Saturday, 22 April 2023

BATS IN THE NIGHT 21 April 2023

Outdoor events can cause weather worries for organisers, commonly ‘will the weather force us to cancel?’.

But a bat walk must factor in the needs of bats too; they are not keen on inclement weather. They prefer mild, still evenings with plenty of flying insects for supper.

Friday 21st April began very wet and cold. Should we cancel the event? 

The BBC and the Met Office offered assurances for brighter weather by the late afternoon. And that is how it turned out.

The weather improved rapidly. By 8pm when people started to gather at Mayow Park, it was a still evening with clear sky, full of flying treats for bats. 

The meeting point

Iain's intro

     Using a bat detector

Dr Iain Boulton opened the event with some entertaining batty facts. He certainly knows his bats. He brought some bat detectors to lend out to walk attendees, showing us how to set them to around 50 kHz, the frequency for the pipistrelle bats we would hear or see in Mayow Park. The detectors, not much bigger than a mobile phone, catch the sounds made by bats flying above our heads and translate those sounds at a level that humans can hear.

Even before we started the walk, at least one bat was detected between the pavilion and guardian oak tree which stands majestically at the park gates.

Walking slowly in the park, first in half-light then dusk, with the trees standing as silhouettes against the fading light, children moving with torches, an occasional bird flying past and all the time listening for the bats: this is a magical, calming sensation.

                                                                on the walk

The pipistrelles flew out for us at three locations along the south side of the park, along the path between Mayow Road an Recreation Road, while Venus shone down on us from high in the night sky.

A lovely evening. Thank you to all who joined us and to Iain for leading us.

TOTAL ATTENDING 52 + walk leader

36 adults + 12 children + 4 volunteers + Dr Iain Boulton, our walk leader

All photos courtesy of Pippa Moss

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Mayow Park - photos by D Roberts

 A range of photos showing a variety of interesting topics in Mayow Park

meadow flowers

parakeets pairing up

a solitary parakeet

pine cone

greenery with dandelion

shades of green

general view

autumn leaves

busy park

Orchard winter pruning workshop

Organised and facilitated by members of our own Friends of Mayow Park (FOMP) group, we ran two workshops  in Mayow Park's community orchard (near the tennis courts) on 24th and 28th February 2023.  
Five people attended session one and six attended session two - eleven people in total.
Both sessions began with a short intro on  tools for pruning and how to look after them. Next came 'getting to know your tree' by looking for damaged, dead and diseased branches on the trees. We talked about  the process of grafting scions, different rootstocks and reasons for mulching.
After the brief theory intro we visited some trees to look carefully at what should be pruned and why.
Then on to the practical pruning, in pairs.   
One of the  FOMP members worked on weeding round the trees and collecting  mulch to lay around each tree.
The two hour sessions did not give us enough time for all the trees but those we worked on seemed very contented after.
Our regular orchard volunteers will continue pruning and mulching over the next two weeks.

Equipment at the ready

choosing which branch to cut

Loppers  being moved to cutting position

A clean cut with sharp loppers

A few trees are not in the best of health. One apple tree has had fungal canker for a few years but seems to be healing some of the wounds this disease caused.
Canker on Crawley Beauty

Unfortunately the Conference pear tree has never thrived. It turns out it has been planted where the ground gets rather water-logged after heavy rain. Now its main trunk is being eaten alive by wood borers.

Any ideas about the creatures causing this damage?

Soon all the fruit trees will have a blanket of wonderful mulch to keep them cosy in winter, cooler in the heat of summer and encourage mycorrhizal fungi that work in symbiosis with the roots of the trees, swapping nutrients and sugars.
cosy comfort of woody mulch

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

New fox-proof bins

SIX new Broxap plastic litter bins were installed in Mayow Park last week to replace the worst of the deteriorating metal bins. They were funded from Lewisham's Greening Fund that parks and green spaces groups could apply for last year. The rest of the bins to be replaced will have to wait for the next funding round.

One of the new bins

Monday, 23 January 2023

A cold and frosty morning

A crispy, frost-filled view across Mayow Park on 21st January 2023 at 8.42am from the north-east side.

All photos Credit: John Roussety


Dramatic view

Saturday, 20 August 2022

Community clean-up in Mayow Park

 Our community litter-picking events in Mayow Park are enjoyable social gatherings with a serious purpose.

We aim to collect as much litter as possible – of course. But we also aim to help wildlife living in the park by removing items that could cause them harm including plastic debris and wet wipes.  This is rubbish left by people, sometimes carelessly, but at other times   perhaps assuming that someone else will clear it up.

Our most recent event on 4th August 2022 was during the school holiday and a great opportunity for families to join us. The weather was warm and sunny. Ideal. We met near the cafe and agreed which areas are most in need of litter clearance.  We got into groups and off we went.

Our local PCSO Andrea represented the Perry Vale police and worked with some children who were excited to see her as they know her from her visits to local schools.

PCSO Andrea with her team of helpers

We collected 14 bags of rubbish plus bits of garden fencing, metal items and a cushion. There were the usual items such as sweet and food packaging, paper, card, wet wipes, cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles, cigarette stubs and plastic covers from disposable drinking straws. 

Some of the volunteers

One of the volunteers did an awesome job of collecting rubbish in the fenced-off area adjacent to Mayow Road and which is normally locked. Our helpers were 8 children, 13 adults and 1 dog. The photo shows a few of those willing workers.

Thank you to Glendale staff for providing rubbish bags and litter-picking sticks and collecting the rubbish pile when we had finished. Thank you to the park users who volunteered to help and to the parents for bringing children to take part.

 Councillor Susan Wise joined us after the litter pick for entertainment by Nzinga Dance near the children’s playground. This was arranged by Nancy at Lewisham Council. Nzinga Dance is a performing arts organisation bringing African and African Caribbean dance to audiences. The two dancers wore traditional costume, played traditional drums and music. It was tempting for some of the audience to join in with the dancing. This was entertainment for young and old while a few children queued to have their faces painted. What a treat it was.

Thank you to Nancy for these lovely photos.

Audience participation

Nzinga Dance in action

Tuesday, 19 July 2022



That includes Mayow Park. There is no dedicated area in the park for lighting a fire and cooking food. Look for the list of byelaws in the main notice board opposite Brown & Green cafe.
In addition, park users will have noticed a lack of meaningful rain for over a month and the result is . . . the grass is tinder-dry. One small spark (from a barbecue or a cigarette) could start a fire that will spread rapidly through the grass and cause serious damage in the park.
Unfortunately in our park we frequently find that those who bring in disposable barbecues are also happy to dispose of those barbecues and food remnants beside the rubbish bins - so other people have to clear up the following morning. Oh . . . and meanwhile the foxes and other animals have a wild party, spreading the garbage around.
Today the heat across the UK broke records. London saw areas hit 40 degree heat. Fire crews across London and within the M25 were called out to tackle a number of fires in green spaces.
Let's be sensible and look after our green spaces. The message is simple - NO BARBECUES IN MAYOW PARK AT ANY TIME.
The following photos were taken this evening and show how dry and parched the grass is.