Green Flag raised

Friends of Bromley Town Parks with Cllr. Aisha Cuthbert (centre) with new flag

At a brief ceremony earlier today (18th August) in Queens Garden; Cllr. Aisha Cuthbert, along with Friends members, and representatives of idVerde, celebrated this national award for the fourth year running.

Despite the current drought, and other pressures this park has been maintained to the high standard required for this award, due to the hard work of the local idVerde team.

The Green Flag Award scheme seeks to raise the standards of public parks & green spaces. In England this scheme is run by the Keep Britain Tidy group.

The Green Flag Award® scheme recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.

Green Flag Award

Royal Connections

Queens Garden off Kentish Way, as the name suggests, has royal connections. The former White Hart Field was donated for a public park to commemorate the 60th year of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1897, and officially opened in 1900. Since then the anniversaries of our present sovereign continue to be marked, this time in trees!

Planted to mark the 70th anniversary of reign of Queen Elizabeth II

Over the years Bromley council have planted a tree to mark various royal milestones. Those for 1992, 2002, 2012 and of course 2020 can be found here, along with one for the Queen and Prince Philip’s wedding anniversary in 1997. Each tree has a plaque recording the event.

Elm ‘New Horizons’ planted in 1992

There are also others commemorating other non royal events. So the next time you visit Queens Garden why not see what you can spot!

Church House Lake Nearly Empty

Lake in Church House Garden, on 7th August 2022

The lake is normally replenished by winter rainfall, but this did not happen this time. Indeed the Met Office have advised that the annual rainfall in London and the south east has been the lowest since at least 1935!

With the continuing lack of rain, the lake in Church House Garden is very nearly empty. Any fish in there have long since died, and the birds have moved to desperately find some water elsewhere.

We have been seeking advice how this lake, and the wider park, can longer term be made more resilient to the ongoing climate change.

Great Expectations in our park

There will be several chances to see a performance of this Charles Dickens classic in Church House Gardens this week. This will be held in the atmospheric Ampitheatre, and performed by a local theatre group. Further details can be found below.

You can find out more about Church House Gardens and its Ampitheatre HERE

CHG Lake at record low levels

Church House Gardens lake extremely low.
Lake in Church House Gardens today

As a result of the extended period without rain the level of the lake in Church House Gardens is at an extremely low level. This puts the local wildlife in the lake, including the ducks etc under great stress. This fed by a spring as well as surface water, both of which are extremely depleted at present. With pressures on water supplies for other uses is unlikely that this will be replenished in the near future. We will just have to hope that significant rainfall will happen soon, and so gradually resolve this issue.

This situation was not helped by the very low rainfall over the autumn/winter. Paul, one of our members, has been monitoring the lake level since 2012. He reports that it was this low for a prolonged time in 2012, after ”one of the ten most significant droughts of the last 100 years” (Met Office). Paul also mentions that lake levels were also very low for brief periods in 2013 and 2018. So the lake and its wildlife has recovered before, and so we trust that it will do so again this time.

This lack of rainfall is also impacting local river levels e.g. Ravensbourne, with resulting potential pollution problems.

With the impacts of climate change increasingly being felt we desperately need to make our spaces and their environments more resilient.