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News & Events

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Volunteer Gardening in the Flower Garden

Sunday, July 7th (noon to 4pm)

July gardening date changed

As you know, our big community festival in the park is happening on Sunday, July 14th. And we'll all be very busy with that, all day!

Our July gardening session was originally scheduled to take place on that date.

So we've brought the gardening session forward one week – it will be on Sunday, July 7th.

As it happens, the London in Bloom inspection of the park will be on July 9th. So this is a great opportunity to get the garden looking at its best.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Butterfly i-d walk

Saturday 27 July,  from 2.15 - 3.45pm.

Butterfly i-d walk

Can you name these two beautiful butterflies?

No? Then Flora, from Urban Growth, might be able to help.

She's organising a butterfly identification and recording walk. It's happening on Saturday 27 July,  from 2.15 - 3.45pm

Flora will be accompanied by Steve Boulton, Big City Butterflies Project Officer from Butterfly Conservation.

This is a free walk, open to all, and will include a walk around Kennington Park.

Click here to book your place.

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Kennington Park Festival

Sunday July 14 2024, 1-6pm

It's going to be great! But to make it happen, we need lots of energetic volunteers to come and help out on the day. 


We'll be setting up from 10.30am, so we'll need people to help with erecting the gazebos. Once the festival is up and running, we'll need volunteers to help run the children's games, and to help out on other stalls


And at the end of the day, it'll be time to put the gazebos away and clear up. It's always a really good day! A bit exhausting, but much more fun when there are plenty of hands to share the work! 


So please do consider coming over to the park to help out. If you can spare just half an hour, that would be useful. If you can stay longer, even better!


Put the date in your diary – Sunday July 14th, from 1-6pm.


Please email friends@kenningtonpark.org if you can help out.

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Volunteer Gardening in the Flower Garden

Sunday 14 April (noon to 4pm)

The next volunteer gardening session in the Flower Garden will be on Sunday 14 April between noon and 4pm.  


All welcome. Tools and gardening gloves provided. Just stay as long or as short a time as you like.

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A Chartist History Walk in Kennington Park

Saturday 06 April at 2.30pm

Marietta Crichton Stuart of the Friends of Kennington Park will lead a free history walk in the park to celebrate the Chartist Rally held on Kennington Common 176 years ago in April 1848. 


Meet Marietta on Saturday 06 April at 2.30pm outside Prince Consort Lodge (Trees for Cities), Kennington Park Road, SE11 4AS

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Spring Bat Hunt in Kennington Park

Saturday 23 march @ 6.25pm

Spring Bat Hunt on Saturday, March 23


Dr Iain Boulton, Lambeth's wildlife expert, will lead our first Bat Hunt of the year. On Saturday, March 23.

Meet at the History Hut in the park (near the entrance to the Flower Garden) at 6.25pm.

Iain will tell us a bit about bats before we head off into the park to search for the park's population of pipistrelles.

Iain will bring a bagful of sonic bat detectors – so we'll all be able to hear the bats as they hunt for insects. Even if we can't see them!

This is a FREE event – no need to register – and all are welcome. But no dogs, please.

Wear sensible shoes, and wrap up warm. You may need a torch, as it will be dark when we leave the park.

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Will you be a Hedgerow Hero?

16 and 17 February 2024

We are delighted to report that our bid for a grant from London CPRE (aka the Countryside Charity) was successful!

So we can now buy 100m of hedging, to improve and extend the biodiversity on the park extension.

100 metres is a lot of hedge plants (or whips, as they're called in the world of horticulture)! So we need lots of volunteers to help us get them in the ground.

Happily, our friends at Lambeth Council are fully behind this proposal – they will make our lives a bit easier by buying and storing the whips. And more importantly, they will dig the necessary trenches!

We've set aside the Friday 16 (1-3pm) and Saturday 17 (10am-2pm) of February for planting the whips. The planting will take place on the park extension, just off St Agnes Place and close to the park exit from the Green Link orchard.

We are hoping the weather will be kind on those days. If not, we may need to reschedule – we'll circulate any changes, and detailed timings, nearer to the date.

We hope you'll feel like coming along and joining the Hedgerow Heroes in February – all are welcome!

And of course, you'll have the pleasure of admiring the impact of your efforts as the hedge takes shape over the coming months and years.

Contact friends@kenningtonpark.org if you want to be involved.

