Green Flag application has been submitted at the same time as when our full time park keeper is being replaced by a part time park keeper from the beginning of April 2015. We are waiting to hear from Lewisham Council’s Green Scene which days we will have a park keeper at Mountsfield Park. When there is no park keeper available, please report any problems at Mountsfield using the ‘Love Lewisham’ mobile phone app or telephone Glendale 020 8318 3986 (during and outside office hours). Or visit Glendale’s office at Mountsfield Park, Stainton Lodge, Stainton Road SE6 1AN.
Mountsfield Park Community Garden – Community Clean up Day and TheBigDigUK, Saturday 21st March 9.30am -Midday
Community Clear Up Day 2015
The Big Dig UK