Save the Animals
Summary: Although the imminent closure of the Animal Park has been avoided (thanks in part to the 7500 signature petition which the Friends were heavily involved in collecting) it’s fate now hangs on the success of Maryon Wilson Animal Park Ltd, set up by the council, to become a charity and find alternative funding sources.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or financially supporting Maryon Wilson Animal Park Ltd or would like to become a member, MWAP Ltd can be contacted via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maryon Wilson Animal Park Latest Update
August 2012: Currently, without a representative, the Friends ask the Head of Parks and Open Spaces, Dawn Squires, to keep them up to date on any developments, until a new representative is found.
August 2012: The Friends understand that the estimated cost for running MWAP Ltd has been revised again to between £120,000 and £140,000 a year.
July 2012: The representative of the Friends on the Maryon Wilson Animal Park Board, Andrew Donkin, resigns from the board.
July 2012: The council announce that for 2010/11, the council have an underspend of £0.67 million i.e. £670,000.
July 2012: MWAP Ltd is a featured charity at an event in General Gordon square, Woolwich. Members of the public meet some of the smaller animals from the park and £300 is raised. http://www.mercury-today.co.uk/news.cfm?id=22981
July 2012: Helen Cleary, the vice chair of the MWAP Board resigns for family reasons.
June 2012: The Charlton based Meridian magazine adopt the MWAP as their ‘Charity for the Year’.
May 2012: Local resident and Friends member, Andrew Donkin, becomes the representative of the Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks on the MWAP Board.
July 2012: MWAP Ltd have a presence at the council’s Maryon Wilson Park Open Day. MWAP membership forms are made available to the general public. http://charltonchampion.co.uk/2012/05/23/maryon-wilson-animal-park-open-day-this-saturday/
April 2012: Following a thwarted bid to become Council Leader, a cabinet reshuffle at Greenwich council sees councillor John Fahy moved from ‘Culture and the Olympics’ (that includes ‘Parks and Open Spaces’), to ‘Health and Older People’.
March 2012: A Meeting is held at Charlton House of the new shadow board of the MWAP. Charlton ward councilor Allan McCarthy becomes chair and local resident Helen Cleary vice-chair. A representative from Greenwich Leisure Limited is present at the meeting. The council revise the estimated cost of running the Maryon Wilson Animal Park, and by implication the Trust’s target income rises upward from £43,000 to £80,000 a year. Shortly after Tim and Edna Anderson resign from the shadow board.
February 2012: The council’s proposals, for the MWAP is for the council to transfer the animal enclosures to the MWAP Ltd but to continue to run the MWAP, on a day to day basis, under a service level agreement to be agreed with the company, who would need to raise the £80,000 a year running costs and apply for grants for any capital projects. Plans for a new toilet/ cafe/ classroom had been drawn up by the council.
February 2012: A ‘Freedom of Information Request’ reveals that Greenwich council found £3.7m, £3,700,000, from their reserves, to fund the capital costs of the new Horticulture and Equestrian Skills Centre on Shooters Hill.
January 2012: The council set up a limited company called ‘Maryon Wilson Animal Park Ltd.’ the first step in setting up of a Charity. Initial directors included the council’s acting chief executive and councillor John Fahy.
January 2012: The council interview prospective members for the proposed Maryon Wilson Park Charity including; local residents, members of the Friends and a representative of the RDA, the Riding for the Disabled Association are interviewed. The council look to appoint a representative from the Friends for the Trust and invite a founding trustee of the London City Farm ‘The Mudchute Park and Farm’ Isle of Dogs, John Goodwin, to join the board.
December 2012: The council, who had set up a working party in May 2011, for the MWAP, initiate plans to create a Trust or Charity. Members from the Friends of the Park, Tim and Edna Anderson had been attending the meetings in 2011.
December 2012: The Friends and STAMP are pleased to announce that Greenwich Council has responded positively to the campaign and the 7,500 signature STAMP petition. The council have announced that it the Animal Park has a future, as it will not be closed in April 2012, keep the park open for local residents and visiting school children to enjoy. The council signals their intention of creating a charitable Trust to take over the running and funding of the Animal Park.
The council are in the process of creating a Trust to help develop the Animal Park’s activities and facilities.
The council will continue to fund the stockman and is developing ways of generating funds to help the Trust become sustainable. The Trust should be fully formed by April 2012, as a Limited Company by guarantee and then registered as a Charity.
News about the Maryon Wilson Animal Park, as it is to be known, will be published on the Friends website as it becomes available.
Updates from October 2011
15th – The daily Blog will now take a break whilst the Council respond to the STAMP petition. The e-petition and the Facebook campaign pages are still open. The STAMP Team will be considering the next phase of the campaign.
13th – The total number of STAMP signatures has reached over 7,500 (Petition numbers breakdown). Thank you to everybody who has contributed to the STAMP Campaign and to the 7,500 people who have signed the petition.
12th – Over 70 people joined the ‘Buggie Protest’. The STAMP Petition (4,500 extra signatures) was presented to Councillor Allan MacCarthy in Maryon Wilson Park. The Mercury and News Shopper newspapers attended along with the Charlton Champion webmaster Daryl Chambers.
11th – The news Shopper publishes details of the Buggies protest.
10th – 30 Signatures arrive by post; the total number of signatures is over 7,300.
9th – The Charlton Champion website publish news about the Buggies Protest: http://charltonchampion.co.uk/
8th – The Mercury and News Shopper show interest in the Buggie Protest (http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/9286208.Protestors_to_form__wall_of_buggies__at_threatened_animal_centre/)
7th – One activist has collected almost 4,000 paper signatures for the STAMP Petition since March.
6th – The Charlton branch of ‘Pet’s at Home’ collect signatures as does a local Chemist.
5th – Wood Hill nursery hand in STAMP petition signatures.
4th – STAMP issue a Press Release with details of the peaceful ‘Bring a Buggie’ protest event in Maryon Wilson Park at 12 noon, on Wednesday 12th October. Protesters, with or without a Buggie are invited to meet by the duck pond.
3rd – 20 Parents, in Maryon Wilson Park, walking their children home from school sign the STAMP petition
2nd – Local residents hand in petition sheets with 30 STAMP petition signatures.
