Chair’s Annual Report 2019

Annual report 7.11.19.
Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks

Regular activities
Monthly clear ups. This year we have continued our monthly clear up/work sessions on the first Saturday mornings of the month except in August when we took a break. We continue to attract new members of all ages with a record 24 people attending our September clear-up day.
Bi-monthly meetings Attendances continue to be small at times. These have continued at Gulle’s house – our thanks to her once again. Members have also at various times attended meetings of Greenwich Parks Forum.
We’ve continued to report issues of fly-tipping, and damage to the parks as and when they occur.

Specific Issues
Trees – Several trees and tree limbs were lost over the year. Concern has again been raised about trees rotting off at the base and falling over because they are weighed down by ivy. Thanks to those who have used our clearance and projects days to tackle ivy encroachments.
50 small trees were planted on Saturday December 1st 2018 as part of the Mayor of London’s project for a Greener City. This attracted some people who do not usually attend clear-ups and some from farther afield. Unfortunately, protecting the trees from the mower has been difficult but a few do remain in more wooded areas. One guerrilla planted Horse Chestnut has appeared in the field at the top of Thorntree road.
Mowing – Schedules seem to have been muddled this year with some areas of Maryon Wilson not being mown well into the year until complaints were made by our group. Other areas such as the field at the top of Thorntree road were mown rather more than necessary and Gilbert’s pit was cleared more than anticipated but has since been well maintained with an open area and small groups of trees.
Website – Jason has completed the transfer of our website to a new WordPress format. Our Facebook page FriendsofMaryon and MaryonWilson Parks is regularly updated and attracting good responses

Parks’ facilities
A Green Flag was again awarded for Maryon Park for the current year. The facilities have been used for free tennis lessons and also school sports events and some games lessons, about which some clarity was sought following use for javelin throwing.
Animal Park – The netted aviary is to stay in place as bird health has improved now that pigeons etc are excluded. Several new birds (Turkeys and Guinea Fowl) have been purchased. Following the success of Peet’s bid for Neighbourhood Growth funding new hardstanding for visitor areas has improved visitor experience and 2 new Kuni Kuni pigs have been purchased, which have proved very popular.
Open and community days – we supported 2 events in our parks this year – one in Maryon Wilson 18th May organised by Charlton Riding for the Disabled at which we had a stall. The event was well attended.
For the third year we joined with members of the Charlton Parkside hub and St Thomas’ Church to organise a Community Picnic on 30th June, which was also well attended. As well as our usual stall a tree walk was provided for those interested, plus a display of old photos of both the parks and tree-leaf identification/colouring sheets for children.
Community Garden – another busy and successful year with a range of projects completed and in hand.

Parks projects
The Triangle in Maryon Wilson. Work has been carried out over several months on clearance/project days to remove the collapsed palisade fence which was removed to a location nearby as an insect ‘hotel’. Potentilla shrubs were purchased by the friends and planted in the spring as a flowering border and have become well established.
The stream in Maryon Wilson – daylighting of this watercourse next to the deer pen has been generally successful in minimising flooding of the pathway, after minor teething problems when the pipe under the path became blocked. The stream has proved popular with small children. Thanks to Owen Davies of RBG Highways for carrying out this work and to Richard Gregory for the railings and maintaining the flow through the pipe under the path.
Playground in Maryon Park The playground continues to be well used – so much so that one of the springies has already had to be replaced. After encouragement to bid for Lovells Community Fund money it proved totally inadequate for our bid and it was refused. The sub-group are now looking at alternative grants for improving the current facilities.

Council Parks, Estates and Open Spaces strategy
The derelict toilet block in Maryon Wilson – the council’s survey indicated that the building could be repaired and made into a café at a cost of about £135,000 (costings February 2017). An application for funding towards this was unsuccessful. This area will be used temporarily for the storage of animal manure etc pending construction of a new area in the Deer Pen close to Thorntree road.

The coming year
Local redevelopment – Issues may arise from the work that will be carried out by Lovells from December of this year to demolish and then rebuild the Morris Walk estate as hoarding will run immediately adjacent to the Maryon Park railings in Maryon Road. An urgent issue is the blocking of the emergency exit turnstile. This has been raised with Councillor Fahy and the Parks, Estates and Open Spaces department. There has been no response as yet, but we will be pressing for the relocation of this gate as a priority.
Grants – Opportunities exist for a small grant to improve Maryon Park playground – ideas are to refurbish some of the equipment and add/replace some benches.
Young Friends of The Parks – the council are keen to engage local schools with young friends’ projects. We look forward to working with any new groups that may emerge.

Thanks go to all involved in work throughout the year and in particular to Steve and Gulle as Secretary and Treasurer respectively and all members of the committee.

We would welcome new committee members especially – no regular meetings, just occasional email communication on matters between our two-monthly meetings. Open meetings could be reduced to 2 or 3 a year if we have an active committee. Ideas welcome.


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