The meetings of the group are the main forum for airing public concerns about the way the Park is funded, managed and developed in the future. Whatever your main interest in the Park (playground, children, trees, wildlife, fun, football, tennis, running…) you can influence future developments.

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Our next meeting is on Saturday 9th September 2017 from 11-12, Clissold House

Clissold Park User Group News May 2017

Meeting notes 8th July 2017

Attending: Mark Forsyth (chair), Teresa Boden (Vice Chair), Kathryn Willgress (Secretary), Caroline Millar, Larraine Worpole, Ken Worpole, Isabelle Gore, Betty Manning, Yvonne Hill, Lee Stacey.
Quinten Geurs, Park Manager
Approximately 10 other park users.
Apologies: John Hudson, Daphne Steele, Delilah Jeary

Minutes from last meeting were approved

Matters arising from May meeting
At our last meeting there was no Park Manager, now new manager Quinten Geurs is in place.
People are still concerned about goats – they are not sick, just old. It was hoped that Butterfly Dome would now be open – update below.


Since the last meeting both the Daymer and Anatolian Festival have taken place.
Anatolian Festival – was much better managed (they were compelled to employ an event manager) and organisers spoke to nearby residents. There was a reduction in litter this year and attendees were encouraged to use public transport. Some nearby residents complained about noise.
Daymer Festival – some complaints about noise from Riversdale Road area. What sounded like political speeches could be heard in Greenway Close, potentially contravening policy that there should be no political or evangelical speeches in the park.
One of the problems is that all events take place in the South Field. Also, sound travels unpredictably. There was a community event in Finsbury Park at the same time as Daymer so some of the sound also came from there.

Following the attendance of two representatives from the Friends of Finsbury Park to our May meeting, CPUG will check outcome of legal action against Haringey Council for contravention of 1967 Act of Parliament limiting events in London parks. Haringey makes c£100,000 p/a from Festivals.
CPUG would like more transparency on Park revenues. Events such as the Anatolian and Daymer festivals are classified as community events so don’t bring in much money. They are obliged to fund security, toilets, cleaning etc.
Mark Forsyth clarified that a Community Event has to be free access. Community events in the house can charge enough to cover costs. Do we need to find out how much revenue community events bring in?

Park revenue shortfall and revenue opportunities

As discussed in previous meeting the park has roughly a 70% shortfall annually and its target is to be self-sufficient within 3 years. The Cafe contributes £60-70,000 p/a.
Ideas for maximising revenue are being explored. If the large room was not used for buggy storage the Cafe could increase income. There are ideas to erect a buggy store outside instead. The Park receives 10% of revenue gains from filming in the Park.
Lee suggested a focus on ideas to maximise revenue in the winter months when days are short.
Yvonne noted there is lots of private development near the Park including the Clissold Quarter which exploits the Park in its marketing.

Welcome to new Park Manager Quinten Geurs
Quinten explained Section 106 payments (where a developer is obliged to supply or fund some community amenity) and confirmed Hackney Council received £8,000 from Clissold Quarter. It is unknown how much comes to Clissold Park.
Action Point: Caroline Millar and Yvonne Hill will approach Clissold Quarter developers directly for a lump sum and maintenance funds for the Paddling Pool.
Quinten confirmed that the process of tendering for use of the Pump House is being considered with a view to progressing as soon as possible. He also confirmed that the fate and use of the Pavilion is also being considered.
It was noted that not using these buildings (particularly the Pavilion which was renovated for the purpose of teaching and learning) was continuing to lose the Park regular and reliable income.


Following our Biodiversity rep, Richard Crawford’s notes on the park’s Biodiversity Report, he needs volunteers to help with, and implement, a Biodiversity Action Plan.

Some aspects have been achieved: mowing regimes have been relaxed and the wildflower meadow near the New River is much enjoyed. Pruning of diseased trees has had some impact on bird habitats but is essential for safety and there has been new planting. One suggestion to increase biodiversity is to plant the mounds near the wheels park with herbs.

The islands in the lakes are currently not managed but some management is necessary to control rats. There are some large carp in the lakes. The park policy is to not introduce new fish but no problem if they are introduced accidentally.
Mark F suggested that no fish means no cormorants and herons though both have been seen recently and terrapins are endlessly resilient.
The Butterfly Dome is still not open but there are plans to open it to native species by simply opening the windows.
» View Richard’s notes on the Park Biodiversity Report (Word)
» View Clissold Park’s Biodiversity Report (Word)


Anti-social behaviour is improving though there are some concerns regarding drug taking, littering, anti-social dog walkers and instances of human defecation. It is requested that park staff respond quickly. Some cyclists are cycling dangerously and too fast.
There was extensive discussion about how to slow speeding cyclists with signage including low-level signs.
Action Point: Check if Hackney has budget for signage.
Quinten explained the Park is using the policy of “sensitization” which involves addressing people personally. This is a slow (takes about 2 years) but effective approach.
Users are urged to contact the Rangers or the Safer Neighbourhood Teams if you feel threatened.

Park Rangers
Some report rangers being difficult to contact, others report responsiveness.
Park Manager confirmed that Rangers and Cafe workers are asked to clean up near bins and would increase litter checks.

Results of the Park Survey show that the majority of Park Users are white and middle class. This was disputed by several users as the survey is not representative and based on a very small cohort. A better, more thorough survey was suggested.

A CPUG music event scheduled for July 7th by Teresa Boden was postponed due to forecasts for bad weather. The new date is Thursday 31st August. The event is free to all although donations and volunteers are very welcome

A fold-out map of Clissold Park that includes selections of Park history, trees and features is now on sale in the Cafe for £2.50.
Caroline Millar confirmed that the artist will convert artwork into poster form.
Action point We will ask Amir about a 2018 calendar for sale in the autumn
Warm thanks to Lorraine and Ken Worpole and Amir Dotan for their work.

Items for next meeting
Making a living in / from the Park (professional dog walkers, personal trainers, exercise group leaders, football training etc)

Next CPUG meeting:

Saturday 9th September 2017
11am to 12 noon.
Venue: Clissold House, Clissold Park


Park Keepers: 0208 3566834. This connects to a mobile.
Park Manager: or call 020 8356 4215
Café Management:
Clissold House Venues and Events Officer, Christine Rupprecht: or call 020 8356 5505
Head of Leisure and Green Spaces
Lead Councillor for Parks:
Police: 0208 721 2923 / 07879 603106 /
Seargent in charge: Carroll Weeden
Clissold Safer Neighbourhood Team: 020 8721 2923

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