1st – 50 parents and carers with children using the disability friendly swing park in Charlton Park, sign the STAMP Petition. Many visitors to the Charlton Park Reminiscence Project Open Day in Charlton House ask about the future of the Maryon Wilson Animal Care Centre.
30th – The good weather brings out walkers in Maryon Wilson Park, 20 people sign the STAMP Petition.
29th – The Greenwich Parks Friends Forum offer to circulate the Buggies Poster advertising the peaceful protest event in Maryon Wilson Park at 12 noon, on Wednesday 12th October. Protesters are invited to meet by the duck pond.
28th – 15 people who have brought children to the Wednesday Animal Tour sign the STAMP petition.
27th – 30 Signatures on the STAMP petition collected from Oxley Woods Café where the petition sheet is available on the noticeboard.
26th – The STAMP petition was available for only 20 minutes in Maryon Wilson Park yet 10 people signed.
25th – 70 people in Maryon Wilson Park sign the STAMP petition many of whom were on their way to the Charlton Athletic home game.
24th – Pet owners and animal lovers, who are customers of ‘Pets at Home’ in Charlton, have been signing the STAMP petition. The manager requests more petition sheets.
23rd – Local parent, Helen Cleary, makes contact wanting to up help the STAMP campaign and with an idea of a ‘Wall of Buggies” protest, which will take place on Wednesday 12th October at 12 noon. – please see the STAMP Facebook Causes page
22nd – STAMP signatures have been received from local Charlton pubs, Charlton House and the Charlton Village Chemist.
21st – Carol Kenna, who is coordinating CPRP, the Charlton Parks Remembrance Project, reports that the original 1926 Maryon Wilson Parks Covenant by which the Maryon-Wilson family gifted Maryon Wilson Park to the people of London has not been found. However, the CPRP has found a full record of the Covenant details located at the Metropolitan Archive in the LCC property register. Under the Covenant, the rural nature of the park is protected.
The Charlton Parks Remembrance Project are holding an open day at Charlton House on 1st October 2011 so the general public can see the progress made so far. See more details about the Charlton Parks Remembrance Project on the Charlton Champion Website
20th – The Council appear to be making some investment in Maryon Wilson Animal Park as eighteen new oriental Ducks have appeared, four of which are Whistling Ducks and four are Mandarin Ducks.
19th – 40 people from local Charlton Council Estates sign the STAMP Petition.
18th – 10 people in Maryon Park, with their children in the swing-park, sign the STAMP petition.
17th – 60 people sign the STAMP petition in their local Charlton pub and the pub request more petition sheets.
16th – 90 people who are customers of a local Charlton vets sign the STAMP petition, the vets ask for more copies of the STAMP petition sheets because of the demand.
15th – A local Charlton pharmacy collects 20 STAMP petition signatures and asks for more petition sheets. The chemist recognises the benefits of the Animal Park in terms of local public health.
14th – Even with children back at school, the Wednesday Animal tour remains popular with 30 adults signing the STAMP petition.
13th – When signing the e-petition Peter Heyman writes “This lovely park is one of London’s hidden treasures and the presence of a variety of farm animals in a well controlled environment within a few miles of the City of London makes it totally unique. It MUST be preserved as an oasis of calm in our busy, bustling world and is something Charlton should be truly proud of.”
12th – ‘The Save Maryon (Wilson) Animal Park’ Facebook campaign reaches 4,025 members. Members need to sign the STAMP petition to make their feelings count.
11th – The Church Community supports the STAMP campaign; 40 signatures are received from the congregation of Leigh Parish Church, Tonbridge Kent.
10th – 50 people passing through Maryon Wilson Park, many on their way to the Charlton Athletic home game sign the STAMP petition.
9th – 100 people connected to South Rise School, Plumstead, sign the STAMP petition.
8th – Local Councillors indicate that the STAMP petition and a question, need to be tabled before the 26th October Council meeting to formally request that the Council commits to continuing the Maryon Wilson Park Animal Care Centre funding.
7th – The Friends learn that local Charlton Councillors are considering their response to the STAMP petition.
6th – Rianka Bouwmeester when signing the STAMP e-petition writes “Feeding the animals at Maryon Wilson Park is one of my children’s favourite activities. We need to make sure that many other children will have a chance to benefit from the animal encounters in the future.
5th – A Maryon Wilson Park Animal Care Centre ‘working party meeting’ takes place at the Town Hall chaired by the Council Cabinet officer John Fahey.
4th – Family member from South Africa visiting Charlton relatives states “Just visited this park for the first time, anyone one in their right mind would not close this haven”.
3rd – The Friends understand that STAMP petition sheets are being circulated and signed by people attending Bingo in Woolwich.
2nd – 50 people from the Royal Oak pub Charlton sign the STAMP petition. The pub request more STAMP petition sheets because of the demand to support the Animal Park.
1st – Charlton Councillor Allan McCarthy offers to present the STAMP petition at a full Council meeting, suggesting that this would need to be in October.
31st – The STAMP Facebook Campaign reaches over 4,020 members.
30th – The STAMP e-petition reaches over 1,840 signatures; the paper petition also continues to grow.
29th – The Friends have received offers from volunteers to work in the Maryon Wilson Park Animal Centre. The Friends have passed on the details to the Council.
28th – Walkers in Maryon Wilson Park, who have covered 78 miles of the Capital Ring long distance walk, declare Maryon Wilson Park a beautiful place and sign the STAMP petition.
27th – The Greenwich Council Heath and Safety leaflet for Maryon Wilson Park Animal Tours states that ‘the tours at Maryon Wilson Animal Park take under 2 hours and give the opportunity to feed, stroke and handle animals. It helps children understand and appreciate animals they would not normally come into contact with.’
26th – Joyce Robinson has recruited 31 members to the STAMP Facebook campaign.
25th – The Head of Adult and Continuing Education in a local College states that the Maryon Wilson Animal Centre has potential as an Animal Education facility for local and London people.
24th – Mr Alan Malloy signs the STAMP e-Petition and writes, “I fully support this very worthwhile campaign. Please maintain funding for all generations to enjoy.”
23rd – A Charlton born grandmother now living in Portsmouth brings her grandchildren to visit the Animal Park.
22nd – The local Charlton Village Pub, The White Swan offers to take STAMP petition sheets and encourage their customers to sign the petition.
