Happy Christmas

Father Christmas arrives at Woodland Farm, pulled by Bob the pony
Father Christmas arrives at Woodland Farm, pulled by Bob the pony

This year’s Christmas card photo was taken at Woodlands Farm’s Christmas Fair a few weeks ago, and shows the arrival of Father Christmas in a carriage drawn by Bob the pony. Once again I’d like to combine my season’s greetings and best wishes for next year with those of the Friends of Eaglesfield Park.

Madeleine sent me the Friends’ card, which is included below, and has a brief update:

We have planted approx. 2,500 spring bulbs, but still need help with remainder in early January (hope not too late!).   Plans are in hand to clean pond and reduce lilies and thin water margins.   Keep up to date with our blog at http://eaglesfieldpark.org/

Happy Christmas and all the very best in 2016.


Friends of Eaglesfield Park Christmas Card 2015




Bulb planting this weekend

Crocuses in Eaglesfield Park
Crocuses in Eaglesfield Park

Both the Friends of Eaglesfield Park and the Friends of the Pet Cemetery are planting bulbs for the spring this weekend: Eaglesfield on Saturday and the Pet Cemetery on Sunday. Both would welcome help.

The Friends of Eaglesfield Park will be planting daffodils and native bluebells in the meadow around the lilly pond between 11.00am and 3.00pm on Saturday, 28th November. Madeleine wrote with details:

We will be meeting up at the pond on Saturday 28th November from 11.00am onwards to plant native bluebells and daffodils.  Weather permitting !
Can you help us ?  Whatever time you can spare would be greatly appreciated.  May we ask you to bring your own tools – e.g. spades/hand trowel/gloves and don’t forget the wellies.
The crocuses planted a couple of years ago now provide a great display and we  would now like to add native bluebells and daffodils in the meadow surrounding the pond.     We hope you agree they will provide beautiful spring colour, and enhance the tranquillity of this area of Eaglesfield Park.

The Parks and Open Spaces of the Royal Borough of Greenwich have kindly donated 2,000 native English Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) and 2,000 Daffodils (Narcissus pseudo narcissus) but, of course, they need to be planted!
Please join us.

The Friends are also planning maintenance of the pond itself, such as thinning out the lillies and other pond plants, working with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Froglife and Ponds UK (Aquatic Management Ltd).

Autumnal Eaglesfield
Autumnal Eaglesfield
The Pet Cemetery Charlton
The Pet Cemetery Charlton

If you’re not at the Climate Change March on Sunday the Pet Cemetery is well worth a visit – to see the amazing transformation the Friends of the Pet Cemetery have made to what was a neglected area just a couple of years ago, and to help them plant some bulbs. Jean Patrick, the Friends’ Secretary e-mailed:

On Sunday, we are holding a bulb planting session.  We have received generous donations of hundreds of bulbs that we would like to plant all in one go if possible.  If you are able to spare some time next Sunday, between 10am-3.30pm, we would be very grateful, even if you can only pop in for 30 minutes.  Please bring a trowel, gloves and kneeling mat if needed.

The Cemetery is looking really good: lots of colourful plants, donated by local people, Thompson’s Garden Centre and the Parks Department; a number of new bird and bug boxes; two new benches from the Royal Borough of Greenwich; and a memorial wall for plaques to commemorate deceased pets. The old concrete bench bases from around the trees have been removed and  the Shedders from Men in Sheds will soon be creating new circular seating to replace them, partially funded by a grant from Metropolitan Public Gardens Association.

The Friends are currently setting up their own web site: I’ll publicise the URL as soon as it’s ready.

Anyone who would like to have a plaque put on the memorial wall to remember a pet should contact either the Chair of the Friends, Liz McDermott on mcdermott_liz @hotmail.com or the Secretary Jean Patrick on jmp179@skye.com for prices and other details.

