We were back in the park last Saturday for our November volunteer morning. Plenty of work to be done with wood chipping the paths for winter, collecting litter and planting bulbs for spring. A big thank you to all those who attended.
Pushing wheel barrows filled with wood chipping to the path next to the seasonal pond.
Shovelling the wood chipping in the pouring rain. We didn’t let a spot of bad weather get our spirits down.
Planting daffodil and tulip bulbs at the edge of the park. Can’t wait to see these grow and bloom in the spring.
The local council contractor thought it was a good idea to drive around the park on a wet day. He got himself stuck in the mud and tractor had to pull him out to safety.
One of our volunteers preparing the ground for the bulbs.
On Saturday the 26th of November we held our annual Christmas tree switch-on at Plough Green and what a magical event. The event was organised by Fiona Sowell and Nausheen Arnold so a big thank you to them. The Vibrant Ukuleles provided the Christmas music and song and Kingston Mayor Yogan Yoganathan was there to switch-on the Christmas tree.
Once again, thanks to our financial supporters – Ivygate Estate Agents, Miller and Carter, Joanne Chandler, Jazz Barbers, Plough Pharmacy, Worcester Park Tiles, Bruce Elliot and last but not least, the Old Malden Ward Councillors.
After 4 years of hard work the community came together on Sunday 14th August for the grand opening of the new Manor Park playground.
Many local people turned up to support this momentous occasion. Simeon Linstead, Chair of Friends of Manor Park, introduced our amazing project leader, Fiona Sowell. She’s led this work from day one, and her persistence has certainly paid off, with what is arguably one of the best playgrounds in the borough.
Fiona gave a short speech, during which she told the story of how we got to where we are today, she also thanked the community for their amazing support, our fundraising team, local councillors (particularly former cllr Simon Edwards), Kinsgton Council, Mayor of London, our landscape architects – Outerspace, the playground supplier – Kompan, and the local businesses who supported the event – Hooky Street, Tesco, Co-op, and Plough Bakery.
Fiona then handed over to the former Mayor, Cllr Thay Thayalan, who gave a short speech. He made reference to the fantastic community effort that’s gone into this playground, how Covid had made it a much more challenging project, and the council’s committment to parks through its Community Playgrounds Programme. He then cut the ribbon which was tied across the monkey bars AND our playground was formerly open.
The Friends of Manor Park Team ran a couple of gazebos. In one we listened to ideas from the community, answered questions, and showed off the architects drawings for the park masterplan.
Kompan, the company that installed the playground had a gazebo where families could pick up tokens to get free ice creams. We also had another stall where Harriet Linstead applied glitter makeup and a balloon lady who modelled funny shaped balloons for the children. The ever popular Hooky Street Cafe had a stall for coffee, cold drinks and snacks.
We received lots of positive feedback from local parents, who love the new larger space, the fantastic new equipment and the smart picnic seating. People were saying how they now have a playground they can invite their friends to.
Find out what’s next for the playground and the park – read more
On Wednesday 6th of July Simeon Linsted organised a talk and walk on the subject of swifts in the UK. We met outside the Shiraz Mirza Hall in Manor Park and there was given a talk about swifts by Louise Cole and Elliot Newton. We learned that swifts spend 90% of their lives in flight, that they migrate from southern Africa and they return to the same nests in the UK every year to breed.
We then went on a walk around the streets of New Malden, observing swifts in the evening sky. A peregrine falcon and a wood pecker was also spotted. This demonstrates the diversity of bird life in our local area.
The walk ended on Amberwood Rise outside the house of Louise’s son. We watched in astonishment at the swarm of swifts flying overhead. Here Louise showed us her son’s swift boxes, on the front of his house.
A big thank you to Louise, Elliot and Simeon for such an educational talk and walk.
On the longest day of the year (21st June) a nature walk and talk was organised. We started off in early evening at the Moated Manor next to the Ewell Bypass. There Elliot Newton gave us a lecture on conservation, wildlife and history of Tolworth Court Farm, inside an old barn. We also admired a nest of kestrels in a tree on the Moated Manor nature reserve.
We then proceed across the Ewell Bypass into Tolworth Court Farm. Elliot guided us around Tolworth Court Farm, stopping off at various points to point out the natural features of the area. We finished the evening with a quick pint in the Hogsmill pub.
A big thank you to Simeon Linstead for organising the evening walk and to Eliot Newton for being our guide for the evening.