All Change at Lambeth Landscapes

imagesThe maintenance for Lambeth’s park has now been taken back in house and the team rebranded as Lambeth Landscapes.  We are very sorry to say goodbye to Theresa Hoare who has been a fantastic Parks Officer supporting the work of the Friends and helping us to understand the mysterious workings of the Council.  We will no longer have a dedicated Parks Officer for Vauxhall Park but Michael Penney, an Operations Manager will have responsibility for Vauxhall Park.  Due to the 56% cut to the maintenance budget for Lambeth’s open spaces, we will not see Michael as regularly as we saw our Parks Officers but we are promised two walkarounds a year.

The one, the incomparable, the only FOVP Summer Fair is on its way!

We are absolutely delighted to announce that local resident Christine Homer has volunteered to run the 2017 Summer Fair.  After running the fair for many years, Polly Freeman is unable to continue but we are looking forward to the enormous energy that Christine will bring to this much loved part of the Vauxhall year.  It promises to have the many favourites from past years but there will be plenty of new things to enjoy.

We are looking for ‘Merry Makers’ to make the day go with a swing!  Could you help during the fair itself, put up and/or take down gazebos, share a talent you have with our community – juggling, music, story telling etc?  We are very keen to make the fair something that people can enjoy without spending any money so if you could entertain the visitors we’d love to hear from you –  Do you have a business that you would like to promote to the 1,000+ visitors that visit the Summer Fair?  Do you have a catering business that would like to be at the fair? Please get in touch – we’re waiting to hear from you!

Spring time in Vauxhall Park

Last Autumn, we were delighted to receive over 1,000 from Taylor’s Bulbs through the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association.  We are extremely grateful to them – every year, Taylor’s Bulbs send out, liteIMG_0340rally, thousands of spring bulbs to groups such as ours across London to bring a bit of spring colour to all of our lives.  Community Payback, who work in Vauxhall Park once a week under the expert guidance of their manager Carla, planted the bulbs for us.  We are delighted to say that some of the bulbs have escaped the attention of the local squirrels and are popping up all over the park.   We received snowdrops (which can be seen by the South Lambeth Rd/Lawn Lane entrance), narcissi, crocuses,hyacinths and tulips so watch our for a changing carpet of colour in the Park.  Thank you MPGA and Taylors Bulbs

Lovely Lavender


On 10 September, the community came out in force (ably supported by volunteers from Team London) to help us harvest the lavender from the Vauxhall Motors Centenary Lavender Field.  We’re not sure that when the field was planted, it was ever envisaged that the lavender would provide such a wonderful facilitIMG_0795y for the park; it is enjoyed all summer long not only by local residents but by the hundreds of bees that happily hum around it all summer.  We took 79 kilos of lavender down to Carshalton Lavender Field where Laurie Rudham kindly let us use his Still again.   We came away with 3 litres oSutton-20130905-00178f lavender oil and lots of lots of hydrosol (which is made into products such as ironing spray).  The oil will be left to mature until Christmas time and will then be on sale at Italo on BIMG_0803onnington Square.  A highly original and unique Christmas present!

Another Green Flag for Vauxhall Park

We are delighted, and slightly astonished, to announce that Vauxhall Park has been awarded a Green Flag for 2016/2017.  The cuts to the maintenance budget have had a profound impact on the Park.  The awarding of this flag is a testament to the hard work of Theresa Hoare, our Parks Officer, and her team.  We are also grateful to the continuing work of the Community Payback groups and the magnificent work of our voluntary gardening groups.  Thank you and congratulations.

Friends of Vauxhall Park are a Charity!

We’re delighted to announce that our application to become a Charity has been accepted by the Charity Commission.  Our Registration Number is 1166894.  We have also adopted a new constitution (click here to read it: FOVPConstitution 2016) which regularlises our aims and our governance.  We always welcome involvement from all sections of our community and would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to join our committee

A new Chair for FOVP

We are delighted to welcome Charles Vyvyan as our Chair.  He was elected at our AGM on 23 January.  Charles is a local resident and a passionate believer in the Park.  He brings an enormous wealth of experience to this role as the Park moves into an interesting phase in its history and we are very pleased to have him on board.  Charles Vyvyan spent 35 years in the Army in a variety of operational command and staff appointments throughout the world. Since he retired in 2000 he has worked as a strategic adviser to a number of government and commercial organisations.  He has most recently been involved with Orbis the charity that takes planes converted into operating theatres specifically to deal with sight related problems in countries without access specialist eye doctors.  We look forward to working with Charles and benefiting from his experience.

A New Parks Officer for Vauxhall Park

We are delighted to welcome Theresa Hoare as our new parks officer responsible for Vauxhall Park.  Theresa has a wealth of experience working in open spaces such as Vauxhall Park so we are delighted that she has been appointed to be our champion.  Welcome Theresa and thank you to Mickey Penney (who you might see in Kennington Park now) for all his work on our behalf

Vauxhall Lavender Oil and Spray on Sale!

import-test-895After a very successful lavender harvest, 51 kg of lavender were taken to Carshalton Lavender Fields who, once again, distilled the oil out of the flowers.  We would like to thank everybody who turned out to help.  Once it has matured, the oil is sold through Italo on Bonnington Square and at our Summer Fair. The oil and room spray from ast year’s crop is currently on sale.   We are grateful to Ruth Morgan Vauxhall’s very own Lavender Lady proceeds go towards improving the Park.  We would like to thank Laurie Rudham at Carshalton for all his support and advice

Cooperative Parks Proposals

Under Lambeth’s Culture 2020 proposals, the budget for the maintenance of the Borough’s open spaces will be cut of 50%.  These proposals were consulted on earlier in the year and the council is still considering the responses they received.  The standard of maintenance of Vauxhall Park and the amount of time allocated to the Veolia team visiting the park has been a cause of great concern for many years.  The prospect of even the current standard of maintenance not being sustained is a very dark one.  Lambeth have been encouraging local groups to take over the managment of their open spaces but the FOVP felt that this was beyond their capacity.  Vauxhall One (the local Business Improvement District body) and Vauxhall City Farm have approached the FOVP to propose that Vauxhall Park is included in their plans to take over the maintenance of five open spaces.  In the face of the alternative of a very, very basic maintenance regime by council operatives, we have expressed cautious interest in this proposal.  Giles Semper, Executive Officer of Vauxhall One, will be addressing our next meeting in the upstairs room of the Wheatsheaf Hall (please let us know if you require access assistance).  Please do come along to hear his presentation and to ask any questions that you might have