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Autumn 2020 Newsletter

Co Chair Update


See at the end of this newsletter about the AGM on Thursday 24th September 2020 to be held on Zoom. You will need to register to attend.

Register Here

As lock down eases and life returns to pre pandemic ways (or not), the use of the park will change again.  We have had no information from the Council as to when or if they will be opening the children’s play area although questions have been asked.

The park was a source of great relief during the lock down to so many, where exercising, walking, space were difficult to get.  The Council didn’t always get it completely right, but they did listen to requests and responded well as possible during difficult times for them as well.  We would like to thank them for their policing of the Thames path, the signage and keeping the services going. 

Unfortunately there have been some unsavory aspects to the lock down.  Although the toilet block is now open again and being cleaned, people are not using it, preferring to relieve themselves in bushes.  Unpleasant for the gardening crew, difficult for dog walkers and unclean for the rest of us. This is something that needs to be sorted out as soon as possible. 

Mini Forest

River view in Bishops Park, credit Alex Gee

There is some discussion about turning the Moat Garden into a ‘Mini Forest’ – the idea of planting over 600 native trees on the space of a tennis court.  Native trees, grow 10x faster, 30x denser, are 100x biodiverse and 100% organic.  Urban forest acting as mini carbon sinks.  If you look at this link there is more information and an excellent YouTube film of some of the mini forests that have already been planted.  

The Moat Garden is not a suitable place as there is a restriction on any works/roots that might affect any archaeology below the surface. However there are other sites in the borough that might work.

Rose Garden

We will wait until either the autumn or next year to plant out the new rose bushes.  Although the dead heading and care that the gardening group have given the garden has resulted in the most amazing display this year.  We do hope that you managed to get out and appreciate the garden.

Nature Notes

words and photographs by Jane Swithinbank
 One of the pleasures of summer is to sit beside the purple loose-strife fringed pond in Bishop’s Park and watch the newly emerged dragonflies and damselflies in their magnificent adult form.  Some species will have spent up to five years as nymphs hatched from eggs crawling around the depths going through a series of between five and fifteen different molts to finally reveal the winged adult.  They will only have a brief time to find a mate and begin this extraordinary cycle all over again.

Of around 57 species of dragonfly and damselfly in the UK the ones I photographed were the male migrant hawker dragonfly and the male blue-tailed damselfly.  At rest, the damselflies have their wings stretched along their bodies while the dragonflies have theirs at right angles.  Dragonflies have the largest eyes for their body size of any animal, taking up most of the head. About 80 % of the brain deals with visual information.  Fossils have revealed that their ancestors had a wingspan similar to that of a kestrel!

We have had several moorhen broods as well as mallard and tufted ducklings.  I didn’t see any mandarin young this year after seeing the males in full breeding plumage in the Spring.  They probably set up home at The London Wetland Centre.

Among the lovely plants like Marsh Willow Herb and Water Mint around the ponds it was good to see thistles which provide habitats for spiders to make their homes in and are excellent food for bumble bees and also leaf cutter bees.  In the last few Nature Notes we have been following the Dogwood family through the seasons and here it is in summer with its heads of creamy-white four-petaled flowers.

The long, dry spell has brought on very early signs of autumn this year with many trees dropping their leaves over the past few weeks as a survival strategy.  Hopefully they will all be successful and I look forward to seeing them all refreshed in the Spring.  Enjoy the Autumn.

Friends Committee News

AGM 2020


Thursday 24th September 2020, 6.30pm

We are going to try and hold this years AGM on line via zoom.  Many of you will have had experience with this app during lockdown, some of you won’t have.  Hopefully it will prove to be easy although possibly not very interactive.

Please click on the link below to register and you will be sent log in and password details.

Please register in advance for this meeting.

If you have any questions please send them through to the before 22nd September.

Register Here

To read the 2019 AGM mins please click on this link

There are a few changes to the current committee

Roger Weston is standing down as Secretary, we thank him for his sterling work in this position.  It was supposed to be temporary!  Thank you Roger.

Isabel Hill Smith is standing down as treasurer.  A position she has executed with great precision and helpfulness. We thank her for her diligence.

Jane Swithinbank is also standing down, we thank her for all her help and hope that she will continue with the wonderful Nature Notes for the newsletter.

The following members of the committee are willing to stand for another year.

Co Chair
Melanie Healy
Rowena Vaughan 
Proposed by Roger Weston and seconded by Victor Ho
Membership Secretary
Isabelle Du Bois – proposed by Melanie Healy and seconded by Rowena Vaughan

General Committee Members without portfolio
Roger Weston – proposed by Melanie Healy and seconded by Rowena Vaughan
Victor Ho – proposed by Melanie Healy and seconded by Rowena Vaughan

Standing as for Secretary
Sarah Jane Johnson – proposed by Melanie Healy and seconded by Rowena Vaughan

Standing as Treasurer
Tommaso Ponsele – proposed by Sarah Jane Johnson and seconded by Melanie Healy

If members would like to stand for committee please  send your application with proposer and seconder to:

Gardening Group

Gardening Group Restarts

The first Gardening Group out of lockdown

Date: Wednesday 8th July

Meet: between the bowling club and the cafe

Time: between 9.15 – 9.30.

For any newcomers please do stay as long or as short a time as you can give. Equipment will be provided, but if you have gloves please bring them.

Ian, head gardener would be happy for a fortnightly Gardening Group through the summer. We will confirm the dates shortly.

If you would like more information or to join the Gardening Club please email

Gardening Group – Bishop’s Park
Park News

Market Re Opening

Sunday Market Re Opening

The market on Sundays will recommence this Sunday 21 June, Social Distancing rules apply.

