Sunday 24 November 2013

EXTRA PHOTOS from orchard work session

spreading mulch
securing the fence

Some of the team hard at work this morning.

ORCHARD WORK 24 November 2013

Five of us, including the park keeper, weeded, pruned and mulched round 5 of the orchard trees.The two-hour session seemed to fly past and was very enjoyable. Thank you to Sue, Ann, Alona, Ian and Tunde.

Collecting wood chips for mulching
There are 6 more trees to prepare for the winter so we are likely to have another session in two or three weeks time.

Sunday 17 November 2013

orchard work morning Sunday 24th Nov 2013

Friends of Mayow Park will have a work session at the community orchard on Sunday 24th November 2013 from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
The orchard is near the tennis courts.
Our tasks will include:
weeding and light pruning
No experience is necessary, learn new skills,  as we can show you what to do.
Bring a trowel and gardening gloves if you have them although we have some basic tools.
If we have time, there are additional tasks in the herb and fruit beds near the drinking water fountain.
Children can come along with a supervising adult.
By agreement with Glendale, we will have access to the portaloo toilet as well as facilities for making hot drinks. Light refreshments will be available!
See you there.

Saturday 26 October 2013

FoMP meeting 22nd October 2013

It was a very positive FoMP meeting at Dacres Wood Field Centre on 22nd October. Martin Hyde gave an update on Pavilion renovation progress with the news that the shell of the building is almost complete after all the delays due to extensive dry rot. The replacement of the foul sewer, however, will generate a few headaches because of the need for deep excavations.
The bowls club will not be continuing but their site will not go to waste, with proposals to develop sports facilities there, subject to successful funding bids.
We learned that the park has been awarded a Green Flag again but this time with 'secret shopper' judging. 
The orchard has had eight very hard working carers through the spring and summer,  who watered the trees every week from April to early September. Thank you to those people. The next task for the orchard is to lightly prune the trees, weed around the base and put a thick layer of wood chip mulch around to suppress weeds. This should be done before the winter.


The three orchards walk (Albion Millennium Green, Mayow Park and de Frene orchards) was a successful event to show our local orchards. The Forest Hill Society environment committee volunteers worked hard to design the flyer and publicise it.
Rain threatened but held off until   the last stage of the walk. 
Steve Grindlay provided a link between the three sites with his historical insight into the area.
Refreshments at De Frene (a site run by local charity Sydenham Garden) were much appreciated although the pizza oven took a long time to heat up sufficiently.
Photos and more detailed write up to follow.

Thursday 17 October 2013

THREE ORCHARDS WALK saturday 19th October 2013

Visit three orchards in Forest Hill and Sydenham.
Meet at Forest Hill station at 11am,
On to Albion Millennium Green for tree planting and toasting the trees  11.30am.
Then to Mayow Park orchard to meet orchard volunteers, toast the trees, do apple bobbing 12.30pm
Finally on to De Frene orchard (a plot run by Sydenham Garden) for refreshments,  including pizzas made in the earth oven, and activities for the family, 1.30pm.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Volunteers in Mayow Park

Mayow Park volunteers work in the main park, at two locations, the orchard and the two food-growing beds. We find it difficult to find time to work together on the site but are a motivated group. During October we were intending to use our well-rotted mulch, located by the rockery at the far corner of our area, round the fruit bushes and the orchard.
Our plans have now been ruined.
I was dismayed today, 1st October 2013,  to see that ALL our well-rotted woodchip in the corner by the rockery has been taken. No-one asked us.  I am sure the park-keeper was not asked either as he knew what it was intended for.
It has been a hard year for us: 

  • Some people, without asking any of the volunteer group,  planted trees in the herb bed (willow and ash), which had to be removed; 
  • Many of our logs that mark the woodchip path through the grass area were taken. Luckily, thanks to Glendale and Nature's Gym, we were able to get more.
  • Now the mulch has been taken, but we cannot get any more!
It would  be appreciated if the people who took all the mulch would own up to it.

If anyone has a realistic suggestion to get more (free) mulch I would be grateful. If not, then the people who took it all should offer to volunteer to provide fresh mulch for the orchard trees.
With our work as volunteers being undermined so often, we have to ask ourselves whether we should carry on doing this work.

Friday 27 September 2013

Celebrating local orchards

 With thanks to Lewisham Gardens for posting this on Facebook.

Join the free guided walk between three community orchards. It starts at Albion Millennium Green, a relatively new orchard space, then heads to Mayow Park where the orchard of 11 trees was planted in January 2012.  The walk finishes at the De Frene plot which belongs to the fantastic Sydenham Garden.  Refreshments with a seasonal flavour will be on sale at De Frene and a rare opportunity to see this site.

Its taken a lot of volunteer time from the three local groups to plan this- so do go along; take your children, pet dogs and walking shoes! There will be some tree planting too.

