To keep our members informed about latest news and events we update this website frequently. News item headlines are listed in order of publication - most recent on top. Click the headline to see the full item.
Members also receive the Friends Newsletter, printed and sent out (or delivered - by Friends volunteers) 3 times a year. It presents the most relevant news items as well as details of forthcoming events. The front page of the most recent edition is on this website under Newsletter.
Bird Watching for Beginners-But Experts welcome.
Bird Watching for Beginners-But Experts welcome.
The Friends are pleased to announce that Julia Holland has offered to lead the Sunday Morning Bird Walks. They will start at 8.30am and she will help the guests to identify the birds that are seen or heard. Next walk on 24th November.
Dates will be publicised by poster and on the Friends of Greenwich Park website.
There are no charges and booking is not required: just turn up at the Blackheath Gate. If at all possible, please bring along binoculars because this will improve your experience enormously.
UEFA EURO 2020 Fanzone
Public Consultation Session on Monday 18 November 2pm – 8pm.
Local Residents in the areas surrounding Greenwich Park have been sent a letter from the GLA with more information about the event and inviting them to a further consultation drop-in session on 18 November from 2pm to 8pm. A wider catchment area has been covered than previously. This time the session will take place in The Dreadnought Building, the Greenwich Students’ Union building which is situated in the Greenwich University campus to the southwest of the Old Royal Naval College site. Representatives from the GLA and Loudsound, the company contracted to manage the event, and other representatives will be on hand to deal with specific queries. Do attend if you are interested.
UEFA EURO 2020 Fan Zone
You will have seen the item in the last newsletter about the GLA proposal for a EURO 2020 Fan Zone in the Park next summer. This referred you to the Friends’ website to see a letter from the GLA about this, sent to local residents in streets close to Greenwich Park with a brief explanation about the event and inviting them to consultation sessions to learn more about it. In short it explained that the Queen’s Field would be used as a Fan Zone for the whole of June and July for screening England home game matches; and for holding community events on a number of non match screening days. We understand that the match screening would take place on 7 to 14 days, depending on the home teams’ progress, with an audience on each of these days of 30,000 allocated free tickets by ballot. The letter had very limited circulation so many residents in SE10 and SE3 still may have not yet heard about the event.
The Friends and the other local societies are actively involved in discussions with the GLA and the event organising body to seek greater clarification of what this will involve, while making clear their concerns and objections. We shall be communicating our own concerns on behalf of the Friends about many aspects of the proposal and will keep you updated on this.
On 11 September 2019, we wrote this letter to Loyd Grossman, Chairman of The Royal Parks Board.
On 13 September 2019, we received this reply
Volunteers discover underground WW2 bunker and model soldier in Greenwich Park community dig
A community archaeology dig has uncovered an intact World War 2 air-raid shelter in Greenwich Park, containing a toy soldier made of lead, announced The Royal Parks charity today. The team of 26 volunteers, led by expert archaeologist Graham Keevil, discovered the air-raid shelter in front of the Queen’s House during a week-long dig to find out more about the important role Greenwich Park played during the war. Most of the lower ground in front of the National Maritime Museum was given over to Dig for Victory allotments during the war, and experts knew there were three air-raid shelters in the park, capable of holding around 500 people. The location of the shelters was visible on several aerial photographs, and even from ground level in very dry weather. But it was believed that the shelters had been demolished after the war, and that the marks were simply from the backfilled trenches. After carefully excavating the earth, volunteers uncovered the prefabricated concrete walls, posts and ceiling beams of the main shelter, revealing the structure to be in almost pristine condition. All that was missing was the roof, which is believed to have been removed so that the long concrete-lined trenches could be backfilled after they were no longer needed.
Graham Keevill, Greenwich Park’s archaeologist, said: “The dedication and determination of our great team of local volunteers was brilliant, and all credit to them for learning the skills needed to be an archaeologist so quickly. Best of all, they had the amazing experience of finding the main air-raid shelter. It was incredible to see how well-preserved everything was - and to be the first people to see inside it for 70 years! The discovery is extremely important, not only locally but also nationally, as so many relics of the war have been lost since 1945. It has been exciting and a privilege for us all to reveal the shelter. But everyone’s favourite find was made almost at the end of our last day: a lead toy soldier, probably from the Second World War, was found in the air-raid shelter. We can’t help but wonder who lost it.”
The team also found several prehistoric flint tools, a few pieces of Roman pottery, and a larger amount of medieval pottery.
Helen Wallis, Greenwich Park’s Partnerships and Community Engagement Officer, said: “We’ve worked with a dedicated team of local volunteers and in just one week we’ve uncovered this incredible heritage – we can only imagine what other stories from the past are hidden, waiting to be explored. We’re partnering with experts and heritage organisations to map out the history of Greenwich Park, both underground and over land, working closely with the community to discover the untold stories of their local park”.
The community dig supports The Royal Parks’ bid to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for a multi-million-pound proposal called “Greenwich Park Revealed”. One of the aims of the project is to uncover the park’s hidden history and encourage people to explore lesser-known attractions in the park.
Latest news from The Royal Parks
"The Royal Parks was asked by the government and the GLA to look at the possibility of creating a Fan Zone to screen key Euro 2020 matches in one of our parks. Having completed a site feasibility study and taking into account the major events and ceremonial occasions already taking place in the parks in June and July nest year, we can confirm that we will be hosting the screening in Greenwich Park (in the Queens Field?).” See here for more details. There are two dates when the details can be viewed. – Tues 23 July between 2pm and 9pm, and Wednesday 31 July, between 11am to 4 pm, at the Greenwich Forum on Trafalgar Road.
Also see here for more detail about this in a letter from the GLA to local residents.