Friday, 15 June 2018

TIMELY TEAMWORK ON 12th JUNE


It was great to see Friends of Mayow Park (FOMP) volunteers and Glendale staff working together on 12th June 2018 on a joint grounds maintenance project to improve part of the park. This work was not part of the usual maintenance routine but had been identified as work we could do together in  celebration of Mayow Park’s  140th anniversary as a public park and Friends of Mayow Park’s quarter century as a park user group. On 1st June1878 the Sydenham and Forest Hill Public Recreation Ground (later renamed as Mayow Park) was formally opened. Friends of Mayow Park (previously called Mayow Park Users’ Group) held their first meeting in April 1993.
AIMS
The aims of the joint Glendale and FOMP session were agreed:
  • To clean up the Victorian drinking fountain
  • To resurrect the rockery near the modern drinking fountain
  • To tidy up and make more accessible the fruit and herb beds in the Triangle
  • To thin out the maple suckers which form a lovely den around an old maple tree stump
  • To prune the privet hedge and fruiting hedgerow where the aviary used to be, if time allowed
 VICTORIAN DRINKING FOUNTAIN:
The Victorian drinking fountain stands as a memorial to the Rev William Taylor Jones and a symbol of Victorian philanthropy. It remains an attractive ornament although the water supply through lead piping was blocked way back in a bygone age. If you look carefully you will see the filled-in holes from which water flowed. Hilary Jarrett, who was Chair of the Friends of Mayow Park in the early this millennium, looked into the possibility of restoring the fountain. However, expert advice warned that such a project would be immensely expensive and risk causing serious damage to the granite fountain. It was far better to keep the fountain as it is for it to remain an acknowledgment of the past.
Victorian fountain  in Mayow Park

The fountain called for a clean-up to celebrate its position in the park and that call was answered by Ian, with a bucket and long- handled brush.  
Ian arrives to spruce it up as a birthday treat

Job done. Fountain cleaned

We now have the modern drinking fountain, beside the rockery,  paid for by a grant to FOMP and installed by Glendale a few years ago, thanks to Hilary’s persistence in seeking funds.

THE ROCKERY:

Behind the modern drinking fountain stands a rockery. Every spring flowering bulbs grow in the rockery before the forest of elder, ivy, bindweed, overgrown holly and other plants take over. The rockery was revealed today when the team cut through the dense undergrowth. 
Where is the rockery?
Rockery uncovered and cleared of rubbish

Suitable rockery plants for shade were planted. These were sourced by Glendale, purchased by the Friends and planted by Glendale’s grounds maintenance staff and also acknowledge times past.
Rockery planted

. . . and more plants

FRUIT BED
Nearby, close to the modern drinking water fountain, the Friends tend fruit and herb beds. Today the fruit bed saw five volunteers hard at work. One started pruning the fruiting hedgerow on two sides of the bed. The others cut back the grass growing round the redcurrant bushes, the raspberry canes and the fruit trees, releasing these plants from hiding. The grass in the central space was also cut so that people can now bring their picnic mats and enjoy a less overlooked space. No photos of this at the moment.


MAPLE DEN
Directly opposite the fruit bed is a bench and a maple tree stump surrounded by maple stems which have suckered up to surround the stump and create a ‘den’ for children and adults to explore. The stump itself is a haven for invertebrates and possibly even elusive stag beetle larvae hiding deep in the dense wood. The suckered growth was overgrown and needed thinning, brambles growing through it and covering the ground.  
Den looking in - before clearing
Den from outside before clearing

So a team armed with loppers, saws and secateurs worked to thin back the maple growth and cut through the brambles. The work also revealed the variegated holly behind the maple stems.  Children and adults can now enter the den without scratching themselves on thorns.
Maple den after clearing


OLD AVIARY SITE
The site near the tennis courts, where the aviary used to be, is referred to as ‘the hard standing’. It has a privet hedge and a fruiting hedgerow. Glendale staff trimmed the privet which had become overgrown and straggly. The fruiting hedgerow was carefully pruned to leave the flowering wild roses which add colour  to the space and encourage insects.
Work in progress
Smile for the camera
Hedge trimmed

Hedgerow pruned

Roses in the hedgerow
THANKS
Thank you to the FOMP volunteers and  Glendale staff for a productive session and great team work. Our efforts were a fitting celebration of Mayow140 and FOMP 25.
Below are some photos of Glendale staff at work. Someone forgot to take photos of the  FOMP volunteers, but we were there - honest!




Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Upcoming work session in June 2018

 Friends of Mayow Park (FOMP) and Glendale (who manage the park on behalf of Lewisham Council) are getting ready for a joint working session on 12th June 2018 as a celebration event. Friends of Mayow Park first met in April 1993 (as Mayow Park Users' Group) and, for our 25 year anniversary, we would like to mark that occasion by working together with Glendale to brighten up one part of the park.

FOMP volunteers plan to clean up the Victorian granite water fountain in recognition that the park itself celebrates an anniversary - 140 years since it was officially opened to the public.

The fountain circa 1900 provided drinking water to park users


The fountain today as an ornamental reminder of bygone days
The volunteers will also tidy up the Triangle herb and fruit beds in front of the cafe. It there are enough volunteers we may do some additional work in the orchard.
Together with Glendale we will create a new rockery near the modern drinking fountain, an idea suggested by a park user a few years ago.
Somewhere in the undergrowth is a rockery waiting to be uncovered
Opposite the rockery and next to a bench is a wonderful maple 'den' created after a diseased maple tree had to be felled some years ago. The stump is still there but around it have grown suckers to create a dense hideaway. We intend to cut back some of this growth.
Dense growth surrounds the dead tree stump . . . 
. . . but in among the wood there is a great hiding place
And that is not all we plan to do.
We welcome more volunteers, for a short while or the whole session. If you can, bring a trowel or a spade. If you don't have tools we have a few.