We're an award winning parks group for Deptford Park and Folkestone Gardens with the simple aim to improve our parks.
Founded in 2015 we have raised over £3m to improve the parks and the routes to them. Along side this we put on events and activities in the parks and collaborate with local groups and residents to bring fun to our green spaces.
We've planted 200 trees, introduced new bins and benches to the parks, put on events, restoring the pond, and brought a Liveable Neighbourhood project to Deptford.
We also help people fix and maintain their bikes at our regular Second Sunday bike workshops. Go HERE for more.
In 2016/17 we used funding from Deptford Challenge Trust to survey park users to ask what they wanted from their parks. This set our priority list.
Scroll down to check out the 8 priorities and progress on funding and delivery.
1. Folkestone Gardens PlAYGROUND
Park users decided that overhauling Folkestone Gardens playground is the number one priority. The play equipment is old and knackered.
The skate park was built in 2016 with a second phase planned to update the playground. This has not materialised.
We have undertaken a workshop with children from Sir Francis Drake school to see what they want from a playground and they came up with some great ideas.
The next step is to get Neighbourhood CIL spent on children's play.
Thanks to £10K funding from Cycle Grants London we are able to offer FREE bike repair and maintenance workshops for all.
Every second Sunday of the month from 10am to 2pm we set-up our workshop in Ron Hoskins Hall on Childers Street near Folkestone Gardens and help a range of people repair their bikes.
If you have a problem with your machine come down and our trained volunteers will get you back on the road.
2. FolkesTONE gardens pond
In at number two on the park user priority list is the pond in Folkestone Gardens.
The pond is overgrown with reeds taking over most of the space. The island has willow trees falling into the pond. It is infested with massive rats meaning no nesting birds stick around for long.
We are really pleased to say that we have secured a grant of £75K from Veolia Environment Trust. Work will commence with clearing the island, and cutting back trees in October 2019.
Come to one of our meetings to find out more.
3. Benches and bins
Number three gets to the basics - benches and bins. With 10,000 new residents moving to Deptford people have recognised the need to increase capacity in both Folkestone Gardens and Deptford Park
We're pleased to have raised £70K to install new benches and bins in both parks. Funding has come from the Veolia Environment Trust and Lewisham Council through S106.
We have installed 25 new benches including 4 picnic benches in Deptford Park with each bench having a plaque dedicated to a local historical figure or landmark.
We have installed 10 new benches in Folkestone Gardens which were hand built by local design and build company Aldworth, James and Bond.
4. Deptford Park Paths
In 2015 the paths in Deptford Park were in a sorry state.
In response to our survey Lewisham Council invested capital funding to make the paths around the park smoother for all to enjoy.
Photo courtesy of Malcolm Smyth
5. Safety & Access
To improve safety on our streets and in our neighbourhood surrounding the parks is a major priority for park users and residents.
In 2017 we teamed up with Lewisham Council officers and Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, to apply for the Mayor of London's groundbreaking Liveable Neighbourhood scheme.
Lewisham Council were awarded £2.9m to deliver the project. We have already undertaken a series of engagement activities including closing roads, workshops and more.
You can comment on the resident led designs below.
6."Secret Garden" Deptford Park
The "secret garden" is situated in Deptford Park between two homes adjacent to Evelyn Street. It was an old bomb site, much neglected rose garden and a space for anti-social behaviour. Not a safe space.
Now it has now been reinvigorated. We worked with Lewisham Council to apply for a £20K Mayor Of London Greener Cities grant and installed a community orchard.
Now all can enjoy the apples, pears, medlars, quince, damsons, peach, plums, mulberries, and more. We even designed the new sign for the orchard. We hold forest school events in this space.
We've put on lots of FREE events. Including outdoor cinema in Folkestone Gardens, Winter Solstice, tree planting, bottle rocket launch, storytelling, camera obscura, art exhibitions, forest schools, talks, presentations, cricket matches and more.
All our events are FREE.
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Photo courtesy of Electric Pedals
A project to plant 200 trees in the Evelyn Ward, Deptford inspired by former resident, diarist and polymath John Evelyn (1620 - 1706). Evelyn wrote about air quality, trees, healthy food and the environment. A man for our age.
With the Evelyn ward suffering from the poorest air quality and the lowest number of trees within the borough of Lewisham we decided to do something about it.
We raised over £75K to fund 200 trees and planted them across the Evelyn Ward with residents, communities, schools, nurseries and more. We also held talks on Evelyn, trees and the environment as part of the project.
The 200th tree was planted in Pepys Park on 13th April 2019. And we won the Mayor of London's Tree Oscar.