June 2020

Council COVID19 Park News

Planning for the Future

Have your say about your park.

The Council have put out an open call to users of the park to find out how residents and visitors use the parks, what they want from their parks going into the future. To aid them in their plans they have put out an open call for evidence to inform the Independent Parks Commission’s findings and recommendations to the Council.

The Hammersmith & Fulham Parks Commission is a resident-led commission which is trying to develop a new vision for the parks, open spaces and cemeteries in the borough.

The Leader of the Council has asked the H&F Parks Commission to draw up a new strategy to help residents and visitors benefit more from our local parks.

We would like you to tell us how you think we can improve our open spaces.

  • Which parks and open spaces do you use regularly?
  • How do you use these spaces (for instance, to walk, to bring your children to the playground, to play sport, to sit and think, for picnics)?
  • How do you think we could improve the parks and open spaces you use?
  • What is the best way to involve local people in the decisions made about our parks?
  • How do you think the Council can ensure that a diverse group of people make decisions about our parks? 

Please submit your thoughts, views and proposals to us by Monday 7th June at the following email address: (or by return to this email).

To view our terms of reference please see the Parks Commission webpage here or at


The grassy area by the sandpit has been reopened by the council – although the sandpit and paddling pool are still shut and roped off.

May 2020

Park News

Bishops Park Open

Statement from Cllr Stephen Cowan on Hammersmith & Fulham parks

It really is understandable how the surreal nature a pandemic means many people are still coming to terms with the huge changes we all need to make to our lives. Last weekend, despite the parks police best attempts to warn people, the COVID-19 contagion was inadvertently passed onto thousands of others by people socialising in Hammersmith & Fulham’s parks during that beautiful weather. For that reason, our parks were closed on Sunday night for public health reasons.

Yesterday, the government’s new emergency laws came into force which introduce a series of restrictions on people’s movement and gatherings and give the police new powers to enforce the new laws. People are now obliged to stay in their homes and only leave for exceptional reasons which you can read about here. One of the exceptions is: “to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household”. Because of these new laws, our parks can now re-open and will do so at 2pm today.

We are two weeks away from a surge in cases and roughly a month away from the expected super-surge. As you might imagine, the NHS implore us to do everything we can to encourage people to stay in their homes and not add to their already intolerable burden.

The disease is easily spread in a number of ways when people come into contact with others from outside their immediate household. It transmits by touching, from coughs or sneezes, and even from the tiny mist everyone generates when they speak. A big problem is many fit and healthy people show few symptoms but if just one fit, but COVID-19 infected, person returns home and passes it onto one or more vulnerable relatives there’s a possibility they could accidentally kill them.

We can protect ourselves and those we love by following the government’s new laws. Staying a car length away from people outside our immediate household will help keep coronavirus at bay.

I appreciate how tough this period is. Worry about our friends and family and anxiety about how we will all cope stuck at home. Our team at Hammersmith & Fulham is working all waking hours and seven days a week to get us ready. I am extremely grateful to our partners in the NHS, police and emergency services, charities, residents’ groups, our two MPs, and all the volunteers across our borough.

We’re determined to do everything we can to keep people safe and that all of us get through this together. Please take care and very best wishes to all.

Keep your distance. Stay well.

28 March 2020

COVID19 Park News

Corona Virus & Community

There are a number of local initiatives being set up on, through the local churches and other groups . Fr Ross Guntherson has been in touch regarding one such community group which is shown below.

If anyone knows of any other initiative and would like it highlighted on here please email:

St Etheldreda – Community Care Fulham 

St Etheldreda’s (Fr Ross Gunderson & wife, Meredith on Doneraile Street) have helped launch a project to meet the needs of members of our community affected by Covid-19, most importantly to get essentials to individuals and families in isolation.  

We have a team of organisers who are looking after gathering names of willing volunteers as well as those who need support and a robust response plan has been implemented.  Primarily volunteers will be doorstep dropping essentials with little to no interaction with the isolated to ensure safety.  Some volunteers may be paired up with individuals who would appreciate friendly check-in phone calls.  Volunteers will be briefed and those in need or support simply call the church on 0207 736 3809 or email and we will respond within 24 hours.

There is a Crowdfunder page to raise funds for essentials to families or individuals who can’t afford it or can’t manage a PayPal transition (this is a cashless programme for safety reasons).  Any excess from Crowdfunder will be donated to a charity.  The entire project is run by volunteers and donations.

To get involved:

If you would like to add your name to the list of volunteers email Fr Ross on


If you would like to donate to the project, we would be so grateful, visit the site:

If you need support:

If at any time you require some support either call St. Eth’s on 0207 736 3809 or email

Fulham Football Club

March 2020 Update

Fulham Football Club works are proceeding with the new stand on the river front.  There has been an application to add a landing stage to the walk way for use when the tide is high.  FoBP have been to the meeting and will report back.

The Rose Garden by the Spanish Memorial – the works to the beds has been carried out. All beds now have metal edging and the grass paths between have been reseeded.  Fingers crossed the pigeons don’t eat all the seed.

Due to storm Ciara, work to cut back and repair some of the damaged limbs on the trees has been carried out.

Friends Committee News

AGM October 16th 2020

The Friends of Bishop’s Park are holding their AGM on 16th October at the Palace Gardener.

6.30pm meeting starts at 7.00pm

All are invited to join us for our AGM, there will be drinks , a chance to see what the Palace Gardener has to offer and a talk by Alex Laird on her book from Root to Stem.