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30th January 2017

Attendees: Nicole, David C, Tom, Stephanie, Jim L, Luke, Beth, Jim R, David N, Jim R, Apologies Allen

Education Project

Beth introduced the project, now running over three years and with Beth as environmental educator for over two years.

Currently Beth runs two groups of 8-10 children each week – every lesson the focus changes and this week they are going to be focusing on birdlife (Schools birdwatch week).

Noted that we have an outstanding Neighbourhoods Fund bid with expected decision date March 2017, and our current grant ends at the end of March 2017. We will need to report back to the grantor in March, and Luke noted that evidence of feedback and activities (particularly quotes and photos with requisite permissions) are really valuable.

Hedge

We expect to see a new proposal from Hills to replant the hedge as agreed, with semi-mature specimens planted close enough to be hedged traditionally in 4-5 years. Current planting is a result of a misunderstanding of the agreement between Hills and Southwark,

Play Equipment

The plane tree sections in the Plane Tree area are now rotten and need replacing. The maypole swing is still not replaced, and the result of our CGS grant application is to be announced at the Community Council on 4th February. We are discussing options with Southwark Council. We’d also welcome the views of the education project class attendees.

Orchard

Please contact us if you want to be involved in setting up the plan for the orchard. The Friends to clear a space in the area nearest the meadow for the education project to develop a bug hotel during their lessons.

Community Interest Company

This is now set up. Initially it is intended only to be a vehicle for the lease on the storage room in the new Stead Street building.

Grants

We await CGS and Neighbourhoods fund decisions (see above). We are delighted to have been awarded a grant of £2,200 for our Spring Dog Show and Farm in the Park Event by United St Saviour’s Charity – date to be announced soon, but to be in May or June.

AOB

New Southwark Plan

New Southwark Plan: the two areas of our park still zoned as housing land are earmarked for rezoning as Open Space in the New Southwark Plan site identification plan (see Appendix A – 15Mb – in this document list: http://moderngov.southwark.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=302&MId=5377&Ver=4). We encourage letters of support once the consultation process starts.

Art Project

Tom Wolseley introduced his outline proposal to the Friends for an art project in the park, for a year, to be based in a half-sized container, and showed images of successful projects in Shoreditch. The proposal included ideas related to “Change in the City” (film), Using materials found locally, Children’s play projects (to contact Grant Lambie who hosted a successful day in 2009 in the park), funded by a grant (to be applied for) from the Arts Council. The container is 2.5 * 6m. He asked the Friends for feedback.

Positive comments included: General enthusiasm to having creative activities in the park. Complements the “industrial” idea of the girders. Shelter could be useful (particularly to the education project). There are examples (Hackney and Brockley) of containers in parks that have not been affected by vandalism.

Concerns included: Strong dislike of graffiti expressed. Concern that it took years (and a lot of planting effort from volunteers) to get people to accept the girders in the park – it will be critical to explain clearly to local residents what is going on as it is liable to be misunderstood in Walworth. An example of this is the BoxPark at Elephant which has taken time to be accepted. More thought to integration of container into park needed (colour / frequency of change / roof / cladding) mentioned.

We agreed that we would like Tom to proceed to next step, to work with us to start to develop an initial proposal, perhaps for discussion at the next meeting. The Council would be the eventual decision-makers but Tom is keen to involve the Friends in any next steps.

Next meeting: 27th February 2017, 67 Balfour St SE17 1PL, 7-8pm