No BBQ’s on Streatham Common: Reason’s why.

No BBQ’s on Streatham Common: Reason’s why.

Summer is a great time for escaping  out in to your local green space and firing up a BBQ. There is always something special about the smell and taste of food cooked on an open fire, and a sense of freedom if you don’t have a garden to host your own. However, Lambeth Council do not allow BBQs in any of their green spaces. Far from being killjoys, there are good reason’s for why.

The single use BBQ you can buy in your local supermarket is one of the most destructive things you can bring to a green space.

You may think you are leaving just a little bit of  burnt grass in a huge field. But multiply that space fiftyfold, you have a patchwork of depressing black patches. The grass doesn’t grow back in full for at least 6 months.

But aside from leaving unsightly dead patches, they also burn delicate flora that is buried between the grass. Small but important plants help support a diverse population of insects, butterflies and birds. Once burnt away these plants struggle to regrow under the ever expanding grass. So our butterfly, bee and insect population have one less place to forage, one less place to pollinate. They are all part of our food chain.

And after the BBQ’s are finished with – they are rarely discarded in a responsible manner. Left for dogs and children to discover –  the tin trays are sharp, and the charcoal gets scattered, making a space unusable to sit upon. The fire risk is real. The fire brigade have been called on a number of occasions. So what might seem like an enjoyable day out with a group of friends, enjoying freshly cooked food and drinks, leaves a trail of destruction on our environment. 

And single use BBQ’s are just that – Single use. Another throwaway item for the landfill, at a time when we are all becoming aware of our first world rubbish is having on the rest of the world.

Even BBQ’s on legs are not acceptable because who would ever think to bring their burnt offerings home? So we have to be very clear. BBQ and fires cannot occur on the Common. 

As BBQ’s come under Lambeth Bylaws [fires], there is a fine:  £500.

The noise nuisance, pollution & anti-social dept of Lambeth Council will respond to calls.
020 7926 5999 – office hours.
020 7926 1000 – after 5pm & weekends.
999 for any fire.

As we are all becoming more aware of our environment and our impact on it, it is worth knowing that 90% of charcoal is imported into this country. And it is coming from countries where the impact of deforestation is causing problems to those local populations and climate change. So if there is one thing you feel you can do for your planet – don’t bring your BBQ to your local greenspace.

Our parks are dealing with horrendous cuts, and it is a constant battle to keep our parks usable, clean and safe. Only 4 London Councils do allow BBQs. They have designated spaces, some you have to book a slot. But this means having good management and administration which needs a budget – and there lies the problem.

Please be respectful of our request not to hold BBQs anywhere on the common. A large part of Streatham Common is a designated nature reserve and needs our protection.



CANCELLED: Birds of Prey Flying Display: Saturday 29th June 2019

CANCELLED: Birds of Prey Flying Display: Saturday 29th June 2019

To celebrate these wonderful birds in the meantime, read all about them on the RSPB website

Our yearly display showing the majesty of the Kings & Queens of the Skies. Great fun for kids and adults.

Owls, falcons, hawks etc. on show
between 1.00pm and 5.00pm.

Displays of flying at approximately 2.00pm and 4.00pm.

On the Common, near the path from opposite
Copley Park to opposite Valley Road SW16

A FREE event but donations very welcome on the day.

AGM: Wednesday 5th June 2019 @ 7.30pm

AGM: Wednesday 5th June 2019 @ 7.30pm

Friends of Streatham Common Annual General Meeting
Venue : The Rookery Cafe
Date : WEDNESDAY 5th JUNE 2019
Venue: The Rookery Cafe
Time : 7:30pm

Click for larger image
Members only – but very easy to become a member for the price of a couple of cappuccinos here online – fast & simple

A wonderful opportunity to hear local Historian John Brown talk about Bygone Streatham as well as to meet fellow members and hear about all the work being done by the members to support the Friends aims for the Common. If you haven’t been before – please come along – the more the merrier. A chance to sit back and listen or, if you want, to become more involved. We always welcome those with ideas and the drive to make the Common better still for users and the wider community.
● Introduction
● The past year on our common
● Elections of officers and reportsTalk :TBC
● Talk by local historian John Brown on Bygone Streatham*Presentation by Maurice Nelson on Streatham United Football Club
● The plans for the coming year
● Q&A


Make an evening of it – Refreshments available from the bar.

Open to members of the FoSC. But its never too late to join. We’d be happy for you to attend. Membership is just £6.00!
Join the friends at


[Please be aware – being part of the FoSC facebook page does not automatically give you membership].

Kisstory license application hearing: Tuesday 21st May 2019 @19:00

Kisstory license application hearing: Tuesday 21st May 2019 @19:00

Kisstory are back in July with a 2 day event on Streatham Common on the 27th & 28th July 2019.