The Orchards:
Albion Millennium Green-
Friends of Mayow Park-
Sydenham Garden-

Friday 20 September 2013

Orchard fruits August-September 2013

Victoria Plum

Crawley Beauty

Early Windsor

Our fruit trees are very young and we did not expect much of a harvest. The Czar plum was laden with fruit one day towards the end of August and the next day the flimsy branches which had fruit had been torn and broken from the tree. A few tell-tale plums on the ground were all that remained. The Victoria plums were carefully picked by a group of volunteers while still yellow, to ripen indoors, to avoid the same fate though some branches had already been torn off. Apples had been pulled from trees before they were ripe and, because they were not yet edible, were thrown on the ground with human teeth marks visible!
One Crawley Beauty remained out of eight fruits and two Early Windsor out of six. The Jupiter apple tree had three apples - all removed. In a few years time, when the trees are set free from their protective fencing, people will be able to pick a fruit to eat as they walk past and hopefully not take everything.
Our next task is to prepare the trees for winter. Some will need a prune. Weeds on the the ground underneath will be removed and a deep layer of mulch will be put down on the ground.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Nature's Gym - thank you

Nature's Gym volunteers, led by staff from Glendale and Lewisham, came to Mayow Park today (18th July 2013)on one of the hottest days of the year. They came to help tame the fruit bed in the Triangle that Mayow Park volunteers look after. And indeed they made an impact. They did these things: -stepping logs have been bedded in and it is easier to walk though the larger bed, -much of the couch grass has been pulled up, -log path edging has been put back where there were gaps, -two-thirds of the curved path has been recovered with a layer of wood chip mulch and that should make it easier for park volunteers to finish the task.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Aphids and ladybirds

Here we are in mid-July and the orchard is being well looked after by the team of waterers. On 30th June I posted about 'friendly' invertebrates that like to gobble up aphids. I included photos of ladybird larvae,hover fly and lacewing larvae.I am pleased to report that the Cox's Orange Pippin, which was suffering from aphid attack, is recovering thanks to predatory insects. London Orchard Project have just posted a tale of the evil aphids and the aphid hunters so I want to share it.

Saturday 13 July 2013

Remarkable Race in Mayow Park part 2

Crowds gathered in Mayow Park on 7th July 2013, many seeking shade from the sun. They cheered on the drivers in their remarkable machines, as they bravely competed to be the winner. Thank you to the Sydenham Arts Festival for creating such a fun event in Mayow Park!

Mayow Park hosts remarkable race

Imagine a unique scene: the 'Remarkable Race of 1913' took place on this day in Mayow Park, exactly 100 years ago, with the strangest vehicles you ever saw in your life. Here are some of the vehicles, looking splendid, a while before the race on 7th July 2013.

We have yellow lines ... well, soon ...

Kudos to FOMP Facebook group members George and Simon for their persistence in making the case to LB Lewisham for upgrading the middle-island crossing on Mayow Road, near Burghill Road to a full Zebra crossing.

This has long been a problem, especially with it being used as a parking up area for local mini-cab firm, which means sight lines are often obscured. With the redevelopment of the pavilion, before long many more people, especially children will be wanting to cross here, so we feel is very much should be a priority.

In response to these efforts, Lewisham Transport Policy & Development wrote July 4th:
Our traffic engineers have agreed to carry out an assessment of this location for an upgrade to a formal crossing. As part of a crossing assessment we need to carry out what is known as the PV2 test. This related to the ration of pedestrians seeking to cross at this location in relation to the number of vehicles passing. If the site does not meet the criteria a crossing cannot be installed. From the engineers site observations there a several points where pedestrians cross and if there was a controlled crossing then it is likely that this behaviour will continue. Once we have the results of the counts, if they meet the criteria, we can then pursue the design of a controlled crossing along with a road safety audit. If a viable scheme can be designed (sight lines etc will need to be considered) we will then seek funding for the work.

Cricket in Mayow Park

Last year cricket returned to Mayow Park, but this year it is getting into its swing, with two 'home' teams - Streatham and Marlborough Cricket Club and Caribbean Mix

entertaining cricket lovers, and providing the perfect accompaniment to an English afternoon in the park.

We get regular match reports from Streatham and Marlborough Cricket Club, with some interesting comments on the pitch, such as that it reminds one player of Sri Lanka..

Sunday 30 June 2013

FOMP General Meeting 9th July 2013

The next Friends of Mayow Park general meeting will be on Tuesday 9th July, starting  at 7pm and aiming for a prompt finish at 8.30pm. It will be held at Dacres wood Nature reserve Field Centre.

(The Centre is a single storey building located up driveway between Homefield House & Catling Close. Go through gates and turn left into building)

 We are particularly keen to invite regular park users to join us including dog walkers, sports groups, young people aged 16+, parents of young children and others.

