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, literally, 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
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 facility 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 of 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 Bonnington Square. A highly original and unique Christmas present!
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.
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
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.
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
After 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
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
By our reckoning, the current playground is over 30 years old and although it has been added to over the years, it does not provide the stimulating play that is needed and does not cater for those over 8 years old. We are delighted to Lambeth Council have committed to investing in a new playground for our park. Members of the Steering committee comprising Friends of Vauxhall Park and Lambeth Council have been drawing up plans for the new playground in association with Kinnear Associates. However WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please follow the link below to look at the plans and let us know, as soon as possible, what you think. The plans will be finalised over the next few weeks and construction will start once the summer holidays have finished. We hope to have a playground for the 21st Century which will respect the park’s environment and history and provide local children with a playground they deserve. We look forward to hearing from you! All comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re delighted to welcome Byron Green, Henrietta Sitwell and Grainne Sherry on to the FOVP Committee. We look forward to working with them to help the FOVP realise their dreams and plans for the Park as it moves beyond its 125th Anniversary