Monday, 28 January 2019

damaged or dangerous trees

Sometimes large branches on the trees in the park break off and fall on the ground. This can happen unexpectedly, in particular with our veteran oaks and other older trees.  Sometimes a branch breaks but stays hanging awkwardly on the tree.
Lewisham Council is responsible for trees in its public parks, nature reserves, on pavements and roadside verges, in other green spaces that are maintained by Lewisham Council and trees on housing estates managed by Lewisham Homes.

Lewisham Council is not responsible for trees in private gardens, private roads or on red routes. For red routes report to Transport for London.

We've found out how to report a dangerous tree limb: Go to the Lewisham  website  below and you will be guided on how to report a problem with a tree in a public space.   <https://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/environment/trees/Pages/Report-tree-problems.aspx>

If you are reporting about a tree in Mayow Park you will need to include the address and postcode:
Mayow Park, Mayow Road SE26 4SS

Monday, 14 January 2019

AGM 26th JAN 2019


 You are invited to join FRIENDS OF MAYOW PARK (FOMP) for our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
This will be held on Saturday 26th January 2019 from 10am to midday
Meet in the Bowls Green main cabin. 
The meeting will begin with a short review of 2018, reports and election of officers.
We will then discuss Green Flag award criteria as a minimum standard for all parks, management of our park, the need to improve the children’s playground and the important role of active volunteers.
FOMP members are all volunteers who care about Mayow Park. They work with Council and Glendale staff to strive for a welcoming and well-managed park. 
Do join our team to help improve our local park.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

TREE DRESSING DECEMBER 2018


Article by Pippa Moss.
On Saturday 1st December we were faced with a very soggy morning for our tree dressing event and while we couldn’t quite face putting the gazebo up in the rain we didn’t want to cancel.
We would have had to have the storyteller Rich Sylvester in the bowling green huts but the weather actually got a bit better and we found a really sheltered spot near the bowling green with great tree coverage so we just based ourselves right there on the path and Rich made a dry den in the trees. 
Dry den for story telling. Photo Pippa
He did a few story sessions with some groups of all weather families and people did stop to write lovely messages on our fabric strips. Many were inspired by a great tree poem Alona had found with phrases such as ‘stress reliever, shelter for owls etc’. 
Poem found on Internet. Poet unnamed
We ended up dressing the yew tree behind us but also people walked down to the orchard to tie some up there too.
Of course it wasn’t as busy as usual in the park but it felt like we were saying thank you to the trees and that felt right to me - I get a lot from Mayow Park’s trees - there’s many a morning when I return from a rushed school run and look at the trees and just give a big sigh of ‘thanks for being here and looking lovely’. But they look a little less lovely in the winter so dressing them is a good idea!
Some decorative messages. Photo Alona

Tree message. Photo Pippa
Around midday, a talented local dog walker called Dave came along with his guitar and after a few cups of mulled wine it felt very normal to be having a fun sing-along next to the Bowling Green with confused runners trying to dodge through us!
Mulled wine time. Photo Pippa
Dave led a great sing-along on the theme of trees, accompanied by his guitar. He also included Christmas songs   Jingle Bells and White Christmas
                                                                         Photo: Alona

                                                                          Photo: Alona

Singing rounded off our tree dressing event     Photo: Sarah
Alona and I also gave an interview to Emma from CPRE who is filming and interviewing Friends groups. She said it was so nice to chat to people who were so smiley as they talked about their Friends group. I can’t think why on a wet Saturday in a park with a mulled wine inside me and poetic trees words buzzing in my head I wouldn’t be smiling??

Thursday, 6 December 2018

APPLE DAY 2018


This article, by Pippa,  first appeared in Sydenham Society News, Winter 2018.

Mayow Park’s annual Apple Day on Saturday 6 October started fabulously – grey Autumnal weather, but visitors and passers-by soon arrived when they saw tasty apple slices being proffered to try.
We set up in the orchard (opposite the tennis courts) looking very festive and apple-themed. Sadly, we couldn’t offer any apples actually grown in the orchard – I wonder where they went? Hopefully into a nice crumble somewhere. However, there were plenty of different varieties to try (challenge: five are hidden in the wordsearch below), all available at your local greengrocer or supermarket!
As always in Mayow Park, a great feeling of community spirit and support surrounded the stall. Around 60 people stopped to say hi or join an activity. Rich Sylvester, the excellent storyteller who has joined us before, created a circus feel with his parachute tent tied up in a big tree, with lots of children sitting on rugs listening attentively. Rich used puppets and props to bring his stories to life, and the children added sound effects with sticks and singing.
At the stall, some children coloured in apples and took part in the apple and pear hunt around the orchard for a prize treat. Meanwhile, the grown-ups seemed delighted at the offer of a (free) warming cup of tea. Then it all got a bit soggy. Then really very wet, and it was time to abort. Like so many family camping trips it was a matter of trying to get everything quickly away into the dry. What hero volunteers we had, smiling through the lashing rain, not at all resentful about all those lovely blue sky days in the previous weeks. Great spirit and very British. And we do grow good apples (maybe because of the rain?).
Mayow Park’s next event is Tree Dressing on Saturday 1 December during National Tree Week. Based on an ancient custom that celebrates the life-giving properties of trees, we hope you will join us to decorate some of the wonderful trees in our park. For details of this event visit Friends of Mayow Park on Facebook or email friendsofmayowpark@ymail.com
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Can you find the names of some apple varieties in this word search? Look for these:
Gala, Robjin, Russet, Cox, Braeburn
Our volunteers with apple varieties to taste

