Local residents and park users felt that an action group was needed to stop the Park from falling into further disrepair so The Friends of Peckham Rye Park was formed in 1995. The group also felt that an organisation was needed to look after the interests of park users and raise any issues to do with the Park from anti social behaviour to saving trees.
Although it is Southwark Council who are responsible for the Park - they are far more likely to listen to a group than an individual. The Friends find out about future plans and canvas popular opinion. Members of the Friends Committee attend council meetings and write to the relevant parties about park issues. Councillors and Park Officials attend some of the FOPRP meetings to listen and take note of new ideas and concerns. This does make a difference to the way our parks are run.
It is therefore important if you care about the Park, or are a park user, to become a member of the Friends.
The Friends of Peckham Rye Park today
The Committee organises meetings when there are issues of concern which need discussion with the membership and park users and are advertised via posters around the Park, in bulletins to the membership and by email to the email list. These are followed by a glass of wine or soft drink giving members a chance to discuss issues and get to know each other.
Members receive regular bulletins with Park news and information about meetings. They also receive a formal newsletter.
FOPRP held their first fete in the Park in September 2004. Despite adverse weather conditions it was successful. The FOPRP traditional fete has become an annual event since then with a fete being held on the Common since September 2005, each year becoming more and more popular and well-attended. Activities include a fun dog show, dog games, a children's fancy dress competition, races for children and adults (sack races, egg and spoon race etc), craft and other stalls, a traditional tea tent and Pimms and beer tent run by the Friends, as well as hot food stalls run by local businesses.
Another project has been the creation of the Community Wildlife
Garden on the old depot site in the Park. Funds were awarded from
Southwark Council's Cleaner Greener Safer Programme in 2010 and this
added to the CGS funding previously awarded, an award from the lottery
funded Community Space Programme and a contribution from the FOPRP. Work started in early Summer 2011 and was completed in early 2012 with the
official opening ceremony taking place on Saturday 14th April.
Other issues of concern that members of the Friends Committee have made representations on behalf of the Friends in the past few years have been a proposed cycle path on the east side of Peckham Rye Common, development of the 'One O’clock Club' playground and plans for the improvements to the central area on Peckham Rye Common, which include the car park and changing room containers. None of the above would be possible without the continuing support of our members.
If you would like to contact us on any issue please email FOPRP@aol.com
Alternatively, you can write to us at FOPRP, P.O. Box 59640, London, SE22 2AJ