For more information email:

Orchard watering volunteers June2013

The last posting on this blog was 24th May so it is about time for a new post.
The orchard trees are really looking well since the new arrangements for watering have been in place. There are 8 orchard volunteers; seven have one tree each to water and the remaining four trees are watered by the 8th volunteer.
This year and next, from around March to September/ October, each tree has 20 litres of water a week. Each volunteer has found a watering time and routine that suits them. Thank you to all the volunteers and their hard work.
One of the trees has been afflicted by aphids which have made the leaves curl and turn brown, so I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies and particularly their larvae. The larvae of all of these look more threatening than the adults! These photos came from the internet.
ladybird larva

Lacewing larva
hoverfly larva

Friday 24 May 2013

Pavilion works update 24th May - sewer damage

I received an email this afternoon from Martin Hyde (Lewisham Council) with an update about an unforeseen  significant problem with the foul sewer connection.  It is essential for this problem to be resolved so that waste water and sewerage systems can be installed.  Thames Water's contractor have surveyed the sewer in Mayow Road.  Martin's message says:

I have asked Glendale to make an application to Thames Water for them to survey the site and quote for a new foul sewer connection from the existing drain to the road. As soon as we have this information I can seek additional funding to enable this work . With regards to the building itself the damaged sewer has inevitably caused some delay. Works are continuing with the main roof, which will be repaired, and the roof over the new toilets which will be replaced. Unfortunately the dry rot was worse than we had hoped for. Once the plaster had been hacked off it was evident that door and window lintels in the left hand side of the building (as you look from the front) would need to be replaced and new windows and doors installed. These additional costs will have to covered. A new, upgraded, electrical supply will be installed at the end of next week, this will provide a separate metered supply to Grow Mayow; the pavilion and bowls buildings; and separate supply for the café space.

Saturday 30 March 2013

Gardening on 30th March 2013

A bit of a miserable Easter weekend with snow and hail and very cold but work was needed on the Triangle to sort out the path and remove weeds round plants.
Some of the logs marking the path boundary have disappeared in the past fortnight which is very sad. Do people who take them realise the logs were put in by volunteers giving up their own time? Something needed to be done to keep the path visible, so a small log from home and a few lengths of salvaged planks came to the rescue. They have  filled some, but not all, of the gaps and the planks are less attractive than logs but they serve a purpose, until such time as we get replacement logs.
In the larger plant bed, all the fruit plants were weeded and well-rotted wood chip placed round them. Some of our park users have already added  salad leaves round one of the fruit trees (see picture) , but they could only be seen when the unwanted plants were removed. Thank you to the unknown people who did this planting.
In the herb bed, some dandelions were removed and garlic chives were sown. This growing season we plan to have beans and brassicas growing among the herbs as well as callaloo. The callaloo did not do too well last year so hopefully they will be taller and stronger this year.
If you have any thoughts about what to grow in the herb bed this year, or if you have plants and seeds to spare which you think could grow in the Triangle, do get in touch.

Sunday 3 March 2013

2013: What we've done, what we're doing

FOMP's year begins ...

with an AGM, where volunteers are elected for the essential roles of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, (Alona, Sue & Hilary) and there are also brief formal reports. This year FOMP is looking for more volunteers for handle communications, sports liaison, co-ordinating volunteers working on the Pavilion triangle and orchard, events, and representing the interests of dog-walkers, young people and families.

At the AGM, held February 19th, Tim Lund volunteered for the communications role, while Alona undertook to continue her work on the Triangle and orchard. So that still leaves us looking for sporty, young eventful family-oriented dog-walkers - well, you understand - doesn't have to be just one person, in fact, the more the merrier!

Other news ... 

  • FOMP celebrates 20 years this spring, and a small celebration will mark the occasion. 
  • Mayow, Sydenham Wells and Home Park Parks, in three different wards (Perry Vale, Sydenham, and Bellingham) through their User Groups have set up a forum to share common concerns. There will be a three parks walk some time in June. 
  • 5th March 2013 will mark the long anticipated start of work - site set up, fencing, etc. - for the refurbishment of the pavilion, working closely with Iris to ensure minimal disruption to Grow Mayow. It is hoped to complete by end of June 2013, but damp rot in the building and stagnant water in the basement are possible risk factors. There would be weekly meetings with the contractors. 
  • There will be two cricket clubs using Mayow Park as a base - Streatham and Marlborough and Caribbean Mix - and provisional match dates have now been published. Caribbean Mix were also proposing a week long cricket event in the first week of September. Glendale are working on changing facilities for the period before the completion of the pavilion. 
  • Further sports activities planned are:
    •  Junior football – midweek Primary Years 3 and 4 
    • Midweek school use – Sports days 
    • Park Active – half-terms and summer holidays run by TeachSport (free activities) 
    • Park Run – Paul Harper was looking to encourage a weekly 5k run, currently held at Hilly Fields. The use of the cafe would help a lot with this,
    • a potential cycle event, and not forgetting
    • regular usage of the tennis courts and bowls green 
  • Sydenham Arts Festival - we look forward to again hosting an event as part of the Sydenham Arts Festival

The Way Forward for FOMP 

Those attending the meeting were asked to write down their thoughts on the following questions:
  • What do you think are the best features of Mayow Park?
  • What is disappointing about Mayow Park?
  • What do you see as the roles for Friends of Mayow Park?
  • What will encourage more people to become involved with FOMP?
We hope to publish the results of this survey in due course.