No Mowing in May

This year, Hammersmith and Fulham Council is taking part in Plantlife’s “No Mow May” initiative. The initiative encourages participants to lock away their mowers for the entirety of May to allow lawn plant species (e.g. daisies, clovers) to flower. Plantlife scientists have shown that arresting mowing for just these four weeks can increase nectar production for pollinators tenfold. The Council will be participating in the initiative on a trial basis in all of its parks and open spaces (including your own), with the exception of sports pitches. Contractors will conduct a catch up cut in June.

LBHF are participating in this trial for three main reasons:

  1. Relaxed mowing regimes, especially in the Spring growing season, benefit biodiversity. They are trialling this approach as one of the Council’s actions to restore ecology in the Borough;
  2. A number of Friends groups (including WPGF) have voiced concerns about the significant impacts of the increased footfall over the past year; this will hopefully go some way to allowing our parks to recover;
  3. The initiative leads in to the Plantlife citizen science campaign Every Flower Counts, which provides a good opportunity to engage residents on ecology.

Plantlife is a British conservation charity working nationally and internationally to save threatened wild flowers, plants and fungi . They own nearly 4,500 acres of nature reserve across England, Scotland and Wales and have 11,000 members and supporters. You can read more about Plantlife here

Update on the Spacehive Railings project

Thanks to for the generous support of our Spacehive benefactors, Wendell Park Gardening Friends managed to source 100m of secondhand cast iron railings which we found through a scrap metal dealer in Staffordshire.

The supplier generously agreed to re-weld the panels to meet our specifications and also included two gates, one for each end, to allow parks maintenance and the Gardening Friends access to the borders.

The railings were installed over the course of three very snowy days in February by council contractors, and within the space of a week, its impact was noticeable, with new shoots and bulbs appearing which would otherwise have been trampled by children or dogs.

We have kept a large zone of shrubbery at the western end of the border unfenced as it is always a popular area for children to playing hide and seek and to building dens.

At the beginning of March, we put in nearly £500 of new shrubs and plants to replace those that had been lost last year. It has been really gratifying to have received so much positive feedback from passers-by who can already see how much happier the plants are looking.

You can see the Spacehive Project Delivery Report here

Through plants making friends

An article published last month in The Garden (the Royal Horticultural Society’s monthly magazine) confirmed what we have all found to be true; that there is a proven link between Community Gardening, wellbeing and good mental health.

“At a time when isolation is still being enforced to varying degrees [community gardening initiatives] have never seemed more important in helping build social connections and make new friends”

You can read the article here …

Wishing all our Gardening Friends a happy, healthy, safe and green-fingered New Year!

Please support our Spacehive Campaign to fund new railings!

Wendell Park Gardening Friends has launched a Spacehive crowdfunding campaign to pay for the installation of low metal railings to protect the herbaceous borders and flower beds alongside Wendell Road

Wendell Park Gardening Friends was established with your generous support viand the help of a Spacehive fund-raising appeal three years ago. Since then its volunteers transformed the herbaceous border alongside Wendell Road, removing overgrown snowberry bushes and planting hundreds of shrubs, flowering plants and over 1,000 spring bulbs.

This year the lockdown brought many more pepole to the park, but with playgrounds closed there was nowhere to play. Sadly, many of our new plants, shrubs and flowers were damaged or destroyed as children and dogs ran freely through the flower beds.

We are now looking to install low metal railings to protect to the borders, allowing new plants to establish so that we can continue too make the park more beautiful. These railings will also prevent dogs and footballs from damaging the habitats that have been created for insects and invertebrates. What we’ll deliver:

  • Install 50m of low bow-topped railings
  • Improve the soil with 2 tonnes of rotted horse manure
  • Remove and replace plants and shrubs lost to damage

Why it’s a great idea:

This project will; –

  • Embellish and improve the existing park infrastructure
  • Protect the herbaceous borders allowing new planting to establish and thrive
  • Protect the environments that have been created for insects and invertebrates
  • Reduce the amount of litter in the borders

Steps to get it done:

  • Secure funding for the railings
  • Installation of the railings
  • Procurement of plants to replenish lost stock
  • Replanting the border

Please support our campaign by pledging contributions, no matter how small, on our crowdfunding page here! 