Memorial wall at the Pet Cemetery
Memorial wall at the Pet Cemetery
Memorial wall at the Pet Cemetery
Old gravestone at the Pet Cemetery

Park Weekend

Eaglesfield Park Sunday 27th Sept 2015

The weather for the weekend is forecast  to be “Fine and dry with settled conditions,” so a good weekend to get out into our local parks. Both Shrewsbury Park and Eaglesfield Park have community activities this weekend.

On Saturday the Friends of Shrewsbury Park are having one of their regular tidy-up sessions. Kathy wrote with details:

If you can spare an hour to help clean up the park by picking up rubbish and cutting back brambles, please meet this Saturday at 11am at the Garland Road entrance to Dothill.  Please bring your gardening gloves and secateurs.

Then on Sunday the Friends of Eaglesfield Park have things going on all day. In the morning they have one of their clean-up sessions at the lilly pond, assisted from 11.00am by Youth Volunteers from NCS (National Citizen Service), then after lunch another free Tai Chi session led by Tai Chi  teacher Chew-Yeen. Following the Tai Chi, Chew-Yeen has organised a “cake sharing” for a donation of £2 in support of MacMillan Cancer Nurses. We’ll need to bring our own flask of tea or coffee

The details are all on the Friends’ blog, but the key times are:

10.30 am  –                     Monthly pond and meadow tidy up and weeding.
11.00 am – 3.30 pm      Youth volunteers from NCS (National Citizen Service)  weeding and community survey.
1.00 – 2.00 pm              Tai Chi session.

Let’s hope the met office are right for once.

Hawthorn berries in Eaglesfield Park
Hawthorn berries in Eaglesfield Park

Free Tai Chi in Eaglesfield Park

Eaglesfield Park Tai Chi Poster

Following the successful Tai Chi session at Eaglesfield Park’s picnic last month the Friends of Eaglesfield Park have arranged two more Tai Chi sessions, the first tomorrow (Sunday 23rd August) at 2.00pm. Madeleine from the Friends wrote with details:

Following a wonderful Tai Chi session held as part of the Parksfest event on 12th July and the requests of local residents, Chew-Yeen has very kindly offered to come back to Eaglesfield Park to run 2 free classes for anyone to join in. Chew-Yeen  has been practicing Tai Chi for over 20 years.   She is a member of the British Council of Martial Arts Federation and a European Tai Chi gold medal winner.
Tai chi combines slow and gentle movements with deep breathing and relaxation. It can help to reduce stress, improve balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength in the legs.   You can get started even if you aren’t in top shape or the best of health.  Come and join in on: Sunday 23rd August and Sunday 27th September  (both days 2 – 3 pm)
A wonderful opportunity to try a few Tai Chi moves and  learn how it can improve your health and well being and according to a local resident at the Eaglesfield Park Parkfest 2015   “Trying out tai chi for the first time and in such lovely surroundings with such a beautiful view was a very special experience’”
There is no need to “book a place”, just turn up.  However it would be helpful if you could let Chew-Yeen know if you are interested so that she has an idea of the number of people to expect or if you need further information.  Please email her at: chewyeenlawes@yahoo.com .
Having tried out a few Tai Chi moves, why not linger a while – relax and enjoy the peaceful ambience of the park and a “communal  picnic” to share with other participants.   Perhaps you could bring a “covered dish” – some french bread and cheese, or mixed salad or cakes or fruit or a few sandwiches or your very own “signature dish”.    It’s a great way to make new friends and has proved popular on previous occasions.   Don’t forget the flask of tea or coffee !
It really is worth coming to see what Tai Chi is all about and Chew-Yeen’s enthusiasm and expertise may well inspire you too!
And it is Free !
Please note however  ………… Weather permitting !  Check our blog www.eaglesfieldpark.org   on the morning of 23rd August and 27th September for cancellation due to bad weather.

Let’s hope the showers forecast for tomorrow afternoon hold off .

