July 2016 Newsletter

September 27, 2016

Dear Friends,

I had not planned a Newsletter quite so soon, but there have been a number of developments and things you should know.

Looking back – we had a great Summer Party with 80 people attending. The raffle brought in more than enough to finance the replacement of the dead tree near Eagle Pond. This is on order and you can help plant it in the autumn.


Questionnaire on the revised events strategy.

Many thanks to those who took time to give us their thoughts. I analysed these and presented the findings to the Lambeth Cabinet meeting on the Strategy on 11 July. Your main concerns were:

  • the blocking off of the events site for so long before and after an event (Lambeth say they will be trying to cut down the set-up and take-down times);
  • more community-based events (Lambeth confirmed that the £250k to promote community events across the Borough is a annual sum, which is encouraging);
  • views differed widely on the number of event days, but more found 6-8 major event days per annum acceptable. Lambeth stress that it is ‘up to 8 major event days a year’, but there is an issue over how best to define a ‘major’ event when we are threatened with weeks of ‘A Town called Christmas’;
  • noise. Lambeth will be sticking to their ‘maximum’ raised limits, despite concerns.
  • better consultation and need for financing transparency on financing the Common. I think this point was taken on board.

The Cabinet approved the revised Strategy, with the proviso that it should be reviewed in 2 year’s time. That is at least something.


Work on the Common.

It was disappointing that no-one showed up for our weeding detail at the orchard on 16 July (though one person, to give her credit, did try to find us, suggesting the orchard is not well enough known). We got the work done and it is worth a visit – behind the tennis courts and the cricket nets, if you haven’t been. Cherries may have gone by now, but the mulberries are ripening well. There may be apples to pick later and plums. Next year we hope to have a bigger crop.

Things still to be done

  • Remove netting from bushes at Eagle Pond and do some trimming. Could be late August/September. We’ll let you know.
  • Thin out Nursery Woods extension (Autumn), We could work with ‘corporate volunteers’ on this to give us more muscle.

Mowing regime

You will have noticed that the grass has a variety of haircuts. This is somewhat experimental and we have passed on to the in-house team now managing the common your favourable comments.

Wild Flower Meadows Project

We are working up a new autumn submission for Groundwork funding the digging, preparation and seeding of 2 areas for wild flowers. The main area will be beyond the mounds to the north of the bandstand, supplemented by a smaller patch between the N-S cycle and foot paths. But sowing is unlikely before autumn 2017. We must think long term!

Nature Trail Walk with Guides/Brownies

Planned for the autumn. Watch the Events tab on the website.

Dog Show 2 October

We are starting to rev up publicity for this. You will have seen the ‘News’ and ‘Events’ notes on the website. It will be much bigger than last year. For those members who want their dogs to take part, there will be a separate email in the next week or two offering early booking of tickets. Sales to the general public will follow later. This will avoid the crush on the day.

The Committee

We realise that people in the Clapham area are busy, but we do need your help, particularly now with someone who can send and pass on social media messages – Twitter mainly, but also Facebook. Our temporary arrangements cannot continue as before. So is there anyone out there with a smart phone and a couple of hours spare a week? Let me know!

Also, if you could not make the Summer Party you may not know that I am standing down as chairman after the November AGM. I am of course trying to find a successor, but if you come across a suitable person, I would like to get in touch.


Best wishes

Marcus Hope


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