Cherries for our orchard

We have now added two cherry trees to our orchard and look forward to seeing how they blossom and grow.

The trees were donated to FOCM by a family wishing to remember their mother who used to live in Grove Park, in fact, she lived right by the park in Amblecote  Road when she was young! Maybe some of you even remember the Jackson family?

The family have also purchased a plaque which will be attached to the tree and reads as follows;

In loving memory of Barbara Rivers (nee Jackson)

The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The song of the birds for mirth,

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth


Below is a photo of Barbara Jackson as she was aged seven.

First flood of the season

The rain has come and quickly changed the look of the Quaggy as it flows through the park

A number of the paths are flooded too which means that boots are the best option for walks. For those that use the park as a route from Mayeswood Road to Grove Park it is best to use the path that goes along by the railway line as this is passable at the moment. However if there is much more rain this path will be under water too so keep a look out!

At the moment the park is doing its job as a flood catchment area, protecting housing downstream, and the water quickly recedes after rain but I am sure some local residents will be watching anxiously as floods seem to be increasing year on year.

Updated COVID-19 Guidance

Use of our parks – latest guidance July 2020

It is great to see people continuing to use our park in this difficult time and now we can use this wonderful space to meet up with others outside our household but I want to draw your attention to the latest government guidance.

You should only meet people you do not live with in 3 types of groups:

  • you can continue to meet in any outdoor space in a group of up to 6 people from different households
  • single adult households – in other words adults who live alone or with dependent children only – can continue to form an exclusive ‘support bubble’ with one other household
  • you can also meet in a group of 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household), in any location ‒ public or private, indoors or outdoors. This does not need to be the same household each time.
  • but you should maintain social distancing at all times with people who are not in your household or support bubble

Please find more comprehensive guidance below

You will see that the playgrounds and fitness equipment areas are open again but please be mindful of how you use the equipment, avoiding them if the area is already really busy. Always cleanse and wash your hands frequently to help keep yourselves and others safe.

Our toilets are open at weekends and on Thursdays when the park ranger is onsite ensuring they are kept clean for those that need them.

I would like to add a strong plea that people take home rubbish from the park if they can to dispose of or recycle. Lewisham parks have been suffering from mountains of litter with increased use of the parks. Glendale, our parks management team, are doing their best but there are such increased loads it is hard to keep everything clear.

Our cafe is open for take away and Glen sets up a couple of tables on the grass each so that small groups can sit in comfort at a good distance.



COVID 19 Information

I am attaching here the latest information that was sent through from Glendale Parks Management Team on 16th April

Covid-19 – Parks and Green Spaces Guidance

The Coronavirus has put increased pressure on our parks and green spaces and on those managing them. Across London facilities in parks have been closed (playgrounds, outdoor gyms, public toilets, cafes etc.) and events and activities cancelled, to help curb the spread of Covid-19. We want to strongly encourage appropriate use of parks, within government guidelines, to assist land managers and to help keep our parks open. Hence we are working with land managers, the GLA and London Councils to provide consistent and current guidance and messaging around the use of parks, especially ahead of the Easter break. If you have not already closed your car parks we strongly advise that you do so to discourage people travelling further than their local parks. We recommend the following guidance for park users:

  • Do not visit a park if you have any Symptoms – fever, coughs, shortness of breath or are self-isolating (see NHS guidelines, link below)
  • Stay local and use parks and green spaces close to your home
  • Only go outside alone or with members of your own household
  • Parks should be used for daily exercise or essential travel only. Team sports, social activities (e.g. picnics, play dates etc.) and sunbathing should not be taking place
  • Keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times:

o   Use all areas of the park, spread out and keep moving

o   If the park is crowded, do not enter if you cannot safely stay at a distance from others, consider exercising in quieter, less-used streets.

  • Gatherings of more than two people in parks or other public spaces have been banned. The Met Police and local authorities and are out in parks urging Londoners to follow this
  • Only use park benches if you need to rest briefly
  • Make use of your garden if you have one to help reduce visits to parks and green spaces, people without gardens may rely on parks more
  • Keep your dog on a lead, at all times, in public spaces to ensure you can safely keep 2 metres away from others
  • Take litter and dog mess home with you
  • Follow hygiene advice when you are outside, avoid touching surfaces and wash your hands as soon as you are back home
  • Do not use areas of the park that have been closed such as play areas – these are closed to stop the possible spread of COVID-19 through touching surfaces and keeping a safe distance from others.

Useful links for further advice:

Advice provided by the Mayor of London

Apple Day – all the usual ingredients and something new

A few photos from our Apple Day this year.


This year we had some “Wild Weavings” on display. In previous years the seniors from W. G. Grace Centre have provided knitted strips for weaving into the tree guards but this year we took it further. As part of Lewisham’s Creative Ageing Festival “Age Against the Machine” we were able to work with artist Shane Waltener to produce these wonderful baskets. We also created a fun apple run, making the re-purposed knitted strips into a long tube to chase apples along.


This event is run by a great partnership – Friends of Chinbrook Meadows, ChART Big Local and the Chinbrook Community Orchard and we are very grateful to all the volunteers who give up time to help run the event.


Apple Day 2019

This year’s Apple Day is on Saturday 5th October 1.30- 4pm.

We will have apple tasting, apple pressing, apple bobbing, apple and spoon races and more with live music and free refreshments.  The demonstration bee hive will be there and a chance for a scavenger hunt too. We are supported by our neighbouring community orchard group from the Chinbrook allotments and we are grateful to ChART who help us organise and fund the event. This year we have teamed up with Shane Waltener, weaver sculptor as part of Lewisham’s Festival of Creative Ageing – Age against the Machine.


Seniors from W.G. Grace Centre, who have contributed to our Apple Day in past years by knitting for our tree decorations, have this year been helping create for our “Wild Weavings” installation which will be on site on Apple Day. You will have a chance to have a go and also join our knitting circle

Chinbrook Work Days

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


Get fit and help your park

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.

A Fruitful Partnership

Grove Park has two wonderful community orchards and FOCM and Chinbrook Meadows Horticultural Society have joined together on several occasions to celebrate our trees.                     james grieve 2016

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.