21st – The Antigallican public house offers to take STAMP petition sheets and encourage their customers to sign the petition.
20th – Local Charlton Pubs join the STAMP campaign.
19th – Family friends from Birmingham visit the park and sign the petition.
18th – Matthew Healy has recruited 31 people who have joined the STAMP Facebook Campaign.
17th – 20 people who are in the park for the Maryon Wilson Animal Tour, sign the STAMP Petition. At least 20 people are turned away from the Tour when it reaches its capacity of 50.
16th – Claire Mullard, who set up the STAMP Facebook Campaign, has personally recruited 26 members.
16th – One activist has reached the total of 3,000 signatures, for the STAMP Campaign, in less than 4 months. The 3,000 signatures, on the paper version of the STAMP petition, have been collected from local Greenwich people and from visitors to Maryon Wilson Park and the Maryon Wilson Park Animal Centre.
15th – The Maryon Wilson Park animal tour is over subscribed, yet again, with many disappointed parents, carers and children turned away when the tour reaches capacity numbers (50 people). 30 people sign the STAMP petition.
14th – Local supporters of the STAMP campaign are urging STAMP to contact the Mayor of London and the Royal Family about the proposed closure of the Maryon Wilson Animal Park.
13th – The STAMP e-petition reaches over 1,800 signatures whilst greater numbers of people in Greenwich are signing the paper version of the petition. Current figures indicate that the total number of signatures will reach 10,000 by the end of the year in time for the Councils next round of budget decisions.
12th – Antonia Mochan from Charlton, signs the STAMP e-petition writing ” We need our city children to understand about nature and animals. Keep the park open so future generations understand their planet.”
11th – A shocked visitor to Maryon Wilson Animal Park states that their family has been coming to see the animals for generations.
10th – 30 people on the Maryon Wilson Park Animal tour, sign the STAMP petition. A Charlton born grandfather visiting from their current home in Australia makes a special visit with his grandchildren and is distressed at news of the possible closure of the Animal Centre.
9th – The Friends want to reassure the public that the ponies in the Maryon Wilson Park go ‘on holiday’ to a farm for the summer holiday period. The ponies have not left Maryon Wilson Park.
8th – Over 50 people attend the Maryon Wilson Park Animal Tour many sign the STAMP petition.
7th – The STAMP Facebook campaign reaches 4,000 members
6th – 100 people walking in Maryon Wilson Park sign the STAMP petition including many of whom are Charlton Athletic F.C. fans on their way to the first match of the season.
5th – The Animal Tour is oversubscribed. 30 people sign the STAMP petition. The local Charlton village chemists, the Charlton Pharmacy, offer to collect STAMP petition signatures.
4th – Dr Iris Dove and Carol Kenna, discover the original Maryon Wilson Park Covenant at the London Metropolitan Archive, in an LCC ledger, whilst researching for the Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project.
The search for the Royal Charter continues.
3nd – 50 people visiting the Animal Park sign the petition, including a Primary School teacher who cannot understand why the Council would want to close an animal education resource. A grandmother brought her grandchildren, who were visiting from Canada, on the animal tour.
2nd – 50 people visiting Avery Hill Park, Eltham, sign the STAMP petition. The Friends of Avery Hill Park support the STAMP campaign and help enable the signatures: http://friendsofaveryhillpark.webs.com
1st – People visiting the Oxleas Wood Café on Shooters Hill have been signing the STAMP petition sheet that was left on their notice board. Local Charlton animal orientated businesses offer to collect STAMP petition signatures ‘Pets at Home’ and ‘Barrier Vets’.
1st – Dr Sarah Louise Stringer and Dr Hannah Fichelson sign the e-petition and comment ‘Save the Park’ and ‘Too many of the areas that make London such a remarkably green urban jungle are being thrown away due to short term goals and leaving long term losses. Stop it, the price of the loss is too high.
31st – This week, the last in July, at least 230 people have sign the STAMP paper petition and 15 people have sign the e-petition including Dr Sarah Louise Stringer. The total number of signatures heads towards 8,000 in support of the Maryon Wilson Animal Park.
30th – 100 people sign the STAMP Petition at the CTRA (Coldharbour Tenants and Residents Association) Queens Park Family Fun Day, Eltham.
29th – 20 parents, whose children are attending the St. Thomas’s Church children’s play scheme, Old Charlton, sign the STAMP Petition.
28th – The friends of Avery Hill Park call to say that they have completed STAMP Petition Sheets ready for collection and that they need more copies, as so many people want to sign.
27th – The actor, musician and animal supporter Michael Howe, has become a top recruiter for the STAMP Facebook Campaign Page. The STAMP page is close to recruiting 4,000 members.
26th – When signing the STAMP e-petition Chris Brown writes “Surely Greenwich Council can find £43,000 to save this valuable facility for the community”?
25th – 100 people, staff and parents, sign the STAMP Petition at Cherry Orchard School, Charlton.
24th – 100 visitors to the Park sign the petition on a sunny Sunday. Most of the signatures come from family groups and people walking the Green Chain Walk. STAMP petition numbers move over the 7,500 signature mark.
23th – 20 visitors to Maryon Wilson Park sign the STAMP petition, including visitors from other areas of Greater London who are attracted to the Animal Park.
22th – A pupil at a local secondary school has set up their own petition website called ‘Save the Animals in Maryon Wilson Park’ as part of a citizenship project. Although just a school exercise, it has attracted 45 signatures. The official STAMP online e-petition has reached 1,815 signatures.
21th – South Rise Primary School Greenwich support the STAMP petition writing on their website:
“At South Rise we often take classes to visit the Animal Care Centre and strongly feel that we should support the campaign to save it. Please could parents sign the petitions around the school or the online petition by visiting their website. You can find a copy of the petition in the main entrance of the school on the parent notice board.”
20th – The South East London Mercury newspaper feature the STAMP Campaign, the Animal Centre and the three baby deer that have been recently born in the park in an article entitled:
“Thousands Plead for No Cuts in Sanctuary funds – Campaigners fear deer could be lost from Park”
a scan of which can be seen here
20th – 25 people sign the STAMP petition whilst visiting the Animals or walking the Green Chain Walk in Maryon Wilson Park. A group of male walkers express their surprise that the Animal Centre should have been considered for closure because of what it offers to children.