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RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in the Park

28 January 2024

We'll be kicking off the year with our Big Garden Birdwatch!

We'll have leaflets to help you identify and count the birds, binoculars to help you see them, and bird books if you want to find out more.

Every year, on the last weekend in January (brrrrrr!), the RSPB holds this important bird count. They invite citizen scientists all over the country to get involved and help them do a survey of the bird population.

This event has been running since 1979. Last January, half a million people spotted 9.1 million birds! Against a background of climate change, this survey provides a snapshot of how garden birds are doing in the UK – parakeets are on the increase, whilst the numbers of house sparrows – though still in the top place – are declining.

So wrap up warm and join us outside the park café on Sunday, January 28th between 10am and 12 noon. We look forward to seeing you there!

If you prefer, you can sign up direct with the RSPB and count birds from home: just click here.

Or you can pick up a form from the FoKP stall in the park on January 28th.

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An update on Kennington Park gates

16 January 2024

New signs were placed on the park gates in November 2023 confirming the park opens at 07.30am and closes at dusk. The gates have always been closed at dusk, so what’s new?


Well – as of 13 November, although the park is officially closed after dusk, the gates will no longer be locked as part of a 9-month trial by Lambeth Council to save money.


We know from past experience that some people will enter the park after it is ‘closed’ and have raised our concerns with the Council. Lambeth’s new Park Enforcement team will check in on the park from time to time, but it’s a small team with a borough-wide remit.


If you become aware of any overnight use or have any concerns, please email Parks@lambeth.gov.uk  and copy us in friends@kenningtonpark.org

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Lambeth's new Urban Forest Strategy published

04 December 2023

Hot off the press – we've got a copy of Lambeth Council's brand new Urban Forest Strategy.

This interesting booklet will tell you:

- why trees are important, and how Lambeth Landscapes protect the trees in the borough

- about their plans to increase canopy cover, create collaborative partnerships, promote resilience and increase biodiversity

- and about their efforts to ensure better standards for planting and tree care

Many thanks to Ajay Joshi, Lambeth's head arboriculture honcho, for sending us a preview copy!

Ajay kindly checked over our story about the trees in Kennington Park – coming up in this Winter's edition of our printed Parklife newsletter.

Click here to read  the Urban Forest Strategy

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Bat Hunt in Kennington Park

Saturday 23 September 2023

Led by Lambeth's bat expert, Dr Iain Boulton 


Meet by the History Hut at 7pm


Bat detector equipment will be provided - wrap up warm, sensible shoes. No dogs please.



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A wander around the Victorian Kennington Park

Saturday, September 9th at 2.30pm

A wander around the Victorian Kennington Park

Join FoKP Chair Marietta Crichton Stuart for her guided walk around the Kennington Park in Victorian times, on Saturday, September 9th at 2.30pm.

Marietta is a mine of information about the park and its history – she'll talk about how Kennington Park was affected by and involved in tumultuous social change between the mid 1800s and the early 1900s.

This is a free event, no need to book. Meeting point is outside Prince Consort Lodge/Trees for Cities.

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Kennington Park Festival - A Free Fun Day For All The Family

16 July 2023

Kennington Park Festival  – we need volunteers!


Bigger and better, and happening on Sunday , July 16th, 1-6pm.

It's coming together – we've been working hard to secure funding from our local partners. And we've been booking stallholders: fun workshops, games and sports, health & wellness, food and drink. And acts: you'll see dancing and hear music and poetry. As in previous years, there will be plenty to see and do – lots of fun, for all the family.

Of course, this event can't happen without the help of volunteers:

We'll need helpers on the day, to make sure everything goes smoothly and everyone has a great time. And we'll need help with setting up before the festival opens (10am-12.30), and breaking down at the end (6-8pm).

So if you can spare some time to help, we'd really appreciate it. Please email us at friends@kenningtonpark.org to let us know your availability.

Thank you!

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Tree Walk in the park with Dr Ian Boulton

Sunday 9 July 2023 at 2pm

Join us in the park on Sunday 9 July at 2pm to learn about Kennington Park's magnificent trees.


Dr Ian Boulton from Lambeth Council will take us on a tour of the huge variety of amazing trees we have in the park and the important role they have played in our history and everyday lives.


Please meet at the History Hut in the park.