Update – May 2020

Sadly, the arrival of coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown measures put in place by HMG put the kibosh on our monthly gardening mornings, although you would know it looking at the park today wit the herbaceous borders putting on a display almost worthy of RHS Chelsea – well not quite, but nonetheless a vast improvement on years past before the dreadful snowberry was ripped out! In fact, the park has never seemed busier than it is right now, partly of course because access to the playground is still restricted; but also, we hope because it has become such a delightful place to be.

You will have noticed new fencing around the bed by the Wendell Road gate. This was installed by idverde on behalf of LBHF at our request – we felt it was a good idea to deter our canine friends from leaving their calling cards at the front door as soon as they came into the park; that bed will now stand a better chance of flourishing and we hope that it can become a “statement” border in due course.

The herbs planted in the narrow strip that runs along Cobbold Road are taking off very well, as are the seeds planted last year by the children of Wendell Park School. And the North Border, behind the fallen tree was truly magnificent in the spring with wonderful daffodils, narcissi, camellias and magnolias, followed on by euphorbias, irises, roses, salvias, azaleas and clematis to name just a few of the plants and shrubs that have transformed that area.

We have been busy keeping our twitter and instagram feeds updated – do follow them for more regular posts about what is happening in the park.

We really hope to be able to announce the resumption of regular gardening sessions before long!

Spring is here … and with it our Maintenance Mornings start again!

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in the park on Saturday 7th March at 10am for the first of our monthly gardening mornings of 2020. These will run every first Saturday of the month between now and late autumn.

Please come along to support the Friends and to have fun digging, composting, weeding, pruning and generally helping to tidy up the borders and make them even more splendid. Absolutely no experience is needed and all ages and abilities are welcome. If you have some garden tools, do bring them along though we have some that we can share. Sturdy boots and gloves are a good idea, and a thermos of tea or coffee and a packet of biscuits never goes amiss! It’s as much about getting to meet some of our lovely, horticulturally-minded neighbours as it is about gardening – though many hands make light work!

Winter Fairs

Last christmas, Wendell Park Gardening Friends once again be set out its stalls at the Askew Road Library Craft Fair and the Kite Studios Winter Fairwhere we raised a very respectable £425 from the sale of plants, craft gifts and cards. This money was promptly reinvested in new planting for the spring and we look forward to seeing the new plants flourish!

Wendell Park Gardening Friends stall at Kite Studios Winter Fair 2018
Frances and Caroline, Askew Road Library

Lovely write-up by LBHF

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A good idea and a ‘can do’ approach have propelled a group of supporters of a Shepherds Bush park from sketchy concept to active community body in the space of two years . Wendell Park Gardening Friends was set up in August 2017. It’s an independent voluntary group backed by Hammersmith & Fulham Council. Its aim is simple: improve Wendell Park for the whole community to enjoy and make the most of a treasured green space. The group has gone from strength to strength with monthly maintenance gatherings, demonstrating how united community resolve can improve people’s everyday lives . Working closely with the council has seen immediate results after Wendell Park secured Green Flag status for the first time ever . Local resident Caroline MacMillan from the Friends said that the Civic Honour was recognition for everyone who had worked so hard in Wendell Park over the past couple of years, from the volunteer gardeners to those who have donated more than £10,000 to fund improvements . “This is an award for everyone who’s helped us make the park even greener,” she said. “That includes businesses who’ve given us equipment, the 28th Hammersmith Scouts, who planted bulbs, the pupils of Wendell Park School and H&F Council.” . She said that the Friends had drawn up a three-year plan of planting, including trees, bushes and plants, and set up a five-person steering committee to co-ordinate work. . A lot of non-native snowberry bushes have been dug up and replaced, while the local scouts helped plant more than 1,000 bulbs. . Volunteers gather on the first Saturday of each month, rain or shine, from 10am-noon to plant, weed and maintain the borders and beds. “Then it’s usually off to the pub,” said Caroline. #wendellpark #w12 #shepherdsbush #parklife #green #gardening #volunteers #pride #park

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