19th – A member of the Friends spends a third day looking through documents at the Metropolitan Archive for the 1926 Maryon Wilson Park indenture that outlines the covenant between the Maryon-Wilson family and the LCC when the family gifted the park to the people of London. The Friends also write to the Land Registry about their records of Maryon Wilson Park.
18th – Visitors on the Maryon Wilson Park Animal Tour sign the petition.
17th – Mick Collins leaves a message after signing the STAMP e-petition “If the council allow this hidden gem, which means so much to so many people, to close, they should not expect to do so quietly or without a huge amount of attention being drawn to the decision.”
16th – In spite of torrential rain and disappointing attendance, 25 people sign the STAMP petition at Avery Hill PARKSfest 2011, one of a series of small festivals organised by the Friends of various Parks in Greenwich. The Avery Hill Park Café offered to make the petition available for Avery Hill Park users to sign.
15th – Dr Robert Moore writes a comment when signing the STAMP e-petition,
“Having been born and brought up in Charlton, I have many wonderful memories of our parks and in particular going to see the deer in Maryon Wilson Park. It would be a disgrace if such a lovely feature were allowed to go.”
14th – The Charlton Champion Website, is the first to feature the July STAMP press release:
13th – A Junior School from St. Paul’s Cray, Bromley, Kent visit the animal centre and comment that they would have appreciated a day-long visit with access to an on-site ‘Café / Learning Centre / Classroom’.
13th – A great grandmother brings her great grand children to the Maryon Wilson Park Wednesday animal tour, marking the fourth generation of her family to visit the animal park.
12th – Charlton Manor School support the STAMP petition. The school have won a Capital Growth bid to establish an urban garden and keep chickens and bees to enrich their curriculum offer. The school appreciate the value of the Maryon Park Animal Centre Animal Centre.
11th – A STAMP press release is issued to 6 local newspapers. Five of the media outlets respond within 2 days.
11th – Mrs Sarah Baker leaves a comment for the Council on the STAMP online e-petition:
“We visit this park weekly so our Special Needs son can someday work with the animals that he loves. This is our closest animal park and it would be a great loss for so many people if this place is shut down. My 12 year-old son will be one of many that will miss this park.
DON’T TAKE IT (The Animal Care Centre) AWAY PLEASE!!!!
10th – 100 people sign the STAMP petition at the Woodlands Farm Open Day, Shooters Hill
9th – Another business supports the STAMP Campaign.
The Shooters Hill based ‘Green’ delivery business, ‘The Very Green Grocer’, offers to collect signatures by taking the STAMP petition with them on their mobile Farm Shop that sells organic and local farm produce. www.theverygreengrocer.co.uk
8th – The Friends learn that a Home-Schooled pupil visits the park every week because he hopes to become a zoologist.
7th – The Friends understand that yet another Junior School Head Teacher has singed the petition.
6th – 50 people sign the STAMP petition. Signatures come from visitors to the park, Charlton House and Charlton Manor School.
5th – The Friends learn that the Council are developing plans for up grading the Animal Care Centre buildings and a café with toilets in Maryon Wilson Park.
4th – The Friends learn that residents in the Charlton Park Care Home, some wheelchair users, enjoy visiting Maryon Wilson Animal Park with their relatives and careers.
3rd – 20 people sign the STAMP petition at St. Thomas’s Church Summer Fete, Charlton.
2nd – 100 people, many of them dog owners, sign the STAMP petition at the Shrewsbury Park Dog Show, part of Shrewsbury Park’s Greenwich Park Fest.
Members of the Friends of Bostall Woods and the Plumstead Common Environmental Group sign the petition.
1st – The Friends learn that Maryon Wilson Animal Park is used as an informal ‘dog education’ facility. Dog owners bring their dogs to see the other animals in the enclosures, so that their dogs learn how to socialize safely with other animals.
Dog trainers consider this to be good practice.
Latest updates (June 2011)
31st – The Friends learn that local Dads Group SELondonDads have written to the Council in strong support of the Animal Park. Twenty dads add their names to the petition.
30th – Former Chair of the Friends tracks down the Maryon-Wilson family’s solicitors who handled the gifting of Maryon Wilson Park to the LCC in the 1920s.
29th – The Friends learn that ‘Home Education’ children in Greenwich use the Animal Centre as a learning resource.
28th – Over 20 people who are attending the Maryon Wilson Park Animal Tour sign the STAMP Petition.
28th – Brian Ainsworth has a letter published in the Council’s Greenwich Time newspaper and writing “ I recall the push in the 1970s and 1980s to build urban farms after politicians and newspapers got worried that our inner city kids didn’t know about how animals were reared ………… Charlton kids have Maryon Wilson Animal Park on their door step – here’s hoping that the Council manages to find a way of keeping it open!
27th – The Facebook ‘Save Maryon Animal Park’ causes page reaches 3,925 members. Facebook members need to sign the e-petition to count in the campaign aimed at persuading Greenwich Council to retain the Animals in Maryon Wilson Park.
26th – The ‘Save Maryon Wilson Animal Centre’ e-petition alone passes the
1,800 signatures mark.
25th – Danielle Figes, who signed the e-petition on the 25th, writes, “I attended Thorntree School as girl and always looked forward to seeing the animals afterwards.
I would be devastated if it goes. That place made me so happy and when I was going through times of difficulty I felt safe there. There are not many places you can feel safe and happy in London any more. This is one of them.”
24th – The Oxley Woods Café, Crownwoods Lane, Shooters Hill, display a STAMP petition sheet on their notice board. In June STAMP activists collect a fully completed sheet.
23rd – Staff from Greenwich Nurseries have been asking for STAMP petition sheets, so that their parents can join the campaign.
22nd – Thirty staff and parents from Emmanuel Nursery, who were on an organised Maryon Wilson Park Animal Tour, sign the STAMP petition. Staff and parents write comments when signing the petition “ Please do not close the animal park, a very educative place, it is too valuable for children”.
21st – The STAMP Petition paper and e-petition combined figures reaches 6,185 signatures.
20th – January 2012 is suggested as the month for the STAMP petition to be presented to Greenwich Council and as the target for the STAMP petition to reach 10,000 signatures.
19th – 70 people sign the STAMP petition at Charlton’s Community Horn Fayre.
