New investment from the Council

We are pleased to report that as part of Royal Greenwich’s £1million investment in parks across the Borough, we now have a new park name sign at Plum Lane.

New bins and benches are being installed during August and wildflower seed planting will take place during the Autumn.

The park has had so much more use over the past 20 months, and we are still seeing new faces all the time. As you might expect, there is more wear and tear on paths and grassed areas that needs attention, and we also want to introduce new facilities.

The management committee are keeping an eye out for funding opportunities and different ways of raising money to make our park even better.

If you have an idea for fundraising, please let us know – just email us! werfsp@gmail.com

new sign to Shrewsbury Park on Plum Lane

 

Using the park safely during the pandemic

You’ll be aware of the importance of social distancing in the park, tempting as it is to wander. We’d all like to be as carefree as the animals right now! But please obey the rules, and remind others who may forget.

We have received regulations, apologies and encouragement to pass on from the Royal Borough of Greenwich. This is a recap for your information.

  • All 2020 Parksfest events are cancelled – we had just begun to plan and book gigs.
  • The car park gates will be permanently open from 1 April due to budget cuts. I attended two meetings recently which included the Director and other council officers in Parks and Open Spaces and they will continue to monitor the effects of this action – one that many opposed. Thank you to everyone who answered the last minute call to challenge the consultation, that’s what got us the meeting. There are suggestions to appeal which we will follow up but everyone is currently dealing with priority issues.
  • Please have a look at the information below from Rob Goring of Park Dept.

And most of all, continue to appreciate the park. Although we can’t guarantee any walks or events in Shrewsbury Park for the near future, the ideas remain fresh and ready to go.

If you are doing your solitary exercise, listening to the birds and the buds popping open, and you see a photo opportunity or have some creative thoughts please send your pictures to us at werfsp@gmail.com and we’ll add them to a gallery here.

Best wishes for your safety and calm in the coming weeks. Nature is doing it’s best to keep us cheerful.

Kris and the Management Committee

 

From Rob Goring, Strategy and Development Manager of Parks and Open Spaces:

As of 25 March we will be temporarily closing all:

  • Park Playgrounds
  • Outdoor gyms
  • Park sports facilities

All park cafes should also be closing but some may remain open to provide takeaway services only.

Our parks will remain open to allow people to exercise once a day but people using our parks should social distance and keep at least 2 metres away from people outside their households.
No more than 2 people may gather in our parks and open spaces except where the gathering is of a group of people who live together – this means that a parent can, for example, take their children to the shops if there is no option to leave them at home.

Most parks office staff are remote working i.e. working from home and Grounds Maintenance staff and Park Rangers are not classified as key workers and therefore will not be attending work, in-line with government instructions. However, if possible we may have a couple of Rangers/Ranger Managers working each day to carry out checks in parks.

Our Cemeteries and Crematorium are open and operating as normal but again in line with government instructions people should social distance where possible and keep at least 2 metres away from people outside their households. In terms of people attending funeral services it is advised that only members of the immediate family should attend.

BAT WALK- Friday 27th August – starts 8.30pm

Gather next to the notice board by the Plum Lane car park.           After a short intro Les Clark will lead us through the woods and glades where the bats hang out.                                                                           Bat detectors supplied. Thanks to the Lottery Grant last year we have 3 more of our own. And these are available for a week’s loan (see BATS under FLORA and FAUNA in the menu bar)

BOOKING ESSENTIAL! Use this link..

eventbrite.co.uk/e/bat-walk-shrewsbury-park-se18-tickets-166967758059

*Wear sturdy shoes and weather-appropriate clothing

*Children must be accompanied by an adult

*Walk lasts about 1 ½ hours and small torches are useful

*Dogs must be kept on a lead

*Please respect social distancing guidelines when walking with other individuals or groups, or wear a mask

If you have mobility issues or enquiries please contact us on werfsp@gmail.com and we will help you participate. The trail is a mix of paved path, gravel and grass.

IF IT RAINS, NEITHER THE BATS NOR US WILL BE OUT!

Iyengar Yoga In Action for Black Minds Matter

This Sunday 27 June at 10am by the large oak in the top field.  It’s not too late to sign up – or to drop by and make a donation if you wish on the day.

Participants contact Priscila Diniz on priscilasnbd@gmail.com

Registration on the day starts at 10am for 10.30 start.

Equipment: please bring your own yoga mat and belts. If possible bring two bricks. No sharing equipment.

A powerful speech on the subject will be read.

 

 

 

Help for thirsty creatures

Have you noticed any water bowls tucked into hedges or by trees when walking in the park since that midsummer heatwave?

Thanks to two loyal creature/critter supporters these provide some water in what can be a very dry environment. Hard to believe at the beginning of 2021 but now…

If you would like to help, take a bottle of water with you when you walk in case they are empty. Especially when the weather gets warmer. Please leave the stones are in to provide escape route for wildlife falling in the dish – frogs, insects etc)

THANK YOU!

HEDGEROW PROJECT – Part 2

Maybe you’ve noticed the two new  plantings of hedgerow saplings on Rowton Road bondary. These are thanks to a few hardy volunteers who just completed the project started in early December. We still had to abide by social distancing but there will be future opportunities for larger group efforts.

