CPUG meetings are the main forum for airing public concerns about the way the Park is 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 by engaging with us.
Social Media: we also regularly post information and engage with park users via our social media accounts on Facebook (4,481 members as at March 2023) and Twitter (4,217 followers as at March 2023).
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25th March 2023
Paul Brenells; Bob Wilkinson; Julie Ibbott; Daphne Steele; Jonathan Shattock; Betty Manning; Barbara Taylor; Renee Wilgress; Yvonne Hill; Tom Berliner; Vanessa (Park Users).
Amy Campbell; Louis Dixon; Geoff Todd; Miroslaw Lata (Deepbeat Entertainment/Clissold Park Life Cafe)
Mat Appleton and Jess Blackstone (Finks at the Pump House)
Amir Dotan (CPUG history representative)
Caroline Millar (CPUG Treasurer)
John Hudson (CPUG Vice Chair)
Richard Crawford (CPUG Biodiversity representative)
Sophie Cameron (CPUG Chair)
Sade Etti and Fliss Premru (Clissold ward Councillors)
Quinten Geurs (Park Manager)
Mark Forsyth; Theresa Boden (CPUG Vice Chair), Isabelle Gore (Website rep)
1. Introductions / previous minutes
Attendees introduced themselves.
Minutes of the previous meeting were circulated. Caroline Millar said she was not vice-chair, she was treasurer so minutes should be amended.
The minutes were approved.
2. Clissold Park Life Café
The café staff reported on the menu tasting event held in January. This had been useful and they hope the new menu items will be available in May. E5 Bakehouse bread is very popular.
The coffee machine has been moved and staff are using two tills to try and cut waiting times.
Miroslaw the new manager hopes to explore longer opening times and season for the downstairs café servery to relieve pressure on the upstairs café. The cafe are keen to utilise the dining room space to further reduce pressure for cafe attendees.
In the summer, blankets and sun chairs will be available for people wishing to sit on the grass.
Progress has been made to reduce plastic waste e.g the use of compostable cups.
Birdseed is now on sale in the café.
Questions were asked about the ventilation of the café, food waste composting and access to the café via the lift at the rear of the house for pram and wheel chair users.
Actions agreed – council officers and ward councillors to raise point about access to Clissold House and report back.
The Pump House coffee shop has been open two weeks and has been very well used. Jess and Mat from Finks were in attendance and will give a fuller report at a future CPUG meeting. (Thanks to the new management for passing round the cup cakes!). The Chair suggested they might also sell bird seed and they will look into it.
3. Park Manager’s report
The splash park will open at the end of April depending on weather – more detail on booking and opening hours and dates to follow.
Action agreed: Chair and Park Manager will speak about plans for reopening Splash pad and share details for users.
The rose garden has been planted with a mixture of plants and wildflower seeds to bring down the cost. Wattle fencing has been put in around the beds (made by Quinten). More planting is planned and there will be volunteering events to undertake hedge planting, propagation, woodchip spreading, and composting.
Volunteer opportunities will be announced on ‘Eventbrite’ and publicised on CPUG social media and website.
250 new trees and mixed hedging has been planted under the Hackney ‘Nature Recovery Scheme’. They were donated by the Woodland Trust.
Worn areas of ground will be turfed or seeded.
Playground repairs are on-going. Bigger repairs will cost a lot of money. (crowd funding was suggested, but Sophie and Caroline pointed out that it hadn’t worked on a previous occasion). It is hoped that budget may be identified for a major refit of the playground in the next few years.
New rails were put in along the path adjacent to the playground and there are new rails around the skateboard area.
Action agreed – Quinten will supply a list of the playground repairs that have been undertaken and those that could not be completed.
Self-closing gates will be put in around the rose garden as a safety measure this financial year and hope to install them in playground next financial year.
Window repairs to the House and Pavillion have been undertaken following vandalism. (They can’t use railings because it is a grade 2 listed building).
The Pump House has been repaired, as have the toilets.
Composting – The aim is to make the park more self-sufficient in plant propagation. A composting unit has been purchased and in time this will remove the need to buy compost in.
Paddling pool consultation will hopefully happen in the near future now there is a consultation officer in post. There is a £50k budget for the improvement of this area (remaining from the splash pad works) and ideas are welcome via the consultation.
Questions were asked about: composting; professional trainers and other organisations who use the park for nothing; leaf blowers that make a noise early in the morning; the use of the One-O’clock club space; leaks to pipes in the park; drainage; wildflower meadow; recycling bins; duck and goat feeding; notices for dogs and cycling.
Actions: Quinten to investigate if leaf blowing can take place later in the day. Quinten and Ward councillors to follow up with One O clock club to see if can start dialogue about how space is used. Ward Councillors to follow up re funding for more recycling bins – more are needed, especially in the summer when people have picnics. Quinten and CPUG to look into signage/notices about cycling, feeding animals and dogs e.g ‘Cycle with care’ at the park gates, ‘Disabled lift at the rear of the House’ ‘Do Not Feed the Goats’, “Do not feed bread to the ducks’.
The Hackney Dog Control Order is being consulted on later in 2023. Issues such as setting dog walkers a maximum number of dogs to walk in the park and setting up new ‘Dog Control’ areas where dog owners must have their dog on a lead will be considered (which is currently in force around Clissold Park House, where dogs worry people who have food). There has been feedback that the dogs should be on leads around the pump house now it has reopened as a food concession.
Action: Quinten to investigate whether we can request dogs are on leads around the Pump House now it is in operation as a food kiosk
The wildflower meadow above the New River will not be seeded this year because the wildflower seeds are being used in the Rose Garden and are expensive. This year’s seeds will be gathered and used in subsequent years to seed the wildflower meadow.
4. Biodiversity representative report
Richard is planning a bioblitz in May (date to be announced). The dipping pond will be the site for this years Bioblitz. It has been left largely unmanaged and is therefore likely to be full of life. The results of this bioblitz will be kept as a control for a more extended survey of life in the bottom ponds. Richard hopes to form a small ecology group to help carry out this second survey. Once the data has been collected, it will be possible to look for funding to re-wild the bottom ponds Anyone interested in helping with the Bioblitz or joning an ecology group should contact Richard.
5. Chair’s Report
Sophie spoke about future meetings and comms. Nearly 400 people receive the newsletter, and 4,500 followers on both Facebook and twitter. Regularly share comms there on volunteering and events and relevant council information. Takes more resources to organise weekend public in-person meetings with relevant attendees so proposing to reduce meetings from 6 to 4 a year. There was a debate about whether the number of public meetings should be cut from 6 per year to 4 with other officers present wanting to keep 6 and extend the meeting to 1 1/2 hours. The Chair stressed that information was shared and engagement took place with many park users via social media platforms, in community groups and in person on a regular basis as well as in the more formal meetings of the user group – all these formats and forums are valuable for engaging.
Bob Wilkinson wanted to minute that the ‘Pump House’ should more properly be known as the ‘Sluice House’.
Park Keepers: 0208 3566834. This connects to a mobile.
Park Manager: Quinten.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8356 4215
Café Management: new details coming soon
Clissold House Venues and Events Officer, email@example.com or call 020 8356 5505
Head of Leisure and Green Spaces Ian.Holland@hackney.gov.uk
Lead Councillor for Parks: firstname.lastname@example.org
Police: 0208 721 2923 / 07879 603106 / Clissold.email@example.com
Seargent in charge: Carroll Weeden Carroll.L.Weeden@met.pnn.police.uk
Clissold Safer Neighbourhood Team: 020 8721 2923
To join Clissold Park Users Group
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