The Mayor of Greenwich, Jim Gillman, who attended the Fayre with the Mayoress Janet Gillman, spoke to a STAMP activist. Jim asked when he might expect to receive the 10,000-signature petition that he says would probably be the largest Greenwich Council has every received.
18th – One activist, a retired Special Schools nurse, who understands what the Animal Park means to local children and families, has collected over 2,000 signatures for the STAMP campaign. STAMP expect to reach 10,000 signatures by the end of the year.
17th – The online STAMP e-petition reaches 1,800 signatures.
16th – Joyce Robinson, who is a member of the STAMP Facebook Campaign, has recruited 31 recruits. Facebook members need to sign the e-petition or paper petition to make their name count.
15th – Over 100 people sign the STAMP Petition at the Teddy Bears Picnic organised by Greenwich Pre-school Learning Alliance. 30 people, who attended the Wednesday animal tour, signed the petition.
14th -The Friends understand that the Council may be looking into ways of educational income generation for the Animal Care Centre.
13th – Demelza Hospice Care for Children supports the STAMP campaign as their children visit the Animal Centre. The Eltham branch of Demelza often request special tours of the animal enclosures. The Hospice has helped collect signatures for the STAMP campaign.
12th – The Friends understand that the Council hope to reach service level agreements with the organisations that use the Animal Care Centre to reduce the Council costs.
11th – As most of the local Primary Schools use the Maryon Wilson Animal Care Centre as part of their curriculum, the Friends understand that the STAMP petition campaign is now going to be extended to other Primary Schools in Greenwich.
10th – The Friends understand that Greenwich Council are considering a ‘Social Enterprise Trust’, in the style of ‘Greenwich Leisure’ who run the sports centers in Greenwich, as the way forward for the Maryon Wilson Animal Care Centre.
9th – The Facebook ‘Save the Animals’ Campaign reaches 3,900 members.
8th – 20 more adults, who are attending the Wednesday Maryon Wilson Park Animal Tour, sign the STAMP petition.
7th – The Friends learn that 50 people from the local Charlton Health Centre have signed the STAMP Petition.
6th – Ted Chapman writes on the STAMP Facebook page, “I have been going there (Maryon Wilson Animal Park) for 60 years. I have taken my children and have seen the pleasure it gives to local people and visitors alike, it must stay”.
5th – Dr Stephen Hartiss, noted scientist, has signed the STAMP Petition adding to the number of academics and medical doctors who understand the value of the Animal Park.
4th – Volunteers from the Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks clear litter
from the two parks helping to ensure the animals in the Animal Care Centre enclosures do not eat discarded rubbish. 50 people who were in Maryon Wilson Park signed the STAMP petition.
3rd – The Friday Animal Tour is over subscribed again. 30 people sign the STAMP petition. People arrive early but many are turned away.
2nd – 50 more signatures for the STAMP campaign are collected by midweek.
1st – The Half Term Animal Tours are oversubscribed yet again. Many children, parents and carers picnic in the park, at lunchtime, hoping to be early and get to the front of the queue but 30 people are turned away.
31st – The Friends learn that the Council Officers are considering offering volunteering opportunities to people with an interest in Animal Care to work at the Centre at weekends.
30th – The Facebook ‘Save the Animals’ Campaign website page is just a few members short of 3,900 members. STAMP are encouraging their Facebook members to sign the paper or e-petition and to pass on the details to friends and family who are concerned about the future of the Animal Care Centre.
29th – The Friends learn that the Animal Care Centre may offer a service to City Farms who have animals they want to ‘retire’.
28th – The Friends understand that there are no plans to change the status of Maryon Wilson Park itself and that it will remain a rural styled park managed by the local Council.
27th – The Friends learn more details about the Greenwich Council’s plans for the Maryon Wilson Park Animal Centre. The Council are proactively seeking ways to keep the Animal Centre open by reducing costs and finding ways to improve the aging infrastructure.
26th – The friends learn that Brent Knoll Special School from Forest Hill, Lewisham, have booked a visit to the Maryon Wilson Park Animal Care Centre.
25th – A class from Charlton Park Special School visit the Animal Centre. Some pupils are wheelchair users. The access to the Centre is wheelchair friendly.
24th – A member of the Friends attends a reception for David Miliband in Woolwich.
23rd – The Friends learn that the Council seem to be responding to the STAMP campaign and that they are developing plans for the future of the Maryon Wilson Park Animal Care Centre. The Councillors and Officers are looking toward development rather than closure.
22nd – More local people sign the e-petition the days after the Maryon Wilson Park Open Day bringing the total for the e-petition to 1,780.
22nd – Visitor to the Animal Park, Nat Machtus, writes on the Facebook Campaign page: ‘I went along… (to the Open Day)… it was fantastic’
21st – Greenwich Council’s Maryon Wilson Park Open Day:
- STAMP organise a peaceful picnic protest with many families picnicking in the Park.
- 200 people sign the STAMP petition taking the total to over 6,000 signatures.
- The Pensioners Forum holds a protest walk from Charlton House to the Animal Park.
- A member of the Greenwich Disability Form gives their support to the Campaign.
- ‘The Friends’ have their own information and recruiting stall at the Open Day.
- Clair from STAMP joins the Friends and talks to visitors to the Friends Stall
- ‘PJ the Magical Clown’ from Charlton Park School, who supports the STAMP Campaign, performs for the children and families at the Open Day.
20th – Hannah Pitty, from Millennium School writes on the e-petition: ‘Visited with my nursery children/class last week. SAVE THE CENTRE!’
19th – Emma Banks writes on the e-petition ‘the benefits of this (Animal Centre) are untold in terms of the educational and social experience for children and families in the Borough.’
18th – A group of adults with special needs visit the Centre for the Animal Tour.
17th – A blind adult with his career visit the Animal Park as they enjoy the sounds of the animals.
16th – Support grows to Save the Maryon Wilson Animal Park. Recent signatures of the STAMP petition include Dr. Steve Harris and Maria Lind who comment ‘ There are children living in poverty who will never have the opportunity to leave Charlton for a visit to the zoo.’
15th – 5,750 people have signed the STAMP petition so far.
14th – 3,830 people have joined the STAMP’s Save Maryon Animal Park Facebook page.
13th – 4,000 people have signed the paper petition, 1,750 people have signed the e-petition.
