Sunday, 19 December 2021

fallen leaves

 It's that time of year when trees shed their leaves. The leaves turn brown and brittle.  In the park children have fun gathering piles of leaves then kicking them around.  
Let children enjoy this time and please send us your photos.
Park grounds staff  seem to fight a losing battle trying to clear the green spaces for the public to use, particularly the paths where leaves can be a slip hazard. It can keep the park keeper busy on a cold and misty Sunday morning as happened today.
The wonderful tall and majestic ancient oak tree guarding the cafe entrance to Mayow Park played a trick this weekend. It chose to drop all its remaining leaves almost overnight, blanketing the ground across  the park entrance and in front of the cafe. The sheer volume was quite a surprise. 
Not a problem for our park keeper. He took this in his stride and got to work to sweep the leaves off the public highway and into the bushes. Thank you for your effort. 

Sunday, 5 December 2021


 At our orchard maintenance sessions, volunteers could see that the scrub behind the orchard (mainly brambles and elder) was spreading too close to some of the orchard trees. This would affect the growth of our fruit trees in time, with brambles competing for soil nutrients.

Cutting back was the only way. We had our team of volunteers but the task was too overwhelming for us with our hand tools alone - secateurs and loppers.
Fortunately Glendale managers agreed. Glendale is the contracting company that manages the park on behalf of Lewisham Council; cutting back was on their schedule as part of Mayow Park green space maintenance tasks.
We were able to plan our volunteer session to tie in with a day when Glendale’s team was able to work on the task – Thursday 2nd December.
Volunteers at work

Working with hand tools

The nature conservation value for wildlife of the dense hedge of brambles was not forgotten, but this is a public park and there is a need to maximise the grass area available to park users while maintaining spaces for wildlife. Doing this work in winter is probably the safest time.
Our team of volunteers worked with basic hand tools in an area close to the hard standing, while the Glendale team brought a power hedge cutter for the toughest sections. In some parts the brambles were cut back by 3 metres. 
Glendale team get ready

 open space cleared

After cutting back, the area was cleared and the plant matter we had cut was taken away by Glendale for composting.
Cut vegetation removed for composting
That area looks more open and welcoming to park users now.
All photos credit D Budden

Raising the Green Flag in Mayow Park

 On Thursday 2nd December 2021, Mayow Park’s 2021-22 Green Flag was hoisted near the children’s playground. With thanks to the Glendale team (the contractors who look after the park on behalf of Lewisham Council), the Friends of Mayow Park and other park visitors were able to be present to watch this.
Hoist the flag

Group photo

Flag flying high
Lewisham now has more Green Flag parks and community green spaces than previously, so well done to everyone who put in time and effort.

What does the Green Flag denote?

Many Friends of Parks groups regard the Green Flag award criteria as a minimum standard that all parks should strive for.  Sometimes parks are judged in person by a team of experienced trained judges, with park managers/ contractors and members of the park Friends group present to answer questions. Sometimes a judge visits the park anonymously and without advance warning to check that standards are being met at all times and not only on judging day. 

Celebrating trees in Mayow Park



A cold northerly wind and drizzle which kept people at home rather than out and about in their local green space was not the best day to hold FOMP’s Tree Dressing in Mayow Park on 27th November 2021.

Despite that some brave volunteers came to put out tables with refreshments, paper leaves, colouring pencils, wax crayons and waterproof pens for writing messages in celebration of the wonderful trees in Mayow Park.

Our volunteers and activity tables

We set up beside one of the veteran boundary oaks so passers-by could see us and participate, to write and hang their comments around the tree for all to read. Below are just a few of the lovely messages.

I love trees

Love and care for trees

Plant more trees

Save all trees

Thank you for the air for us to breathe

May your stories travel far

Trees are important

It is based on many old customs from all over the world, celebrated at different times of the year. In England it has become an annual event during the Tree Council National Tree Week (end Nov and into December)
Back in 1990, the charity Common Ground  started this as an annual celebration.
Photo from Common Ground's website

Since then it has grown and provides a chance for communities to gather, to value and to celebrate our leafy friends. It is also a time to reflect on the social and cultural history of the local area and the role trees have played in shaping that story.
Trees have sustained us in many ways:
Food, shelter, medicine and the air we breathe
They have influenced our past and will do so into the future
They have a spiritual significance in many cultures

Celebrating Tree Dressing Day in Mayow Park is a wonderful way of saying 'thank you' and showing our appreciation of the trees where we live.