Tai Chi in Eaglesfield Park
Tai Chi in Eaglesfield Park
Tai Chi in Eaglesfield Park
Tai Chi in Eaglesfield Park

Picnic in Eaglesfield Park

FoEP Leaflet

The Friends of Eaglesfield Park are holding a “Picnic in the Park” on Sunday 12th July, with entertainment from a Brazilian/Latin band and a display of Tai Chi. Madeleine from the Friends wrote with details:

As part of the Parksfest 2015 celebrations Friends of Eaglesfield Park would like to invite everyone to Eaglesfield Park on Sunday 12th July between 2.00 pm and 5.00 pm to relax to the sunny music of Brazilian/ Latin band ‘Roots BR’ and see a display of Tai Chi with Chew-Yeen Lawes – and maybe even learn a few moves!
The aim of the afternoon is simply relaxation and well being.  Learn how to improve our lives with the techniques of Tai Chi.   Take time out to enjoy the company of  friends, family and neighbours.   Listen to the rhythms of Brazilian/Latin music.  Experience the peace and tranquillity of Eaglesfield Park.
So, why not forget about cooking Sunday Lunch and instead bring a picnic and comfy chair, and chill out for a couple of hours!   But don’t forget the sun lotion.
For the more energetic, you could also try Pond Dipping – we have the basic equipment.
Bring a picnic
Rediscover how the ancient martial art of Tai Chi can improve your life focus and restore calm and balance.  No special equipment is required to join them. All it takes is your body and a willingness to learn.
Throughout the afternoon there will also be opportunities for Pond Dipping – come and see what you can discover.  We have basic equipment and reference guides.

I’m looking forward to learning some Tai Chi in the park. Let’s hope the weather stays fine.

Tai Chi in Eaglesfield Park
Friends of Eaglesfield Park’s photo of Tai Chi in the park
Eaglesfield Park
Eaglesfield Park

Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond 2015

Friends of Eaglesfield Park 2015 poster

The colourful display of crocuses in Eaglesfield Park tells us that spring has arrived, and the Friends of the park are planning their monthly pond maintenance and pond dipping sessions for the year ahead. Madeleine wrote:

We are continuing with our “last Sunday of the month” pond and meadow maintenance, beginning 29th March. Attached is a poster we will be displaying on the Eaglesfield Park noticeboard and I wondered if you could use it. (I admit it is a bit colourful !). We really do need more folk to help us and to become involved with the park We would like to hear the views and comments of park visitors.

The Friends will be meeting at the park between 10.30am and 1.00pm on the last Sunday of the month from March to November. At the first meeting of the year they will be probably be thinning out unwanted plants such as docks, stinging nettles and brambles, cutting back shrubs,  thinning out the pond margins and litter picking, and there will be an opportunity to do some pond dipping. There has already been frog action in the pond. After the March meeting they will be getting together, weather permitting,  on 26th April, 31st May, 28th June, 26th July, 30th August, 27th September, 25th October and 22nd or 29th November.
The Friends now have a very comprehensive, regularly updated blog, eaglesfieldpark.org which is well worth a visit – there are lots of interesting topics, photos and videos. They have also changed their email address to: foepshootershill@aol.co.uk.

Crocuses in Eaglesfield Park
Crocuses in Eaglesfield Park

Happy Christmas

Snowman in Eaglesfield Park
Snowman in Eaglesfield Park

This year’s Christmas card photo is of a snowman in a snowy Eaglesfield Park from a few years ago. As in previous years I’d like to combine my season’s greetings and best wishes for next year with those of the Friends of Eaglesfield Park – their card is included below.

As well as wishing everyone a happy Christmas, Madeleine from the Friends wrote to thank all who volunteered at the park for their hard work over the last year, and also with an update on recent work at the Lilly Pond and changes in the park such as the new sign posts and information boards. She has written about all this on the Friends of Eaglesfield Park blog, which has some great photos of local wild life, including a sparrow hawk that got trapped between a wire fence and a wooden fence panel. The blog is well worth a visit.

