Friday, 24 July 2015

Save our trees!

In the Spring, Glendale planted approx. 25 mid-size trees in the south and middle parts of Ladywell Fields.  By June, however, park users reported, and brought it to Glendale’s attention, that many of these trees appeared in distress with some looking as if they may already be dead.
Glendale confirmed last week that the original trees (i.e. before this replacement planting) had died during the ‘Parklands’ contractor’s retention period and were therefore replaced by the contractor as they had failed adequately to maintain them. As such there was no additional cost to Lewisham or the Parklands project.
However, the replacement trees were planted by a division of Glendale, called Civic Trees.  Some confusion remains about the specific level of maintenance cover contractually required of Civic Trees by the contractor who was responsible for re-landscaping of the park.
Pending resolution of this issue, Glendale started to water the trees weekly, from the end of June.
A review of the trees will take place in the Autumn period to establish which (if any) trees need to be replaced.
The User Group has stressed to Glendale that notwithstanding the contractual wrangle, this situation (whereby trees are planted at considerable expense every year only be to allowed to die) cannot be repeated and every effort must be made to save those new plantings that still survive.  You can add your voice to this demand by emailing

Robert Sheppard

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Further orchard work/open day on Sunday 2 August, 11.00am start

Thanks to those of you who came to last Sunday's volunteer/open day in the community orchard in Ladywell Fields (south field).  We were able to tend to the trees, check on their general health, have a go at some of the weeds encroaching near the trees and spot those trees in need of watering, as we've had so little rain now for several months.
It's clear the orchard will need more t.l.c. during the Summer so we've identified Sunday 2 August for another session.
In the meantime thank you to Glendale who responded very positively to our request at the LFUG meeting on Tuesday by today sending a bowser down to the south field to water some of the orchard trees and the new plantings along the bottom of the diagonal path leading from Bourneville Road to Ewhurst Road.
Robert Sheppard

Join in the Three Rivers Clean-Up

The annual Three Rivers Clean-Up runs to 11 July and you'll find full details, including an events calendar, here.
This Sunday, 5 July, there'll be two river-dipping sessions for all the family - 11.00am-1.00pm and 2.00-4.00pm - in Ladywell Fields.  Join Nick Bertrand and team for a river dipping and freshwater invertebrate identification event.
You might also be interested in the clean-up in Cornmill Gardens this Saturday 4 July starting at 11.00am, ending at 2.00pm.  The programme of events will continue through next week culminating in  a special event on Sunday 12 July for all those who have taken part during the fortnight.
Robert Sheppard  

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Park issues raised at last night's meeting

At its meeting at the Ladywell Tavern yesterday evening, the Ladywell Fields Park User Group considered a wide range of issues in and/or affecting the park.  We were grateful to have Paul Winters of Glendale in attendance.  Here is a summary of the issues discussed.

  • Barratts will soon be submitting a further application for the Catford Green (Catford Stadium) development which will include an additional storey on the buildings facing the park at the north of the site.  It was agreed that LFUG should object if the revised proposals had a significantly worse impact on the Park than those already approved.  It was agreed that Barratt’s proposals for the boundary between the development and the park needed to incorporate measures to prevent vehicular access into the Park.
  • Discussions were underway between the Council, Environment Agency and Volker Fitzpatrick about the possibility of using large ‘arisings’ from the Lewisham Gateway project to repair the weir.
  • Inconsiderate cycling in the vicinity of the cafe and down the diagonal path from Ewhurst Road in the south field remained a problem.  The ‘blind’ corner at the park entrance with Bourneville Road was also a hazard.
  • Anecdotal evidence suggested that the reduction in Park Keeper presence (from 5 to 2.5 days pwk from 1 April 2015) had resulted in increased litter problems - though clearly this was not the fault of the part-time Keeper.  The Group hoped that in time more park users would get to know and recognise the new keeper and establish a more personal relationship. 
  • Paul Winters undertook to attend to a number of issues in the south/middle fields as follows – (i) he would initiate more regular collections of rubbish from the regularly overflowing bins; (ii) he’d get the bowser to water drought affected trees - alongside the diagonal path and in the orchard - during July and August; (iii) he’d check for wobbly benches; and (v) he’d look to take action against the scooter that had been riding over the curly bridge most mornings c.7.00am.  He indicated that he was happy for people to call him on 07710 620661 to report issues needing urgent attention.
  • After Paul left the meeting two further issues were raised relating to the south field – (i) the robinia cut down halfway up the diagonal path was again sprouting and its spiky branches were encroaching across the path – so the stump needed to be poisoned; and (ii) the surface of the children’s play area needed inspection and repair - it was especially bad under the large ‘scales’ item of equipment.
  • Nick Pond, the Council’s Ecology Manager, to be asked for two more buckets to facilitate watering of the most vulnerable orchard trees during the Summer.
  • The Bubble Theatre had an event in the Park on 8 July – see
  • The Group agreed it would be useful if Tony and Robert took up Glendale/LBL’s offer of going with them on one of their periodic contract inspection visits of the Park.
  • It was agreed that LFUG should do more to engage/involve young and newer park users to best ensure it remained representative and relevant.  The dates of future meetings (Tues 29 Sept and Tues 1 Dec 2015) should be widely publicised and well in advance.
  • People had been spotted fishing in the vicinity of the curly bridge.  Is this permitted?
  • Volunteering - (i) a further orchard workday/open day had been arranged for Sunday 2 August; and (ii) a Thames 21 River Clean-Up should be arranged for the Autumn.
These matters will be followed-up over the coming weeks.
Robert Sheppard