12th – New volunteers offer to collect signatures for the STAMP campaign.
11th – A Charlton based internationally famous ‘Classic Rock’ star signs the e-petition.
10th – The Friends publish minutes of May meeting with details of councillor John Fahy’s very surprising update about the Animal Care Centre.
9th – Dr Enor signs the paper petition whist visiting the Maryon Wilson Animal Park.
8th – Janet Ling (Language Therapist) signs the e-petition and writes” I work with children with significant speech disorders ……it is important for the children to experience the real thing (animals) rather than pictures in a book.
7th – The Friends learn that the STAMP Campaign is planning a family orientated protest event against the closure of the Maryon Wilson Animal Care Centre.
7th – Hundreds of Charlton Athletic FC fans have signed the STAMP petition, many as they past through Maryon Wilson Park, past the animal enclosures, on their way to home matches.
100 fans sign the petition on 7th May.
6th – A class from Charlton Park Special School visited the Animal enclosures
5th – At the May Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Park meeting, the Friends are stunned when Councillor John Fahy, who made a late appearance, states that the ‘Riding for the Disabled’ ponies in Maryon Wilson Park are costing the Council an additional £30,000 a year to stable in the park on top of the £43,000 Animal Care Centre costs published by the Council.
4th – The Friends hear that the Greenwich Pensions Forum plan a walk to the park as a group on the Maryon Wilson Park Open Day at 21st May.
4th – During an interview published on Greenwich.co.uk website Councillor John Fahy
states that it his aim is to get people into the parks. Friends chairperson Tim Anderson comments:
3rd – The Greenwich Mural Workshop, lead by Friends member, Carol Kenna, has been successful in coordinating a National Lottery bid. A grant for £39,000 has been awarded for a reminisce project that will record the memories of local people about the five parks in Charlton that were formally part of the Maryon Wilson Charlton House Estate. The reminisce will go to the National Archive.
2nd – Will Greenwich Council’s current Cabinet Members be recorded as the local politicians who closed the Maryon Wilson Animal Park Care Centre?
1st – The May edition of Westcombe News features the Maryon Wilson Animal Park as front-page story, under the headline “Maryon turning in her grave”. An interesting headline but not exactly feasible as the park was gifted to London by Sir Spencer Maryon-Wilson in 1924. The Friends suggest an alternative headline: “Spencer will be turning in his grave”!
31th – The news Greenwich tourist newspaper “Greenwich Visit” features the plight of the Maryon Wilson Animal Park in their May edition.
27th – Former Friends chairperson and retired solicitor and archivist joins the search for the ‘lost’ Maryon Wilson Park legal documents.
26th – Local website 853 contact the Friends requesting a comment on the expensive Mayor Ceremony planned by the Council:
25th – The newspaper ‘Greenwich Visitor’ confirm that they will be featuring the Animal
Park in their next May/June issue.
24th – Greenwich Pensions Forum contacts the Friends. The GPF want to make their feelings more public about the closure of the Animal Care Centre.
23rd Friends Chairperson, Tim Anderson comments “The situation with the Animal Park is starting to look like a classic example on how a political party can lose Wards and their own Councillors in local elections”.
a) Take away the most popular local Council amenity.
b) Fail to respond to a large petition presented to the Council.
c) Ignore the strong feelings of local people.
22nd The Maryon Wilson Park Animal Tour is over subscribed, yet again, and families are turned away. Two supporter of the STAMP campaign comes across Councillor John Fahy, in Maryon Wilson Park, and had the opportunity to express their strong views about the proposed closure of the Animal Centre.
21st A Freedom of Information request to Greenwich Council reveals that; Any Member of the Council may present a petition and may read or summarise briefly the substance. Petitions will be received without debate and referred to the relevant Chief Officer, copied to the corresponding Cabinet Member, for investigation and response. The outcome of the investigation to be reported back to the Full Council within two meetings.
20th As the Council are imposing a 100% cut on the Animal Park, some members of the STAMP Campaign and the Friends of the Parks are beginning to fear that the Animal Centre closure plan may be an earmarked saving to finance another non-statutory Council project.
19th The Friends learn that the community newspaper Westcombe Park News is to feature the Maryon Wilson Animal Park on the front of its next edition.
18th The Friends receive a letter from the Registrar of the Royal Archives about the Deer in Maryon Wilson Park.
17th Response to misquotation: The Friends did point out to the Wharf that the real running costs of the centre are likely to be less than £43,000 a year as the Council use an average figure for staff of £30,000. Stockman starting salaries begin nearer £16, 000 with experienced senior stockman earning up to £ 25,000. The 20-year-old Maryon Wilson Park stockman, was appointed just two years ago.
16th The Friends are misquoted in the Wharf Newspaper double page article; “The Friends group say the Council is over estimating how much the centre costs to run to justify the cuts.” Last Published Update Below:
15th The Wharf, the docklands newspaper publishes a double page centre spread article on the plight of Maryon Wilson Animal Park.
15th Animal Tour attract 80 people including a group from Pond Park Nursery, 30 people have to be turned away.
14th The Friends hear that a pupil at Thorntree School has written to the Queen about the Animal Park and in particular the plight of the deer.
13th Families and children are turned away from the Maryon Wilson Park Animal Tour as it is over subscribed.
13th The Mercury publish an article an the Animal Park, featuring children petting the smaller animals in the Care Centre.
12th Friends learn that an average of 4,000 people go on the MWP Animal Tours a year.
11th The STAMP Petition reaches 4,000 signatures (1,600 e-petition, 2, 400 on paper)
10th – Many visitors to Maryon Wilson Park reveal that they have written to
the Council asking them to keep the Animal Care Centre in the Park.
9th – The total number of signatures on the STAMP moves over the 4,000 mark.
9th – 110 visitors to the Animal Park sign the STAMP Petition in 3 days, this week.
8th – Figures from the Green Chain (Walk) Project Office imply that 10, 000
walkers a month pass through Maryon Wilson Park.
7th – A second local newspaper contact the Friends with a view of publishing an article on the plight of Maryon Wilson Animal Park.
6th – A London newspaper, takes an interest in the Maryon Wilson Animal Park, with a view to publishing an article.
6th – 30 plus adults and children attend the Animal Tour.
5th April – A teacher brought a class of children from a school in Plumstead for a specially arranged Animal Tour.