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A date for your diary - Bat Hunt in Kennington Park

Saturday 23 September at 7pm

Unfortunately, due to illness, our spring bat hunt had to be cancelled.  We will now have to wait until the autumn when bats are about to go into hibernational, so the date for your diary is Saturday 23 Septmber at 7pm, meeting at the History Hut in the park.


Lambeth's bat expert, Dr Iain Boulton, will bring his sonic detectors to help us track down the park's pipistrelles.

This is a free event, and all are welcome – children must be accompanied by an adult. No dogs please. You might want to wrap up well and a torch might be useful to help you find your way out of the park in the dark.

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Update from Lambeth - New Playground for Kennington Park and other works

17 April 2023

New Playground for Kennington Park


This year will see the delivery of a new children’s playground for Kennington Park, as well as a range of other improvements to the park, including repairs to the skatepark, new drinking fountains and repairs to paths and drainage. The plan is to provide a refresh of the park with safe, modern, user friendly, low maintenance facilities.


Works for a new children's playground will  begin on 02 May 2023 and are expected to be completed by the summer.


The playground will be closed during this time. See details further info about the new plans here and our handy map of alternative facilities to use during this time.


After months of planning a contractor has been appointed to install the playground. The new playground will cater for children from toddlers to 12 years old. The complete area will be transformed to include zones with age-appropriate equipment, a refreshed wildlife area, and a wide range of play equipment to provide active play, socialising, as well as learning opportunities across the age ranges. There will be areas for quieter activity and areas to picnic. Overall, a place that will be safe, fun, exciting to visit.


Artist impression of new playground - see here Playground | FOKP (kenningtonpark.org)


Updates on other planned works


Works are also planned to repair the Skatepark with the aim of bring this back into safe use, with improved access and refreshed surroundings.


Paths and drainage around the playground and skate park will also be repaired to improve access and stop the issues with flooding along the paths.


The plans for new toilets have been submitted for planning approval. The aim is to provide modern, clean and accessible toilet facilities for users of the Kennington Park.


We will keep you informed of further developments as they happen.

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Dawn Chorus Walk in Kennington Park

23 April 2023 at 5am

At Dawn on Sunday 23 April there was a Dawn Chorus Walk in Kennington Park led by Erica and Marietta.  Erica led a small group around the park listening out for the early birds, especially noisy were the blackbirds and a wren. Two young foxes were very surprised to see us!

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Spring Bat Hunt on 15 April CANCELLED

Friday 14 April 2023

Sadly, the bat walk in the park planned for Saturday, April 15th has had to be CANCELLED due to illness.

A new date will be arranged.



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Kennington Park Chartist Trail - now launched

10th April 2023

To mark exactly 175 years since the Monster Chartist Rally on Kennington Common in 1848,  a walking trail and podcast was launched in the park on Monday, April 10th.

You can now walk the trail while listening to our podcast about what happened right here in Kennington Park on that day, when Londoners marched to Kennington from all points north, south, east and west, in support of the Chartists' six demands to give all working men the chance to vote.

Look out for posters in the park  – they will show you the route and how to access the podcast. 

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Why was the grass field in front of the park cafe fenced off?

17 April 2023 update

In early February some park users contacted the Friends of Kennington Park asking why the south field of the park (in front of the park cafe) was being fenced off with heavy machinery parked near by, traffic controllers in hi-viz jackets and lots of building activity on the grass field.  


It was for a private event associated with London Fashion week. It was authorised by Lambeth Council.

In January Lambeth Council Events advised the Friends about the event.  They were made aware of our concerns about events of this size which result in a large part of the park being fenced off for weeks.  The Friends recognise that the event will generate quite a lot of income for Lambeth. 


The fencing  surrounded the south field for most of the month of February. The Friends were given extensive assurances that preventative measures would be in place to protect the ground and tree roots and that any damage would be properly reinstated.


This was not an ideal situation for our much loved and much used park, but the event took place at a time of year when there would be less impact on park users than in the Spring or Summer.


The Friends asked Lambeth to ensure that signs were put on the fencing to explain to Park users what was happening. Initially this did not happen, so it was raised again with Lambeth and the signs about the event permission were put on the fencing.


The fencing is now down, the ground has been aerated and grass seed sown, this has been helped by the recent rain.  There are some patches that have been re-seeded.


If you have any further comments or concerns, please could you contact Lambeth Council events team directly. Their email address is events@lambeth.gov.uk

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