Monday, 19 September 2016

Green Flag raised 19 September 2016

We learned back in July that Mayow Park was one of a number of Lewisham parks awarded another Green Flag. The judges  visited a few months earlier, inspected the park, spoke to park users as well as Glendale and Lewisham officers. They had to judge against the following criteria:

  • A welcoming place
  • Healthy, safe and secure
  • Clean and well maintained
  • Conservation and heritage
  • Sustainable management
  • Community involvement
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Management and future plans
Thinking about those criteria, the onus is not just on Glendale, the contractors,  to manage the park to a satisfactory level according to their contract with Lewisham Council's Greenscene department but also for them to engage with the community. It is also up to the park-using community to show how we care about the park and are willing to make efforts to make it the friendly place it is. The list of different groups that use the park is long so apologies for missing any group:
  • families with young children
  • people who visit the Cafe 
  • Grow Mayow visitors
  • young people who use the park to meet friends
  • adults using the park for relaxation and socialisation
  • tennis players
  • fitness enthusiasts
  • dog walkers
  • people who choose to walk through the park rather than along roads
  • children's football clubs
  • cricket players
  • wildlife enthusiasts (invertebrates, birds, bats, trees and plants come to mind)

Today, Monday 19th September 2016, was the day the new Green Flag was raised by Glendale officers and staff. Steve, (the maintenance man as he is affectionately known), prepared the new flag and hoisted it, assisted by Chris Thompson and Darren Budden with some of the Friends of Mayow Park  present.

Steve checks the pole is steady
Steve balances on his step ladder to lower the old flag
New flag unfurled 
                                                   Steve carefully attaches new flag    
Chris makes sure the correct flag is being raised
Job done and Steve packs away his step ladder
     Mayow Park  has many regular users who care about the park. Thank you everyone who puts in the effort to make it such a welcoming green space.              

Friday, 16 September 2016

Bat walk on 16th September 2016

The day began with heavy rain and remained damp so there was no certainty the bat walk would go ahead.  Our last bat walk in April was washed out, although everyone enjoyed walking through the park in the rain after dark, so we all wanted to see bats this time. Luckily, by 6 o'clock it was clear the rain clouds were blowing away though the sky remained cloudy.

We met up near the pavilion at 7.15 pm,  had a brief introduction to the bats of Britain, a summary of our route through the park and a reminder of any potential hazards.
The event was led by Dr Iain Boulton.  Iain showed us how to use the bat detectors and off we went.

First stop was the 'balcony' overlooking the bowls green and our bat detectors detected bat activity. As our eyes got used to the dark of the trees and the lighter background of the sky we could see the fast flitting of the bats. Better still was when we moved past the bowls green to the space between the green and the tennis courts. With trees along the back of the Bishopsthorpe gardens behind us, the hedge of the bowls green to our right and a number of older trees around, we saw a number of bat silhouettes sweeping against the night sky. According to the bat detectors, we were watching pipistrelle bats.

Moving on along the path between the orchard and tennis courts we could hear more bat activity and saw some bats flying around above the orchard.

These amazing flying mammals have to work hard now to fatten up before they go into hibernation mode for the winter. And where will they hibernate? The old trees in and around Mayow Park have many hollows and some of these are small enough for bats to roost safely away from disturbance from other tree animals in the park. some of the houses nearby may also provide a suitable habitat under the roof tiles.

Reviewing the evening, Iain guessed that we saw around 5 or 6 pipistrelle bats but it would have seemed more because they swirled to and fro.
There were 27 people in total including 7 younger children.
Iain is looking forward to 2017 and has promised another walk next spring. Thank you Iain for helping us to appreciate some of the wildlife of Mayow Park.