5th – A local newspaper contact the Greenwich Council and a spokesperson states the Council’s position:
“There are no changes to the animal park in Maryon Wilson Park at this time.
However, in a bid to protect essential frontline services the Council, faced with record-breaking cuts from the Coalition Government of £63m, is keen to reduce areas of subsidised expenditure wherever it can.
Therefore over the next 12 months, the Council proposes to engage with local people who have expressed an interest in the park to determine whether there is a sufficient level of community interest to increase local involvement in the park and eliminate the subsidy.”
4th – A local newspaper takes a renewed interest in the Maryon Wilson Animal Park, after a member of the public contacts them.
2nd – One hundred visitors to the Animal Park sign the petition in one day.
1st – ‘The Wharf’, the docklands newspaper makes contact with the Friends with a view to publishing an article with photographs about the situation with the Animal Park.
31st – Dr Paul Tyler, the former Major of Greenwich, signs the STAMP petition and makes an offer to help the campaign.
30th – South East London Greenwich Mercury Newspaper contact the Friends with a view of writing an updated article about the possible closure of the Animal Park.
29th – Local people who have signed the STAMP petition contact the Mercury newspaper as they feel there has not been recent coverage.
28th – Councillor John Fahy states ” it was never my intention to get the Friends to run the facility other than in a supporting role” !
27th – MP Nick Raynsford replies to letters offering to take the mater further.
27th – ‘The Londonist’ website describes Maryon Wilson Park as a charming refuge of woody, hilly parkland with a popular petting zoo and animal care centre and that its future is under threat from budget cuts.
26th – An additional 400 signatures, in support of the Animal Park, have been obtain in the park from visitors to the Animal Care Centre in two weeks. The e-petition reaches over 1,600 signatures. The combined total is now over 4,000 signatures.
25th – Members of the Friends are invited to speak at the Pensioners Forum at Woolwich Town Hall, about the plight of the Animal Care Centre. Fifty people were present in the Council chambers. The Forum was shocked to hear that, contrary to recent press reports that the Centre has not been saved. Many Forum members expressed their understanding of the importance of the Animal Care Centre. The oldest member of the Forum, a 92 year-old remembers the opening of the park.
23rd – The Friends understand that the Riding for the Disabled Association want to stay in Maryon Wilson Park and continue to stable their ponies in the Animal Care Centre enclosure. Their horse-riding paddock is in Charlton Park, next to Charlton Park Special School, close to their stables.
March 22nd – The Friends note that before the Council vote, Charlton Councilor, Allan MacCarthy, told a Charlton Central Residents Association meeting “it was difficult to persuade those unfamiliar with the animal centre of its worth when there were competing demands on the council’s agenda, especially when they don’t know the facility and what it does for the neighbouring schools, and even people who are just walking past.”
March 21st – A former Chairperson and solicitor offers to help locate the covenants and charters associated with the gift of the park and the deer to the people of London.
March 20th – The Deputy Leader of the Council Peter Brooks, speaks about the ‘Animal Care Centre’ on Meantime Radio, with some alarming ideas. http://charltonchampion.co.uk/
March 19th – The Friends learn that the Council’s figure of £43,000-a-year cost of running the ‘Animal Care Centre’ is questionable. The Council’s staffing figure of £30,000 a year, for the one member of staff, is a nominal figure used in Council calculations. The actual annual running cost of the Centre and any likely saving is likely to be far less than £43,000 a year.
March 19th – Latest press release here
March 18th – Athletics coach who works with runners from Cambridge and Blackheath Harriers, in Maryon Wilson Park has signed the petition to keep the Animal Care centre in Maryon Wilson Park.
March 17th – Local businesses that see their trade being affected by the possible closure of the Animal Park join the Campaign.
March 17th – The Fairfield Health Centre offer to host the STAMP petition as they value ‘Green Prescriptions’ e.g. walk in the park and have contact with animals.
March 16th – Friends issue a press release to counter the misconception, given by some press statements that the Animal Centre has been saved. The Friends ask the Council to think again.
March 16th -The Friends become aware that child carers, nursery nurses and a dad’s child care group all with under 5s regularly bring their children to the Animal Tours as an educational experience for their youngsters.
March 15th – A local resident, whilst signing the STAMP petition, reveals how he stopped poachers, who were thinking of having pork for Christmas dinner, from climbing the enclosure fencing last winter. The pigs Bangers and Mash are still with us!
March 15th – The Friend write a letter to the Leader of the Council, asking eight key questions including if the use of the Animal Care Centre was audited before the budget cut decision.
March 14th – A local Council tenant who lives on the 9th floor of a high-rise block of flats, who brings her children to the Animal Park, cannot believe that the Council want to close the Animal Care Centre.
March 11th – After the Friends ask for clarification on the nature of his working party Cllr John Fahy withdraws his offer.
March 10th – At a joint Friends and STAMP meeting, Claire and Ali, the STAMP founders, announce that their campaign and petition will continue.
March 3rd – The News Shopper Website quotes Friends of Maryon Wilson Park chairperson after the full Council budget cuts meeting: “I think there was a little bit of movement on Cllr Roberts’ commitment to finding alternatives, but we’re disappointed they didn’t listen to the petition.” “Mr Anderson said the campaign to keep the funding was likely to carry on.”
March 3rd The Friends reveal that the Council have approached them with an offer – more details at the special Friends meeting at St. Thomas’s Church Hall, Thursday 10th March 7.15 for 7.30 pm.
March 3rd Lord Maryon Gough, from the Maryon Wilson family who gifted the Park and the Deer to London is informed of the Council’s decision.
March 2nd The News Shopper interviews members of the Friends at the Town Hall on their reaction to the cut.
March 2nd In the Budget Debate, Leader of the Council Chris Roberts, states that he understands the value of the Animal Park and that he believes that a way to support it past 2012 will be found, but that this will be outside the Council’s Budget responsibility.
March 2nd In spite of the petition, local newspaper and web coverage and many letters sent to Councilors by organisations, local residents, parents and children, the Council voted for the cut to the funding of the Maryon Wilson Animal Park at their Budget meeting.
March 2nd Eleven (11) out of the 20 people in the Public Gallery at the Town Hall were Friends or STAMP supporters.
March 2nd Cllr Janet Gillman (Charlton Ward) supports the petition in the Council meeting.
