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.
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
Bring a little nature into your kitchen, with the Cannizaro calendar. It’s full of delightful photos of the park, taken by one of our volunteers.
The calendar is A4 size and costs £10, including package and posting. It is available either via our WebCollect system, through the button below, or by cheque to: The Friends of Cannizaro Park, c/o Willow House, 35 High Street, Wimbledon Village, London SW19 5BY.
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.
The annual Bridge Drive has now established itself as one of our autumn events along with The Christmas Carol. The Annual General Meeting usually takes place in the autumn.
Tuesday, 19th January 2021 6:00 pm
- Travel the world with the Friends - for free!
This January, members of the Friends are invited to tour the globe from the comfort of their sofa, in the company of gardening expert Matthew Biggs. In a collaboration with Wimbledon Garden Club, we’re delighted to bring you a Zoom talk on “Lessons from Great Gardeners”. RHS expert and Gardeners’ Question Time panellist Matthew will be analysing what it takes to become a great gardener, using the examples of extraordinary lives from around the world. From William Robinson to the wild extravagances of Madame Ganna Walska’s operatic stage sets in California, this should definitely entertain - and perhaps even inspire some gardening jobs for the spring!! The talk is on Tuesday 19 January 6.00-c.7.15pm and is free for all members of the Friends. Existing members should register interest at firstname.lastname@example.org, and will receive the Zoom link a week before the event. If you’re not a Friend but would like to join (annual membership is £15 for individuals, £25 for a couple), please follow the links on the Friends’ page.
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 email@example.com.