During Covid-19 lockdown the park proved to be an invaluable community asset when so much else has been out of bounds. Visitor levels increased substantially which, although heartening to see, has also led to far greater wear and tear than usual. In particular, because of the penetration by members of the public into landscaped and planted areas, the bird expert Dave Clark reports significantly reduced numbers of springtime songbirds. This is not surprising when their nesting areas have been disturbed.
In 2019 the Dulwich Society and Dulwich Park Friends co-funded a report on the state of the lake. One feature identified in the report was the recirculation system that lifts water from the outlet channel back into the lake, as well as aeration further down the channel into the so-called rivulet. The aeration equipment is meant to increase oxygen levels in the water but is now defunct. This is perhaps not surprising, given its installation as part of the Heritage Lottery-funded works over ten years ago.
Fortunately, Southwark Council has allocated up to £20,000 from the community infrastructure levy fund towards replacing this equipment, along with £4,250 from the Cleaner, Greener, Safer fund. Under the stewardship of Will Walpole, the senior Parks and Leisure officer whose responsibilities extend to the park, a contract will be placed for examination of the recirculating system and replacement of the pump and related pipe-work, including the pipes that feed back to the lake and the waterfall pond. The penstock (sluice gate) will also be replaced to ensure it works effectively.
For your pleasure…
On Sunday 4th July a concert in the park will feature Lewisham Concert Band, South London Symphonic Winds and the Fabulous Honeys. This is co-funded by another Neighbourhoods Grant from Southwark of £625 with Dulwich Park Friends paying travel expenses and conductors’ fees (the band members are volunteers).
After an eighteen month delay, the aim is for the Dulwich Park Fair to take place on Sunday 5th September. A Southwark Neighbourhoods Grant of £2,250 has been awarded to bolster the finances of that event.