March 2nd The STAMP petition with over 3,000 signatures is presented, by Cllr Iqbal, at the Full Greenwich Council meeting a Woolwich Town Hall.
March 2nd: The News Shopper feature the STAMP campaign and show a photograph of the petition being handed to Councillor Mohammed Iqbal in Maryon Wilson Park.
March 2nd Local blogger Darryl 853 features a photo of a Thorntree School ‘Save the Animal Park’ poster.
March 2nd The News Shopper publish a letter written by seven year-old Toby Bond who hopes that the Animal park will not be shut down.
March 1st Greenwich Time newspaper publish the School Council letter from Thorntree Primary School making it the second Star Letter of the week about the Animal Centre.
Feb 28th The Charlton Society write to the Council in support of the Animal Park:
27th The number of academics and medical Doctors who have signed the petition increases and now includes: Professor Michele Brown, Dr Michael Alsford, Dr Mari Thomas, Dr Rachael James, Dr Julia Godis, Dr Andrew Childs, Dr James Demetre, Dr David Gardiner, DR G. Potts, Dr Leslie Clark
27th The number of Church Leaders and Ministers who have signed the petition increases and now includes: Rev Liz Newman, Rev Matthew Baker, Rev Rev Tristan Alexander-Watts, Rev Erica Woof
27th On receiving the Children’s Petition, Nick Rainsford M.P. stated that he understands the value of the ‘Animal Care Centre’ and that he will speak to the Council.
26th Children’s Petition and letters from the head teacher and children to be presented to Nick Rainsford M.P. at the Town Hall including an official letter from the Children’s School Council.
25th Friends members Gulle Stubbs and Jason Emmett attend a ‘thank-you’ reception for Greenwich Volunteers and take the opportunity to speak to Council members about the threat to the ‘Animal Care Centre’.
25th The ‘Save Maryon Wilson Animal Care Centre’ petition is presented to the Council. Cllr Mohammed Iqbal receives the 3,100 plus signatures in Maryon Wilson Park Mohammed meets children and adult park users including a parent of a child with Special needs who speak up strongly for the ‘Animal Care Centre’.
25th Dr David Ensor, a retired zoologist, signs the petition commenting that it is very important for children to observe animal behaviour.
24th Rev Mavis Neville signs the petition
23rd Well known, 17 year old Charlton Park School boy, P. J. Pilcher, the musician, actor and ‘P.J. The Magical Clown‘ signs the petition, commenting: “I love this park and would do anything to Save the Animal Care Centre”.
22nd STAMP Petition reaches 3,100 (1,500 e-petition, 1,600 on paper)
22nd STAMP Campaign goes national to TV, Radio and the Daily Papers. Press Release Headline: Council Culls Cherished Children’s Animal Park.
22nd TV and Radio presenter, Dave Berry, tweets about the park.
21st Charlton based the Rev. Seraphim Newman-Norton, Head of the Coptic Church (UK) signs the petition.
21st Prof. Michael Stacey signs the petition.
20th Local children putting up their own ‘Save the Animal’ posters and messages in the park.
20th Charlton writer Iris Dove signs the petition.
19th Over 80 Charlton Athletic fans sign the paper petition.
18th Thorntree School, originally called Maryon Wilson Park School display their own public art galley with ‘Save the Animals’ posters on their school fence.
18th The Friends send their Open Letter to 50 Councillors.
17th Children’s ‘Save the Animals’ committee writing to local M.P.
17th Save the Maryon Wilson e-Petition reaches 1,000 signatures.
17th The Campaign has been featured on many local blogs and websites: Central Residents Association, BlackRoots Radio, Plumsteadshire, Charlton Champion, In the Mean Time Radio, Greenwich People and GreenFeed
16th Thorntree school has made Maryon Wilson Park a curriculum project which includes a mock debate on the future and funding of the park’s Animal Centre.
16th 200 signatures on the paper petition collected in a week by just one of the many campaign volunteer
16th ‘Official Open Letter’ written to Leader of the Council, C. Roberts by ‘The Friends’
16th The Friends have thanked local children who have created ‘Save the Animal Care Centre’ Posters.
14th World famous, Charlton based, musician Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze has signed the e-petition
13th The e-petition reaches 850 signatures
13th ‘Save Mayon Park Animals’ Facebook Reaches 3,000 members
10th Five local Junior School join the Campaign
8th Paper Petition Launched: Copies available on the Friends website
2nd A second world known Charlton based children’s author, Andrew Donkin signs the e-petition.
1st Could royal charter save Maryon Wilson animals? from the Charlton Champion.
Facebook campaign has over 2,700 members by 31st January 2011
Bernard Ashley, retired Head of Charlton Manor School and world famous Children’s author signs the e-petition with his wife, retired Head of Cherry Orchard School Charlton.
The local Junior School, Thorntree, supporting a campaign against the closure of the Animal Centre. The children have formed their own committee.
The Charlton Benefice, St Thomas’s Church supporting the campaign.
The Friends are investigating the legal status of the park and the gift of the deer to Maryon Wilson Park. Contact made with Lord Shane Maryon Gough.
Second article published in the News Shopper on the threat to the Animal Care Centre featuring the e-petition.
Contact has been made with the Charlton Society who will support the campaign.
‘In the Meantime’ Community Radio Interviews Tim Anderson, the Friends Chair Person on the threat to the ‘Animal Care Centre’. The programme contains voxpop interviews with people in the park recorded the previous day. Podcast available on their Website: inthemeantime.org.uk and here
Letter, against the possible closure of the Animal Centre, from Paul Breen, becomes ‘Star Letter’ of the week in Greenwich Time, the Council newspaper.
E-petition launched via Facebook link to GoPetition: Causes. 535 signatures in by 31st January 2011.
Facebook page ‘Save Maryon Park Animals’ launched. 100 people joining a day
Front-page stories, quoting our press release, in South East London Mercury and News Shopper newspapers.
Article in the Median magazine based on press release.
Friends Press Release 22.12.10 here.
Here are items and links regarding the planned closure of the animal care centre and what we and the separate STAMP campaign are doing to try and stop this.
What can you do to stop it
Click here to join the STAMP Facebook campaign.
Sign the STAMP petition online.
Write a letter to your local councilors/MP.