The meetings of the group are the main forum for airing public concerns about the way the Park is funded, managed and developed in the future. Whatever your main interest in the Park (playground, children, trees, wildlife, fun, football, tennis, running…) you can influence future developments.

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Our next meeting is on Saturday 9th November 2019 from 11-12, Clissold House

Clissold Park User Group News November 2019

Meeting notes 9th November 2019

Mark Forsyth, Yvonne Hill, Hilde Oorde, Ken Worpole, Lee Stacy, Amir Dotan, Delilah Jeary, Richard Crawford, James Morgan, Max Kennedy, Sam Cooke, Bob Wilkinson Julie Gibbert, Isabelle Gore, John Hudson, Daphne Steel, Daphne Kemp, James Malvern and other park users.

Apologies: Lorraine Walpole, Sylva Anderson, Kath Willgress, Caroline Millar, Sophie Cameron, Theresa Bowden

Previous minutes

Park management is aware of the rat issue, have cut back undergrowth around the pond to discourage them, but people are still feeding a lot of bread to the ducks much to the delight of the rats. Could they put humane traps down?  Could we get a proper report back on the rat issue from the PM please? A budget is being sought to provide more informative signs around the lakes.

Park Manager’s Report

(delivered by Mark Forsyth)

New pumps for the new river will be installed – but they need to clear the area first so there is less ongoing damage to the pumps.
New toddler swings have been installed.
Grass damage after the firework display: repairs to the grass will be undertaken over the winter.
Volunteering: Abney park have a monthly litter pick, would there be interest here?  Litter pickers are available in the office.  It is more successful if there is a specific task in mind, so a volunteer litter pick has been organised for Wednesday 27th November. Please contact the park manager in advance if you want to join in.
Park consultation process finishes 17th November – fill in the form online or get a paper copy from the café.  Link on the website.  Due to close at the end of next week.

Thanks to Quinten Geurs for the Park Report

Max Kennedy – The Good Market Company

It is hoped that a trial of weekly market will be held in the park in 2020, 30-40 stalls selling a mixture of fresh produce, hot food and drinks. Priority will be given to local companies and social enterprises in an attempt to create something good for the community and the park. The organisers are conscious that it needs to be low impact. There will be a planning application and they will work closely with the council to make sure that impact is minimal.

They also run a market in Victoria Park on Sundays if you want to check them out.  References are available from CPUG. If you have any questions you can email Max on

There will be a three month trial to see if there is demand and for users to see how it works. They will survey people attending the market.  It is hoped that the trial will launch in June. The User Group will try to find out what criteria will be used to judge whether the trial is successful.
The market will be on the hardstanding area by the house and be on Saturdays from 10am until 4pm. If the market becomes permanent it will run for 51 weeks of the year, only missing Christmas week.
Max noted that markets can have a very positive impact on local businesses by bringing in new people the area.

Clissold Park is smaller than Victoria Park and this should be considered as well as the affordability of the stalls. The Good Market Company works with local food banks and homeless shelters and wherever possible will donate left over food to them. Vehicle access is stewarded and will be kept to a minimum. The organisers aim to leave the space exactly as they find it, taking away all the waste they create and not relying on the park employees to clear up after them.

The User Group will try to be as involved as possible in the assessment of the trial, to minimise the worries expressed at the meeting i.e. that the park is a recreational space and should not be turned into a commercial space.

Park updates

New Café operator: a new café operator started on 2nd November.  They are called Deep Beat Entertainment. Company of Cooks have sent their thanks to park users, but didn’t tender this time around.  All the staff who were working there before have kept their jobs, bar one who chose to leave. The first few days after the handover were quite bumpy, with customers complaining and the staff becoming stressed, but things have settled down now and the cafe is running more smoothly. The new operator will redesign the main serving area to reduce the queues and changes will be made to the seating areas. The quiet room might get moved but there does need to be one.

Fireworks: they were thought to have been a success. Pricing was better this year. Animals were observed throughout and were not stressed by the fireworks. The mud that has been left is an issue, but repair works will be carried out if necessary. Exit at the end was really chaotic, so it was suggested that in future it may be better to open more gates to allow people to leave more easily.

130th Birthday event: the meeting expressed thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the event happen, particularly to Ken Walpole and Bea Pemberton for guiding tours of the house, and to Caroline Millar who organised and ran the whole event. The eventual cost to the User Group was only £252.72, which is a great achievement. The only problem was the awful weather, which was a hindrance.
Tree Musketeers ran some tours on the day, and will do more if we want. They will cost money but the User Group could subsidise the cost. Further details will be sought.

Butterfly Dome: we had another volunteer day and the dome is ready to be planted up.  We will have a further volunteer day on Sunday 24th November to plant what we can this side of spring.
An anonymous £200 donation has been given to help with the dome refurb.  Huge thanks for that, and to Mark Forsyth for his work on saving the dome. Mark Forsyth pointed out that most of the hard work was done by others, he just told them what to do.

Playground refurb:  no signs to let people know what was happening when the swings were replaced which left parents a bit confused. The User Group will again ask for improved information signs.

Muggings: this is still a problem in the area. A workshop on community guardianship from Hackney safeguarding team was held on Monday 18th November at Stoke Newington School.

Personal Trainers in the park: complaints have been received that some PTs are cordoning off areas in the park while they work. It was stated that people are not authorised to do this and have no right to private areas within the park. They are also not allowed to damage the trees.


Planning on Kennaway Estate has been approved.

Richard Crawford would like his name on the website for people to report sightings of park wildlife to him.

Surface water drainage gulleys are full, but the council are maintaining them.

Next CPUG meeting:

Saturday 11th Jaunary 2020, 11am to 12 noon.
Venue: Clissold House, Clissold Park


Park Keepers: 0208 3566834. This connects to a mobile.
Park Manager: or call 020 8356 4215
Café Management: new details coming soon
Clissold House Venues and Events Officer, Christine Rupprecht: or call 020 8356 5505
Head of Leisure and Green Spaces
Lead Councillor for Parks:
Police: 0208 721 2923 / 07879 603106 /
Seargent in charge: Carroll Weeden
Clissold Safer Neighbourhood Team: 020 8721 2923

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