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.
Parks-Our Shared Heritage.
Parks-Our Shared Heritage.
This is an exciting new collaboration between The Royal Parks, the Office of Public Works and the Hearsum Collection. It will reveal many of the wonderful stories of these parks and show how they have gradually evolved to meet ever changing needs.
A multimedia exploration of the rich and previously hidden heritage of these unique parks, from their creation as Royal hunting grounds to the much loved public parks we see today.
This is the current exhibition in the Main Gallery at the Mall Galleries from 27th July to 11th August, 10 am to 5 pm.
More details here
A Reminiscence Meeting was held in the Wildlife Centre on 5 June 2017. Some of the memories are noted below. More memories are posted under the History Group.
1. Just after the war - came as children to play in the park or be brought for walks - to feed the ducks - ordinary ducks as special ones had not been introduced. There was only one place to feed the ducks - by the railings at the north end of the pond. There were no railings round the other sides but notices saying keep off the grass, which people respected. In the 1930s the nannies would bring their children to that spot so they could chat to each other while the children played. There were no squirrels but one person remembered squirrels though when they came into the Park could not be established..
2. There were just two spaces where you could go to see the deer.
3. The Park Keeper kept peacocks in his garden behind his house by the Blackheath gate
4. Valerie remembered the rock garden going in. Initially there were no ponds or water falls
5. Park Keepers wore gaiters - shiny black. They were referred to as ‘Parkies’. The ladies remembered the park keepers coming round in the evening from one gate to the next - always in the same order – ringing a bell and saying “All Out” - you could hear it everywhere. The Park Keepers were intimidating.
6. They remembered two tramps who might have lived in the Park - they had a pram and sometimes the man would push the woman in it. They also went to Eltham Golf Club. Did they sleep at the bottom of the Park near Maze Hill??
7. They remembered that lots of children went to the park on their own taking baby siblings with them. Bottles for the babies and sandwiches for the children so they were in the Park for most of the day. There was one story of being molested in the Park but that didn’t seem very prevalent and it was obviously thought safe for children to be alone.
8. There was a board at the entrances with all the park regulations.
9. In 1950s there were still some bomb sites.
10. In the 1970s the rose garden was flowering - no-one had any recollection of there being a defined rose garden before that. They could remember the two trees, the cedar tree, now blown down and the beech tree, still there but held together wires and with some of the heavy side limbs removed
Summer Holiday Family Activities in Greenwich Park
The Field Studies Council will be running a Summer Club on Tuesdays in August.
Join them for outdoor activities for pre-school age children and separate outdoor activities for children age 5-11.
Explore, Discover, Play and Create in the amazing Park surroundings. Activities will change every session and may depend on the weather and the group.
Morning and afternoon sessions. See diary entries for more details.
Places must be booked in advance at http://www.field-studies-council.org/centres/londonregion/london/learn/families.aspx
Bandstand Concert on 2nd July
The Friends of Greenwich Park are organising and paying for a full programme of Sunday afternoon concerts at the Greenwich Park bandstand throughout July and August.
Concerts are free and start at 3 o'clock.
Click here. to see Silver Ghosts on 2nd July
Sunday 23 July: Crystal Palace Band
Sunday 30 July: Lewisham Concert Band
Sunday 6 August: Lambeth Wind Orchestra
Sunday 13 August: South London Jazz Orchestra & Live Band Lindy
Sunday 20 August: Galaxy Big Band
Sunday 27 August: Greenwich Concert Band
Monday 28 August: Mardi Gras Jazz Band
The Flower Garden will be closed from the 10th to the 14th July 2017 for Surface Dressing of the footpaths.
The decision to close the flower garden during this operation is based on experiences earlier this year when tarmac was laid in the flower garden. Despite placing large signs at all the entrance gates and placing stewards along the route of the works asking people to avoid the works area, some people ignored both by walking and running between the machines as they worked. This was very stressful for the people carrying out the work and delayed the operation by at least a day.
The reason for doing this work at this time of the year is explained below:
The work is not undertaken in the winter months because the ground temperature would be too cold for the bitumen to bond with the surface and chippings sufficiently. As the bitumen hits the cold surface it would harden too quickly before the chippings have time to bed in sufficiently and they would just strip away leaving very few in place – hence the reason for most surface dressing failures are when they have been laid in wet or cold conditions. The operation needs warm temperatures to allow the bitumen and stone chippings to bond effectively.
