The Friends of Oaks Park group was formally constituted and recognised by Sutton Council in 1997. We are volunteers who care about the Oaks Park and want to support it. The group is run by a small committee and our officers are elected at the annual meeting every November.
The group works in an advisory capacity with the Council and its contractors to promote the park and ensure the highest standards of maintenance are achieved. We also work closely with the leaseholders of the café and others to improve the amenities available. From time to time, we organise working parties of volunteers to undertake specific jobs around the park, including tree planting, dead-heading and planting bulbs. We also run information stands at larger events, such as the Carshalton Artists’ Open Studios (CAOS) weekends in June. There are lots of ways to get involved!
We represent the Oaks on Sutton Council’s Carshalton and Clockhouse Local Committee and have secured public realm funding for a number of projects, including the history project to mark out the foundation of the Earl of Derby’s house and the installation of information boards about the history of the park and its flora and fauna. In 2016, we obtained match-funding to supplement the capital grant from Viridor Credits for the provision of the dog free, picnic and natural play area. This was a collaborative project with Carshalton Fields Resident Association.
We are keen to work with other organisations when we can. Most recently we have been developing our links with the Downlands Trust (https://downlandstrust.weebly.com/) and the Friends of Honeywood Museum (https://friendsofhoneywood.co.uk/index.html/). We have also worked with the local archaeological society in carrying out archaeological digs in Oaks Park in 2009 and 2011, which have which have contributed enormously to our knowledge of the history of The Oaks.
In the autumn of 2014, we worked with Carshalton Beeches Rotary Club and the Council to plant 200 saplings of various woodland species in the park, supplied by the Woodland Trust to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. A commemorative bench was also installed.
In 2018, we were given 100 saplings by the Mayor of London and the Conservation Volunteers to contribute to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Project, one of Her Majesty’s legacy projects. This was led by the Council’s Trees Officer, Ben Morris, supported by his staff, our Idverde gardener, 12 members of the Friends, the Mayor and Mayoress of Sutton, Councillor Steve Cook and Mrs Pauline Cook, and our local MP, Tom Brake. All planted in torrential rain in December and all thriving!
In 2019, we have been looking at conservation issues and promoting chalk grassland habitats with the Council’s Senior Biodiversity Officer, David Warburton. We organised a meadow walk in June and there will be a walk to explore the wide variety of trees in the park in September. In December, we hope to install two small chalk scrapes, which will encourage the growth of more native chalk plants and flowers.
If you would like to join us, please complete an application form using the link below. Alternatively, please print it off and post it to our Treasurer at the address on the form, with your subscription. The current costs (per household) are:
£5 per year or £25 for life membership.