Category Archives: Uncategorized

Woodland Trust and Christmas Cards!

Winter seems to have arrived, finally.  The winds have taken the last of the leaves away and our maintenance work can begin soon.

We started a very successful scheme to collect Christmas cards this year.  For three weeks in January, we had boxes in Queen’s Park Library and The Beethoven Centre. We collected nearly 2000 cards and took them to Marks & Spencer who will fund the Woodland Trust to plant a tree somewhere in the UK for every 1000 cards collected.

Thank you to everyone who joined in this effort. We were thrilled with the response and hope to repeat it next year, aiming to increase our numbers.  You can read more about the Woodland Trust here.

If you want to know when we are next meeting for a full gardening session, please check the notice boards near the park gates or sign up for our email alerts.


Art from Recycling in Westminster

There’s a beautiful and fascinating exhibition in Millbank at the moment.

Millbank Creative Works have joined forces with the Chelsea College of Arts to create some wonderful works of art with the help of recycling artists in the borough.

You can see more photos on our Facebook page.  Do try to visit as it is on until next Friday, 28th January.

Geminids meteor shower

In 2015, the Geminids will peak between December 13 and 14. A waxing crescent Moon (Moon’s phase after a New Moon) will create good conditions for viewing the shower.

Let’s hope the weather is better for this than it was for the Summer display.  Keep checking here.

This is the WikiHow for a guide. It’s a shame the park won’t be open at the right times.

Here are some pictures from last year.

Save our Parks Petition

Save our Parks Petition
The Government’s cuts to Local Authorities for our local public services, combined with the lack of statutory protection for open spaces, is provoking a growing number of vociferous and inspiring local grass-roots campaigns and petitioning as local communities mobilise to defend spaces under threat of neglect, privatisation or sell-offs. At the same time the evidence continues to stack up on the vital and unique role our parks play for health, biodiversity, flood control, climate change mitigation, social cohesion and many other essential needs of all sections of all our communities.

Following pressure from UK green space organisations, the previous outgoing [London Friends Group] administration recommended that the newly elected Government consider hosting a National Inquiry into the future funding and management of our parks. Also, a cross-party group of MPs is now calling for a Private Members Bill [Bill 53] to strengthen protective measures.

So please sign and promote the UK ‘Save Our Parks’ petition to step up the pressure on the Government and all political parties to take seriously the future funding and protection of our vital green spaces.
1. Sign the petition: Click here.
2. Spread the news via Twitter: @LoveParks_Week  #LoveParks
3. Spread the news via Facebook:

Perseid Meteor Shower

It looks like the 2015 eclipse  story all over again. The best night for shooting star viewing  (Wednesday to Thurs) has clouds and rain forecast but they might have it wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time!  Keep checking here.

There’s information all over the press this year. If you’re lucky enough to be a little farther west or north, you might have more luck. This is the WikiHow for a guide. It’s a shame the park won’t be open at the right times.

Here are some pictures from a couple of years ago.

If it rains, we’ll just have to be thankful that the ground will be watered for us.

We are opening the Wildlife Area every Saturday morning in August. We’ll be gardening from 10am.

More Equipment for the Children’s Play Area

LGC column Nov 21 by Susanna Rustin

Success! Queen’s Park Community Council won’t exist for another six months, yet we’ve managed to raise £60,000 to fund improvements to our well-loved but ill-equipped local playground. We submitted a joint application with Westminster City Council back in the summer, following meetings that brought together members of the parish council development group, Friends of Queen’s Park Gardens, the council parks department, ward councillors and the landscaping company that looks after open spaces in the borough. The discussions and form-filling took hours. I danced across my office when we learned it had all been worth it.

Sita Trust, the charitable wing of waste and recycling company Sita, is the source of this much needed investment in play equipment for the 7+ age group, and I can’t tell you have pleasing it is to have embarked on the process of spending this money. Back in January an old but serviceable steel climbing frame was removed from the park without warning. Disbelief turned to anger as local parents including me realised there was no plan to replace it. We organised a petition and the local paper published before-and-after pictures, the latter a depressing tableau of bare earth and disgruntled children swaddled in hats and scarves against the freezing weather.

But once we had identified Sita Trust’s Enhancing Communities fund as a plausible solution we established a good relationship with Westminster officials. They have embraced some if not all our notions of what the new playground might be, and we are confident that when it is completed next year it will be vastly better. In keeping with the community council’s commitment to maximising engagement, we are planning a focus group at a local school and a consultation that goes beyond notices pinned up with an email address to write to.

Bringing investment into our neighbourhood was always part of the plan for the community council. As yet we have no formal target, but in order to justify the additional tax residents will pay to fund the council, we need to show we can raise money as well as spend it.

So far so good. We have shown we can put a good pitch together. But while no one could begrudge the kids of Queen’s Park a decent play area – our ward is around two-thirds social housing with pockets of acute deprivation – it worries me to think of all the other areas suffering budget cuts, particularly to facilities for children, that won’t be so lucky. I hope Queen’s Park Community Council will prove to be an innovative, sustainable, entrepreneurial response to the public sector cuts that brought about our campaign in the first place. But we are not the solution.