Greenwich Park Birdwalk Sunday 11 June 2017 by Julia Hollan
There was a slight early morning chill and a fairly strong gusty wind. It was a little overcast but the day was forecast to be fine. I did a quick walk around the cricket green and into the rose garden where I could hear and occasionally see the numerous Wrens in the bushes making their presence known, also there were some Robins flitting about in the bushes. On the tree-lined path north of the tennis courts, a male Chaffinch was in fine voice singing high up in a tree. As I walked back towards the Blackheath gate, on the cricket green were Wood and feral Pigeons along with a Mistle Thrush standing tall and hopping about in its quest for worms. Whilst waiting at the Blackheath gate I was serenaded by a Blackbird and some feral Pigeons cooing.
I started the walk by going through the lake area and the usual carrion Crows, Jackdaws, Magpies and feral Pigeons were present in large numbers. Also spotted were a number of Blue Tits and Robins flitting about. The Parakeets were brash and noisy as they flew around the trees. The lovely song of a Blackcap was heard in the bushes, hard to spot at first but then I saw him sitting on a branch overlooking the lake. On the lake, male and female Mallards, red crested Pochards, Coots and Moorhens. A white Goose was also sitting in the middle of the lake. Around the Deer enclosure, the Deer were very close by with a stag and his group of female Fallow Deer feeding from the trough. The Red Deer stag wandered by, soon followed by his group of female Red Deer. As I stood there for a little while I could hear a Blackcap, Great Tits, Blue Tits and Wood & feral Pigeons. On into the flower garden and the distant drumming of woodpecker was heard briefly. Blue Tits were feeding on seeds in the pine trees. Wrens were heard in abundance throughout the park and as I exiting the flower garden I was treated to a close encounter with a flock of Long Tailed Tits low down in the shrub border and trees and a male Chaffinch singing away high up in a tree by the gate.
I walked through to the observatory gardens, by this time it was getting quite warm and sunny and the birds were very quiet compared to earlier in the morning in the top half of the park. Apart from the odd peep,peep of the Blue Tits I didn’t observe any birds. Walking back through the Rose Garden, the Wrens and Robins were still around. On the last bit of the walk through the dry garden behind the toilet block another male Chaffinch, another gang of Long Tailed Tits and Blackbirds were all heard and seen. Lastly to finish the walk, the wonderfully joyful and aerobatic Swifts were flying and screeching high overhead to signal the summer has (hopefully) arrived.
(22 species seen/heard)
Queens Orchard in Open Gardens Festival
The Queens Orchard will be open on 24th and 25th June, from 2pm to 5pm as part of the Open Gardens Festival.
Full details of the Open Gardens Festival are found here.
Jazz in the Park
Bring a picnic to the Jazz tomorrow
The Friend’s annual Midsummer Jazz Concert has become one of the highlights of our year in the Park. Once again it will feature the Phoenix Dixieland Jazz Band, who will be supported by the talented local youngsters of the Greenwich Steel Band. This is an event for the whole family, held in the Observatory Gardens.
Gardens open from 12.00 pm on Sunday 18 June, concert starts at 12.30pm and finishes at 3.30 pm.
Our sponsors, Davy's of Greenwich, will run a bar, and the Park's Pavilion Cafe will have a stall selling food, ice cream and soft drinks.
Adults £7 on the gate, under 16 free.
Tickets are non-refundable if the event is cancelled due to bad weather.
Bike Week 2017
Cyclists will be able to get a free bike ‘MOT’ and police security marking, and hear more about how the parks are encouraging safe and considerate cycling. The Royal Parks is hosting Bike Week 2017 across London’s Royal Parks.
The team will be available at the following locations:
Kensington Gardens (The Broad Walk), Monday 12 June, 4pm - 7pm
The Regent’s Park (The Slips, south east of Macclesfield Bridge), Tuesday 13 June, 4pm - 7pm
Brompton Cemetery (The Great Circle near the Chapel), Wednesday 14 June, 4pm - 7pm
Greenwich Park (Great Cross Avenue), Thursday 15 June, 4pm - 7pm
Hyde Park (Broad Walk by the Achilles statue), Friday 16 June, 4pm - 7pm
Richmond Park (Roehampton Gate near Roehampton Gate cafe), Saturday 17 June , 10am – 3.30pm
The Royal Parks’ Bike Week activities are part of a wider project to improve cycling across the parks.
improvements to a range of junctions, entrances and exits to the parks to make them safer for all users including cyclists;
continued work with Transport for London and the Mayor’s Office on the development of the Cycle Superhighway to make it as safe as possible for cyclists; and
the development of behavioural change initiatives to encourage all park users to be considerate to each other including improved signage and information.
Read more about cycling in The Royal Parks here.