Cannizaro Park is a much loved and popular Grade II listed park just off Westside Wimbledon Common in the London Borough of Merton. The park has a long history dating back to its years as part of the Duke of Cannizaro’s Estate and its transition to a public Park when Merton Borough Council adopted it in 1949. Its Grade II status is due to some of the rare and exquisite plants which are all around the park. It has some superb trees and shrubs, which are attractive to both the horticulturalists and gardeners as well as those who come for a walk a picnic or simply to enjoy some peace and quiet in the many secluded areas of the park.
The Friends of Cannizaro Park is a registered charity, whose aims are to provide oversight of the park in relation to its maintenance by the London Borough of Merton and to strive to commission improvements to the Park for the benefit of visitors and the local community as a whole. We are a small committee of trustees, members and many dedicated volunteers who give up their time to ensure that the park remains a jewel in Wimbledon’s crown, a haven for wild life and an enduring attraction for all its many visitors. If you would like to know more about the Friends, our aims, opportunities for volunteering, events and how to get involved or support us please look at the sections below.
Very sadly, our newly-opened toilet block was vandalised last night and has had temporarily to be closed.
We are working with Merton Council who are helping clear the debris and repair the fabric. The Friends of Cannizaro Park and Hotel du Vin hope to re-open public toilet facilities shortly, and will post news on Instagram and this website as soon as ice have more information.
The public toilets were re-opened on Easter weekend following years of closure. This came from a collaboration between The Friends of Cannizaro Park, whose volunteers completed the cleaning and re-painting, and the Hotel du Vin who provide a daily cleaning service.
We’re always looking for ways to step up the park’s services. So with public toilet facilities one of the biggest desired improvements from last year’s visitor survey, we’ve decided to trial the reopening of our park loos.
This has been made possible thanks to a three-way community partnership. Friends volunteers have cleaned and repainted the toilet block, council contractor idVerde has cleared greenery, and Hotel du Vin cleaning staff will attend to the facilities.
We’re hoping to open the toilets daily 9:30am-6pm from Easter weekend. This will start as a three-month trial, and if park visitors also take care of the toilets, we hope to extend opening throughout the summer.
Cannizaro’s Chester Road boundary has been transformed!
Following discussions with Merton Council last year, the Friends group is delighted that the council was able to replace the dilapidated fencing with an expanse of shiny new railings. As well as making the park more secure, the railings also provide a much nice view for our Chester Road neighbours.
Many thanks to our partners in Merton for making this happen.
We did it! Final work on the park entrance project wrapped on 17 December, meaning that the renovation was completed on time and in an efficient six months from design to completion.
Where to start, on highlights of this project? Early on, the Friends were lucky to secure the support of top landscape designers Landform UK, with Catherine Macdonald and Nicola Hale’s design balancing strong style and easy maintenance. Not only that, but Landform’s MD Mark Gregory led a wonderful tree-planting day, where the sun shone and volunteers were educated by Mark on various aspects of tree care. Landform kindly arranged for professional photographer Brian Whar to create memories of this day, which are captured below.
But there are so many stars! Our fabulous, generous, local community, who donated the project’s target funds within days of the launch appeal. Co-founder of Crowdfunder, Phil Geraghty, who personally advised on our appeal. Merton Council, who found money to repair the entrance fence and the worst of the pathway. The groundsmen of Royal Wimbledon Golf Club, who came early one morning to help move incredibly heavy trees and hedging. ID Verde’s Cannizaro team, who moved plants and cleaned up around us. A Trustee and her neighbours, who housed mountains of plants in her yard and transported them back to the park after a delivery went awry.
And then Cannizaro’s local team of garden volunteers, who did the most awesome job. Fifty yews, over 900 plants and more than 4000 bulbs have been bedded into the park entrance, and overlaid with compost and mulch. Through sun and freezing temperatures, through dog poo and muddy knees, the green team came cheerfully and got stuck in to even the most intimidating jobs.
So despite our social isolation, this project thrived on many organisations’ working together. The Friends of Cannizaro Park is so grateful for all who made this project a success - and as the planting settles in during 2021, we hope it brings joy to our visitors after this strange and challenging year.
Our very best wishes to all park visitors for the winter season and for 2021.
Chair, The Friends of Cannizaro Park
As our main bird-carer has recently moved away from London, we are looking for someone to replace her as a Volunteer Manager for the Aviary. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about what this post involves; you don’t need to be an expert, but a love of birds and an awareness of their habits, needs and wellbeing is essential.
Read more about the Aviary on our Visitors Page
The Friends organise several events each year starting with the Spring Talk,when knowledgeable speakers, in their field, present on subjects which concern gardens, horticulture and others items relevant to the park, its trees, wildlife and plants.
Watch the Events Timetable for the “Park Walks” conducted by experts to point out the specimen Trees, Flora and Fauna as well as the Birds and other Wildlife.
Saturday, 22nd May 2021 11:00 am
- 3:00 pm Nature Weekend
Celebrate the return of spring and experience the wonder of nature at our inaugural Nature Weekend taking place on Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 May. The two-day celebration has a packed programme of activities for all ages including guided bird and bat walks, potting and planting and nature trails. Families will love the chance to meet Fudge, a Shetland pony from neighbouring Wimbledon Stables. Further details, including how to book activities, will be available here soon. Cannizaro Park’s Nature Weekend is sponsored by Robert Holmes & Company estate agents.
Click to view our Nature Weekend Flyer
Saturday, 18th September 2021 9:00 am
- Art in the Park
The Friends of Cannizaro Park are delighted to invite you to the first Art in the Park event this September. So many of us turned to nature and creativity over the last year to find comfort in their steadying forces. Now, we look ahead and invite everyone to explore the beauty and celebrate the wildlife set within Cannizaro Park through a unique weekend of art experiences. There’ll be creative fun for all the family to enjoy, including free workshops and displays, a community outdoor painting activity and an open access art fair showcasing the best local talent in partnership with Merton Arts Festival. And if you’re an aspiring artist yourself, there’ll be classes, walks and talks led by artists and experts to share new skills and flex your creative muscle. We will be hosting an Open Call for artists to join the Art Fair in June with the full programme to be announced later in the summer. Stay up to date via the Cannizaro Instagram page or sign up to the mailing list for the latest announcements. If you’re a business and interested in supporting Art in the Park please get in touch for a sponsorship pack on email@example.com
Some of our volunteers have embarked on a project to help visitors find out about the different species of trees as they explore the Park. They have so far identified over 100 trees and information about many of these, including a tree location map, is now available on the Tree page of this website. A printed version of the map has also been made available from the Park entrance noticeboard and further maps and tree trail guides are being produced. Labelling a selection of the trees with both the common and scientific names, and a QR code containing additional information, which can be read using a mobile phone app, is also part of the project. If you are able to give us feedback on how you are finding the Tree Trail, we’d be very happy to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.