We have carried out a variety of jobs each month so far this year to help conserve and improve the beauty of our park for all.
Our orchard gets attention several times a year, in February we gave it a winter prune with the help of our mentor, Alona, from the London Orchard Project
This month we managed to acquire some good logs for ChART‘s Nature Club Base Camp and moved them into position. We also cleared some overgrown paths through the brambles and did some litter picking.
Litter picking is always a popular task for children that join us, especially when it involves a paddle in the Quaggy
We are always keen for new volunteers to join us so come along please – sessions are usually held on the last Saturday of the month from 11-1.00.
Next one will be July 27th – no session in June as members will be attending the Marvels Lane Primary School Fair on 29th
The first of our monthly conservation/clean up sessions takes place this Saturday 26th January 11am.
Open to everyone but children need to be accompanied. We have the tools, you bring the people power! We do all sorts of tasks from weeding and cutting back to orchard care and litter picking.
Meet at the cafe at 11am or look out for our FOCM flag to find where we are working if you arrive a bit later. Come for the whole session 11-1pm or just drop in for a short time. We would love to see you there. If you can’t make it this time we will be back on the last Saturday of each month, same time, same place.
Grove Park has two wonderful community orchards and FOCM and Chinbrook Meadows Horticultural Society have joined together on several occasions to celebrate our trees.
ChART is the third partner in the team. They help with; funding, planning, volunteers, expertise and all-round support. In September we had our annual Apple Day in Chinbrook Meadows – it was a rather wet day but a popular event once more with lots of heritage apples to taste and smell, delicious freshly pressed apple juice, an environmental focused art session with Miyuki Kasahara, a scavenger hunt and (new for 2018!) the apple and spoon race. Music was provided by Aaron Horlock and Nick Goode and apple themed cakes from Carol at our park cafe to go with the cup of tea. Thanks to Di from the allotments, people loved watching the bees in the demonstration hive too. Photos by Monika Chilicka, Gold Lens Photography.
On Saturday 5th January 2019 we took our celebrations to the Chinbrook Community Orchard set within the allotments at the top of Marvels Lane. A great turn out on a chilly day with music and dancing provided by Fowlers Molly and Wassail songs by the Grove Park Singers
Children helped plant a new Cox’s Orange Pippin apple tree, they made crowns and shakers for our noisy procession through the orchard, guaranteed to “wake up” the trees from their winter slumbers. While we listened to the singers the children hung cider soaked bread in the trees to offer to the robins, guardians of the apple trees. With some warm soup to help us along we had a great afternoon in an idyllic, open-sky corner of Grove Park.
Who remembers last year’s Apple Day in Chinbrook Meadows? It will soon be time for this year’s event. Bring everyone you know it’ll be another great day in Chinbrook Meadows. See you there!
Fitness in the park
Jodie has been running fitness training sessions in our new outdoor gym and there are still a couple more chances to join in – Thursday 5th July 5pm and Friday 13th July 10am.
This is a great opportunity to try the equipment if you don’t really know what to do or improve your skills if you are already a keen gym user. Jodie is an excellent instructor with help for everyone, she has really helped me get back into action following a knee operation and I didn’t have much of a clue before I went along to join her sessions.
These sessions have been funded by ChART
Sunday 15th April – Sunday 13th May 10am
The autumn leaves have all blown away and Spring is here. Our outdoor gym is waiting for you! Whether you are completely new to gym exercise or want to improve your training, come along for some free advice from Jodie. These sessions will be running for the next 5 weeks, more to follow.
Sometimes it feels like this winter is never going to end, just when you think the sun is going to break through, down comes another bucket load of rain. However, in a few weeks the soggy stretches of grassland around the park will show signs of growth, featuring a variety of meadow flowers. Across the city there is a lot going on to increase the potential, schemes such as the new #wildflowersforlondoners which has been started by London National Park City, aims to nurture the rich diversity of our urban wildlife.
Cow parsley in 2016 and (right) riverside meadow 2014, Chinbrook Meadows
FOCM has been working on a small strip of meadow around the Peace Garden. We are trying to encourage a greater diversity of plants here. The first job was to clear some areas and rake over less thickly grassed sections so that we had bare earth to plant in. In Autumn 2017 we scattered some wildflower mix, suitable for clay soils (EM4), onto these prepared areas and raked the seeds in.
In March this year we bought some plug plants; ragged robin, meadowsweet, oxeye daisy and cowslip, and have added them to the cleared areas.
We will be watching carefully as the season progresses, hoping to see some new plants emerging to liven up this meadow.
In spring and summer, volunteers will work along the river bank-side as usual, clearing some of the nettles and brambles to allow other plants some air space. However we don’t want to eradicate them completely, as nettle is a haven for insect life too, seen here covered in Peacock butterfly caterpillars in the park last year.