SCCoop Newsletter – Autumn 2016

SCCoop Newsletter – Autumn 2016

Garden news

It’s been a wonderful end to the summer in the garden, however things are beginning to slow down now. The plants are putting less energy into growing and concentrating on developing seed and in some cases fruit and berries. We have been lucky with this extended summer, but there has been a serious lack of rain. Fortunately new planting in the Old English and White Garden is now fairly well established and has come through without having to be watered constantly to survive – sustainable planting in action! We’re very proud that the White Garden won a Bronze Gilt award in the London Garden’s Society competition in the “Best Garden in a Public Place” category. Well done to all the volunteers who have helped with planting and more importantly, the ongoing maintenance of the garden.

Local solicitiors Anthony Gold very kindly provided the funds for the planting in the circular beds surrounding the sundial beds. Again planting that is not resource intensive and expensive or need replanting every season. We will soon be planting a range of spring and summer flowering bulbs to add even more excitement to these beds.

Over the coming weeks you will notice the addition of some interesting woodland planting at the entrance to the Rookery. There will be five hamamelis mollis (witchhazel) with some dogwoods to provide a colourful winter backdrop. The funding for this planting was very kindly provided by a member of the public. We have plenty of planting plans (depending on funding!) for next year such as planting the Long Border in the Old English Garden.

We have also submitted an application to the Heritage Lottery fund. This funding will be to renovate and repair the cascade. The funding will also pay for yet more planting in the cascade. There will be lots of opportunities for you to get involved in this project – so watch this space for details.

And finally we said goodbye to Ben our first apprentice. Ben successfully achieved a NVQ Level 2 in Amenity Horticulture and we wish Ben good luck for the future. We will be recruiting for our second apprentice in the new year. If you know of any young people that might be interested do drop us a line.

Next event for your diaries is the Rookery Christmas Fair on Sunday 18th December, from 11am to 4pm.

Last year was our first ever Christmas Fair and we had rather more people attending than we had expected! So this year's fair will be bigger and better organised with more craft and food stalls and more of the Rookery used to allow easier access, with a separate area for Santa's Grotto, a Children's entertainment area, pram park, a mulled wine & beer marquee with a larger food area. There will be a mass carol sing around the Cedar trees again with performances from local musicians and choirs. All feedback on last year's event with positive suggestions is always gratefully received and especially if you're also keen to help us make it a better event this year by volunteering!

This is the biggest fundraiser for the Rookery and the Fair is made possible by all the volunteers who help out, so if you love the Rookery and you might be prepared to help out on the day or beforehand to dress our entertainment areas, or you'd like to have a stall, please email [email protected].

SCCoop and Streatham Common, the Woodland and Hilly Four Acres (the Local Nature Reserve)

You’ll remember from our last newsletter that our business plan to manage the rest of the common is no longer viable. Due to massive cuts to the parks budget, Lambeth have taken the grounds maintenance service back in house. This means that Lambeth will continue to manage picking up the litter and mowing the grass on the common, Hilly Four Acres and the woodland.

On a more positive note, where funding allows, SCCoop should be in a position to deliver environmental or ecological projects in places like the woodland or Hilly Four Acres. We have also retained the option to carry out repairs to the common that the council will just not be able to afford to undertake.

We will also have the option to manage the paddling pool for next year too. The long summer meant that the paddling pool was well used. We have some funding left, but we will have to fundraise to make sure we can open next year. Fundraising for the paddling pool has already started with the fabulous Doggy Splash Day. It must be a real first. Over 200 dogs and their owners enjoyed an end of season splash in the paddling pool. Many thanks to all those who contributed and helped organise, we raised a massive £780 to go towards the paddling pool.

Playground Update

For those that follow the playground re-development, there has been some significant progress over the last few weeks, the money is in the right place and we now have the project schedule from Lambeth.

So assuming the appointment of the consultants who will deliver the project goes ahead on schedule, the design should be completed by this Christmas. Work will start in March 2017, and be completed a few months later.

Community engagement about the design will follow the appointment of the consultants and will be based on the design that was presented and supported at previous public meetings.

The scheme has now been split into two phases, the first is the new playground which could include refurbished toilets and a new kiosk style cafe if the money stretches that far.

The community room and changing room part of the plans have been pushed to a separate feasibility team which will report back in due course. We need to check that income from the scheme can support the building upkeep and provide future revenue.

We'll update you more once we know the consultants have been appointed and the schedule becomes more detailed.

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SCCoop Annual General Meeting, 2016

We held our second AGM In September at the Hideaway and over 50 SCCoop members attended. Members heard presentations from the SCCoop Chair, Richard Payne and Dom Leary SCCoop manager. We were also visited by Cllr Jack Hopkins and the audience were able to ask him a range of questions from the Lambeth events strategy to a long discussion regarding the new play area.

We also said goodbye to SCCoop Directors John Ditchfield and Nick Cattermole who were two of the founding members of SCCoop and thanked them for their commitment. In their place we welcome Amy Chalkley and Leo Hopkins, both local residents who take a keen interest in the Common and the Rookery.