 

 

 

 

 

There are now nearly 300 saplings p;anted including: silver birch, downy birch, crab apple, dogwood, dog rose, hawthorn, goat willow, cherry, blackthorn, hazel and rowan.  We’ll have a Hedgerow ID Walk sometime in 2023!

Hedgerow vista – 3 patches

 

 

 

 

 

Look for the native daffodils growing alongside the patch in foreground.

 

The longterm plan is to keep them alive and thriving and then manage the size in a natural way. This is to provide habitat diversity and links to green spaces across Plum Lane where there is a new school orchard. Remaining saplings (free from Woodland Trust) will be donated to a greening project in progress on Herbert Road. The oak saplings are going to be used in a Plumcroft project hopefully this autumn.

 

DAWN CHORUS DAY – 2 May

Spring is truly blossoming now and birds are busy everywhere. Spend some time rediscovering the bird boxes along Dothill path and the various holes in trees.

National Dawn Chorus Day is Sunday 2 May and the RSPB has an excellent ID guide to birdsong (for 20 species) for you to learn before then; or any morning you’re up at dawn…

So open your windows wide or scamper over to the Park at 5.30am on or around May the 2nd for a real treat. You may even see bats returning to roost.

BIrd song identification

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-songs/what-bird-is-that/

RSPB site for Dawn Chorus facts

https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/events-dates-and-inspiration/events/dawn-chorus/

Should be a lot on Twitter too……

 

2020 AGM

Our plans for this year’s AGM have been scuppered so we are just going to update you on news of the park and leave the Management Committee the same for now: Sandra Bauer, Paul Buckley, Alan Deacon, Kris Inglis, Sonja O’Sullivan, Ron Senkus, Irene Telfer and Iris White. If you would like to join the committee and get more involved, there is a link to use later in this email. New members are always welcome.

Arising from the 2019 AGM:

  • Fundraising from grants has gone quiet (for permanent iron site signage, path maintenance of Dothill etc.) If anyone would like to help with grant applications please contact us!
  • Path maintenance from the carpark was carried out this month. It’s a good job and when I enquired I was told that plans to continue the upgrade (at least patching holes) around and down the hill were in the works
  • Take-litter-home signage supplied by RBG went up just as the committee was about to make more of our own in early lockdown
  • Mowing and major path clearing schedule confirmed with Parks and Open Spaces in July
  • Hedgerow project going ahead – in safe form – starting 12 December. Details to follow
  • Plumcroft School Orchard progressing, with guidance and support of RBG. Lots of work done by Tamasin and her team in preparation for December (tbc)

 

Summary of past year…

We held a successful 2019 Quiz night with Shrewsbury House in November that proved a fun time and a good fundraiser. A member alerted us to the Celebrate National Lottery 25 Grant and turned the application around to meet the deadline. This gave us £775 for wildlife monitoring equipment, a decision based on last year’s AGM discussion of habitats. We have materials for hedgehog surveying, a nature cam and two bat detectors so far and look forward to working parties being able to carry out investigations. Many thanks to Les for all his efforts on this application.

 

After cancelling the March Bird Walk it became clear that every visit to the park would have to be self-directed for the foreseeable future. No Summer Festival, just walks for exercise, play, reflection and running around madly became the main focus. Thank you to everyone who continued to encourage social distancing, responsible picnicking and considerate dog walking during the most stressful times. Many people discovered the pleasure of this open space and experienced the natural world on our doorstep.

 

Have you seen the video showcasing FSP and the park?    Or taken a turn on the swing that appeared in April?

 

Thankyous

We’ve had help with habitat management this summer. One was a survey done by Joe Beale, local environmentalist, who walked the park with a few members to identify habitat diversity and make suggestions as to how we can appropriately support and manage the space.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich Parks and Open Spaces were very cooperative when approached with FSP meadow care concerns: when they met myself and Les Clark they had already mapped out the next two years’ mowing from the same environmental criteria. There is a lot of expertise and experience we can draw on in P and OS.

Thanks to Michelle for providing several months of hedgehog news and guidance posted on the website. And to Les and Liz for establishing watering stations for wildlife throughout the summer and now. Thanks also to Sandra for providing the impetus and editing of the above mentioned video. And thanks to Anthony Hurren who shared his lockdown nature video and won the cover place on the 2021 calendar.

The Lockdown Gallery on the website started in March was a huge success – thanks for kicking it off, John! And of course this fed naturally into the 2021 calendar with voting online that went surprisingly well.  The sale of the 2021 calendar was very successful and thanks for  spreading the resulting product far and wide. The price increased to £6.50 this year and we sold about half in just one of those glorious weekends in the park in July. Results in the Treasurer’s report    THERE ARE STILL 3 LEFT!  Contact werfsp@gmail.com to get one.

May the new year bring more activities back to the park and keep all those positive ones that you’ve discovered in 2020.  Feel free to send any suggestions or concerns via the email address.

See you in the Park

Kris Inglis, Chair

Formed in 2006, the Friends of Shrewsbury Park encourage the use of Shrewsbury Park and support the development of facilities for recreation, education and amenities for local people and to encourage a sense of community around the park.