Read: Minutes Friends of Grove Gardens Committee Meeting - August 30th, 2023 

Read: Minutes Friends of Grove Gardens Committee Meeting - Wednesday, 10th January, 2024 

Read: Minutes Friends of Grove Gardens Extraordinary Committee Meeting - Monday, 12th February, 2024 


Co-Chairs’ Report
9th December 2023

It was at the end of August in 2022 that a notice was put up on all the gates to Grove Gardens - a small enclosed park in Teddington-suggesting a Public Meeting to discuss whether our favourite park would benefit from the establishment of a Friends group. This notice was placed by Habitats & Heritage, the local environmental charity which has a record of supporting Friends’ Groups in our borough.

Right from the start there was interest in this idea and over thirty local residents and park goers attended the meeting on 15th October in the Bowling Club Tea Rooms in Grove Gardens to discuss various issues, and to establish who was interested in forming a Friends of Grove Garden Committee. Unusually for such events, a record number of twelve people put their names forward. These people were then invited to another meeting on 16th November, again chaired by the CEO of Habitats & Heritage. At this meeting, volunteers were requested to take the roles of Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. We both put our names forward as Chair so agreed to be Co-Chairs, Anne Nursey was happy to be Secretary but sadly no one was willing to be Treasurer - a position we hope to rectify soon. Shelley Templeman volunteered to be Park Project Lead/Council Liaison.

At the next FoGG committee meeting on 10th December, the constitution recommended by Habitats & Heritage was signed with one clause about possible membership fees removed.

Since that meeting in December, a number of things have ben achieved with plans for more in 2024.

Links with the Teddington Bowls Club
As part of our constitution, we have a member of the Bowls Club on our committee and we are grateful for their support. As Friends, we value the beautiful bowling green which forms such a substantial part of our park and are keen to encourage new members to join the club.

Links with LBRuT Council
A number of meetings have been held in the last year with Victoria Johnson. Parks Officer, and her colleagues. As a result of these meetings, we have been promised a drinking fountain and a replanting of certain beds. The FoGG Bio-diversity Group were delighted to welcome two bird boxes and two bat boxes in April and we hope soon to have installed some bug hotels- which should be of interest to children and adults alike.
Park regulars will also have noticed that the vintage roller has been taken out of the shadows and fixed permanently at the side of the Clubhouse. Although no longer in use, the sight of it adds to the vintage feel of the park. One newcomer remarked that it looks as if it is the site of an Agatha Christie story! Shelley Templeman’s hard work looking for ways we can improve the bedding in Grove Gardens has already paid off. We have just received a donation of 300 crocus bulbs from the Council. Planted by enthusiastic Friends, we look forward to seeing them flower in a few months’ time.

Links with dog owners
One of the concerns voiced at the public meeting in October 2022, was the behaviour of certain inconsiderate dog owners, who do not have control of their dogs and do not clear up after them. This is still an issue but members of the Dogs Group have ensured that the signage is clear and encouraged other dog walkers to pick up “one for the park” by having spare bags with them.

Links with Friends
Our biggest achievement so far is the number of people, who have signed up to join (for free) on the website. We now have over 100 members many of whom represent families.
Our Secretary, Anne Nursey, has done stirling work with our website with the help of Habitats & Heritage

We plan to run more events in 2024 on the lines of our successful Open Day on 8th May which we held jointly with the Teddington Bowls Club (see the report on our website). Along with some delicious refreshments from the Club Tea Rooms, visitors were encouraged to try their hand at bowling while younger members of the family could work out the answers to a quiz or look for spiders and beetles.

Grove Gardens has always been a special place for those of us who have lived nearby most of our lives. It is somewhere where children learn to cycle or scooter for the first time and teenagers arrange to meet friends, where dogs enjoy chasing squirrels and squirrels enjoy teasing dogs, where the sound of bowls being played will echo memories of a quieter bygone age, where sitting in the sun alone on a bench will prompt a friendly hello from another parkgoer.

We would like to thank the FoGG committee members, who have worked with us in our first year. Thanks are also due to Habitats & Heritage for their continued advice and the LBRuT Parks Team for their support.

We look forward to meeting and working with more Friends in 2024.

As Benji (aged 8), who has now illustrated two posters for us, wrote in May -his favourite thing about the park is “that everyone is included”.

Sarah Simpson. Andy Ridge


Friends of Grove Gardens