Have a great Christmas!

Friends of Eaglesfield Park Christmas

Community Clean-up Weekend

Friends of Eaglesfield Park poster

Two local community groups will be having a tidy up session this weekend: The Friends of Eaglesfield Park on Saturday and the Mayplace Lane group on Sunday. Both would welcome help.

The Friends of Eaglesfield Park had hoped to have their final pond maintenance session of the year a couple of weeks ago, but the council hadn’t cut the meadow beforehand so it wasn’t possible to sow the wild flower seeds. Volunteers at that session mainly worked on clearing excess vegetation from the pond, which meant donning waders and getting into the pond to pull up unwanted plants and increase the pond water’s surface area. More work is needed on reducing the pond plants, and, as the meadow has now been cut, the wild flower seeds can be sown.  Madeleine from the Friends wrote with the details:

A short note to let you know that SATURDAY 22nd November (10.30am – 1.00pm) will be our last maintenance session before Spring 2015.   To provide a rich habitat for wildlife and a beautiful focal point for visitors to the park, there are 2 very important tasks that require attention:
– reducing the pond vegetation.  It is urgent we complete as much as possible now to ensure pond creatures are not disturbed in Spring.  We can provide full length waders!!
– rough-raking the ground and sow wildflower seeds  (meadow has now been cut).
I think we could achieve our tasks in the allotted time, but we really do need your help.   Whatever time you could spare will be much appreciated and will make an enormous difference to the quality of habitat for all local wildlife and greatly enhance visitor enjoyment of this special corner of Eaglesfield Park.
I hope you will be able to join us.   I’m afraid we do not have any gardening equipment – would it be possible for you to provide your own (e.g. garden rake, spade/fork, secateurs, builders plastic buckets, gardening gloves)?   Don’t forget to wear wellies.
Of course, weather permitting !

The next Mayplace Lane community clean-up will take place on Sunday, 23rd November between 11.00am and 1.00pm. Local residents will be clearing rubbish and removing weeds from the lane and possibly planting plants and bulbs. Greenwich Council will again provide equipment such as litter pickers and bags for rubbish, and will collect any rubbish at the end of the session. If you’re planning to come along then it’s worth bringing some strong gardening gloves.  If you have anything stored in the lane you may wish to move it to ensure it is not thrown away.

Mayplace Lane
Mayplace Lane

Preparing Eaglesfield Pond for Winter

Friends' publicity flyer Side 1

The Friends of Eaglesfield Park would welcome help on what will probably be their final lilly pond tidying and pond dipping session of the year this Sunday (26th October) starting at 11.00am. Madeleine wrote with the details:

It is a long time since my last email, but I hope our blog at   http://eaglesfieldpark.org/ has kept you informed about FOEP activities and progress of the pond and surrounding meadow.  It is only 2 years since the pond and meadow were restored and already they are  providing a wonderful environment for the wildlife of our local area.
During the year we have continued with monthly pond/meadow maintenance, planting, tidying and pond dipping and have enjoyed some beautiful weather.  However Autumn is now upon us and we need to make sure all is prepared for Winter so that we can look forward to the new Spring.
Probably our last opportunity to prepare for Winter will be Sunday 26th October, between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm.
We would really welcome and appreciate any time you could spare to help us !    We are hoping to thin the pond vegetation and to rough rake the meadow/sow wildflower seeds (subject to whether or not the Council’s Parks and Open Spaces Dept have been able to cut the meadow).    Of course, “Weather Permitting”.
If you are able to join us, don’t forget to wear old clothes and wellies.   I am afraid we are unable to supply tools – could you kindly bring your own ?   Particularly useful would be garden rake (not lawn rake), spade/fork and don’t forget gloves.

The Lilly pond has come a long way in the last few years, from the overgrown eyesore with broken railings at the end of 2011 to the verdant wild-life friendly pond of today. Some of the photos showing the transformation are included below.

Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond October 2011
Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond October 2011
Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond March 2012
Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond March 2012
Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond May 2013
Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond May 2013

As well as the regular pond tidying and pond dipping sessions,  the Friends recently hosted a group of young volunteers from National Citizen Service (NCS) The Challenge for a day. The 15-17 year olds took on two tasks. One was gardening. Some of the park’s pathways were being obstructed by  low and overhanging branches of holly, hawthorn and acacia trees or narrowed by brambles and nettles: the volunteers cleared these to make the paths more easily passable. They also delivered copies of the leaflets shown at the top and bottom of this post to over a thousand homes around the park.

There are lots of pictures and some videos of the volunteers in action and the results of their work on the Friends’ blog.

Friends' publicity flyer Side 2


Shooters Hill Park Fêtes

Friends of Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival leaflet

Next weekend in Shooters Hill is going to be busy, with both the Friends of Shrewsbury Park and the Eaglesfield Park Neighbourhood Watch Scheme holding their summer fêtes, as well as the opening of Severndroog Castle and a London Bubble play, Ishbel and I, at Castle Woods.

The Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival is on Saturday, 19th July, starting at 1.00pm. As well as their highly entertaining dog show, complete with competitions for agility, speed and catching biscuits, the Hawk and Hood School of Falconry will be there and there will be opportunities to learn how to safely observe the sun and to help judge the Friends’ photographic competition. There is still just about time to enter the competition, the deadline for entries is tomorrow, 16th July. The Friends web site has details of how to enter:

We invite you to capture images of the Park over the next few months. They can be dramatic, seasonal, humorous, exciting, tranquil, close ups or panoramic– with or without people and wildlife, colour or black and white.
The twelve most interesting photos will be chosen to be included in our 2015 calendar.
Please send your photos to fspdog@hotmail.com with ‘photo comp’ as the subject. It would be very helpful if you also produce a suitable print if possible. Please include your name and a caption, and how best to be in touch with you.


Agility competition at Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival
Agility competition at Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival


EPNWS Community fete Poster

The following day, Sunday 20th July, the Eaglesfield Park Neighbourhood Watch Scheme will be holding their Community Fête, which will be opened by the new leader of Greenwich Council and former local councillor Denise Hyland at 12.00 noon. The EPNWS Summer Newsletter described the afternoon’s events:

The Eaglesfield Park Neighbourhood Watch Scheme (EPNWS) invites you and your family to an afternoon of fun on Sunday 20 July from 12noon to 4pm in Eaglesfield Park. Take part in the activities, wander around the stands and stalls and meet the people that help make our community great. This is the seventh year that the fete has been held to help promote the benefits of Neighbourhood Watch and foster community spirit. The fete will be opened by special guests, including the winner of the poster competition from Christ Church Primary School.
Some of the activities include a hula hoop demonstration, mini tennis, children’s story telling, face painting and a Punch and Judy show. The Shooters Hill Safer Neighbourhoods Police Team is pulling out all the stops for some fun and exciting activities, with the Greenwich Met Police teams on hand and music from the Police Cadets Drum Corp. You can buy home-made cakes and refreshments, and take part in our raffle to win a pair of tickets to see Disney on Ice in The Royal Borough of Greenwich hospitality box at the 02 on Christmas Eve. The day of fun finishes at the Shooters Hill Lawn Tennis Club which welcomes all the community to check out their new club facilities, with a BBQ and refreshments at the club house from 4pm to 7pm.

There will also be a chance to try some pond dipping in the Lilly Pond hosted by the Friends of Eaglesfield Park.

Let’s hope the good weather continues through the weekend. Last year the opening time for the EPNWS Community Fête was marked by torrential rain!

Stalls at Eaglesfield Park Neighbourhood Watch Community Fête
Stalls at Eaglesfield Park Neighbourhood Watch Community Fête