Our storyteller with audience

Friday, 26 October 2018

Preparing the orchard for winter

We received a pile of wood chips thanks to Glendale Lewisham (the contractors who manage most of Lewisham's parks on behalf of the council) and this motivated us to get to work in the orchard, preparing the fruit trees for winter.


Our plan was: remove grass around the trees to a radius of 1 metre from the base of each tree, chop up comfrey leaves at the base of the trees, then a thick layer of wood chips 10cm deep (or 4" in old measures).

With our team of volunteers and good weather, the work was completed very quickly and the trees now have a thick blanket around them ready for winter.


Wednesday, 3 October 2018

APPLE DAY 6TH OCTOBER 2018

We had a very successful Apple Day last year (2017). All our orchard fruits had been 'taken' weeks before so we had none of our own to offer the community to taste. Instead we bought in some heritage apple varieties from Brogdale in Kent and some from local greengrocers. The most popular proved to be a variety bought in Lidl and called 'Zinga'.
This coming Saturday, people will be encouraged to walk round our orchard trees, to learn about the varieties we are growing and perhaps to feel motivated to volunteer to care for our orchard at our workdays.
Our story teller last year, Rich Sylvester, proved to be a great hit with young children and their parents and will be back on Saturday.
We could do with more volunteers to help on the day with refreshments. See you on Saturday.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

ORCHARD CARE SUMMER 2018


What a summer it has been. After a particularly cold winter, followed by   an exceptionally wet spring, who would have thought that this past summer in southern England would be so very hot, humid and without rain?
This took its toll on plants, including trees. The Mayow Park orchard trees were showing signs of stress. The oldest trees were planted early in 2012 and the others were planted in early 2016. A plea was sent out asking for orchard carers to water selected trees and six people came forward, three of whom were helping out for the first time.
The need to provide 20 litres to each tree once a week, rather than frequent small amounts, was explained and understood. Small amounts of water dampen the very top of the soil but 20 litres should soak down and reach the roots.
There was one difficulty; no easily accessible water supply. Over the past few years our orchard carers have found ingenious ways to bring quantities of water to the trees including bringing a large water container in a child’s buggy and carrying 4 lots of 5 litre spring water bottles  filled with tap water in a shopper’s trolley bag on wheels.
One orchard carer put pen to paper to reflect on the task they had agreed to take on.

Well, my young son comes home from school every day with messages about the environment...all the things we shouldn't be doing, using plastic, driving the car etc etc. While I appreciate the eco drive in school it was getting me down a little...all this negative talk. So when I saw a post asking for help with the young trees in the park I thought this might be a lovely thing to do together that was actually going to have a positive impact on our local environment.

I have to say I was a little overwhelmed at first with the logistics of getting 20 litres to our designated tree every week but I realised a little hodgepodging with a bike trailer and tub trug and smaller jugs it could be done relatively easily. We did get some slightly odd looks filling up at the cafe toilets but my chatty son was quick to explain what we were up to, to anyone who paused long enough to let him. The dog also liked to join in...I'm sure the tree won't miss the few laps of water he stole too much. As the summer went on my son's enthusiasm did wane a little, so we introduced ice lollies post watering as a reward. We enjoyed them beside our tree hoping that he was also feeling refreshed and cooler after our efforts.

Thank you to that family for all their efforts. The good news is that the younger trees, with that bit of extra TLC, avoided serious dehydration. The older trees (planted in 2012) without individual carers had a much harder time. They had more fruit drop than usual during June and many of the remaining fruits showed peck marks from winged birds (possibly the parakeets) who were suffering from lack of food.

Unfortunately the remaining UNRIPE fruits on all the fruit trees were  picked off one day in July by person or persons unknown, with no fruits remaining, not even windfalls. We had hoped to share some apples with park users at our Apple Day on 6th October and to compare the different tastes. Our default option is to buy a number of commercial varieties for tasting instead.