A single extended license application to cover 3 years July 2019-2022 has been made on behalf of Kisstory by the organisers We Are The Fair Ltd. This is to be heard at the

Licensing Sub-Committee

Tuesday, 21/05 7pm Brixton Town Hall.

Anyone is welcome to attend to hear the meeting [other planning applications are also on the agenda], but to make any kind of Oral representation you MUST inform Thomas Dunn either by phoning the licensing planning office or emailing him at by 14th May. If you do not, you will not be allowed to speak on the evening. All support is welcome.


The organisers of Kisstory, We Are The Fair Ltd had attended a committee meeting with Friends of Streatham Common and spoke on future plans in February. FoSC had an opportunity to directly feedback on issues surrounding previous issues. It was a useful meeting, we very much appreciate them reaching out and whilst we do not have a problem with the organisation themselves who have listened to our concerns, it is problems with the councils overall responsibility to the common which have been identified. FoSC objections include:

  • Damage to the Common is never adequately repaired.
  • Noise levels are unacceptable with houses only 100m from the stage yet noise levels are monitored over 400m away.
  • No transparency on the deal between the council and the events company – the initial agreement was to put 1/3 of the profit back into the Common but this agreement has now disappeared.
  • Parking & traffic is severely disrupted from the start of set up to final take down.
  • Rubbish in the surrounding streets is never cleared.
  • Drugs are openly sold in the surrounding streets.
  • Urination (or worse) in the surrounding streets.
  • The event is not run for the benefit of local people or for the Common but instead run entirely for the profit of the council and at the expense of the Common.



Easter Egg Hunt & Easter Bonnet Parade: 20th April 2019

Easter Egg Hunt & Easter Bonnet Parade: 20th April 2019

The Rookery  at Streatham Common
Saturday 20th April 2019
10am – 2.30pm

The Easter Bunny is looking forward to inviting all children to the 2019 Easter egg hunt and Easter Bonnet parade. It will be a fun day as the Rookery Farmers Market is also on, and there will be fun glitter tattoos,  face painting, candy floss and raffles on offer.

Pick up your clue sheet (one per child) between 10.00am- 2.30pm at The Rookery Cafe and then once completed, go back to the cafe and swap it for your Easter Treat.

The Easter Bonnet parade for all children takes place at 1.30pm.

For those kids who can’t make it on Saturday, you won’t miss out! The Rookery Cafe will kindly hold sheets for children to pick up on Easter Sunday

Thanks to Tanya Marshall of Diamond Pearl Events for creating this years event with sponsorship from Douglas & Gordon Home & Property alongside the Friends of Streatham Common & Streatham Common Cooperative






The Friends of Streatham Common rely heavily on volunteers to make events happen and we are always stretched to capacity behind the scenes. We would love you to join us and offer your spare time or skills for us to create sustainable year round events. If you would like to offer your time, please contact us at

Kite Day: Sunday 12th May 2019

Kite Day: Sunday 12th May 2019


Now in its 21st year – Kite Day returns on Sunday 12th May 2019

A great FREE event for all Streathamites, Kite fans and those who want a fun day out from further afield. It has everything…music, food…and kites!

Volunteers will be needed so if you want to join in  – please let us know. We can only make it happen with the community being a part of it. its good fun and you get to be part of a really important Streatham Event.

Its that time of year where professional Kite fliers from all over the country congregate in the heart of Streatham

Lex and Irma are the Flying Fish – they started out on their local common in Southampton and in July they were crowned UK National Champions, in dual-line pairs, after four years finishing as the runners-up.

Twisted Bridle is Pea and Lisa – a newly formed kite flying pair who are being mentored by the Flying Fish. We look forward to welcoming for the first time to Kite Day.

The L Katz team s a dual-line sport kite team will be showing off their fabulous moves also

We expect to be hypnotised again by the father and son kite flyers Team SPECTRUM, who have flown together for over 20 years.

Members of the Kent Kite Flyers, which has been going since the early 1990s, will be attending the festival. One of the club’s main aims is to spread the word about kite flying and encourage people to get involved so come along and have a chat with them if you need advice or have any questions.

The most established club attending Kite Day is the Brighton Kite Flyers – they have been around since the 1970s and have an international membership.

Bogner Regis Kite fliers will also be performing alongside their fiunders the Sky painters team

Keith aka NASAman will join us again to attempt to use the power of the wind to lift him up into the sky but not quite into space. His incredible kites can genuinely lift him into the air so he often has to be tethered down, just in case.

We are pleased to also welcome back the Grumpy Old Gits [GOGs] and their big kites. They are a small, very select club, group or gang of “Old Gits” who make kites, fly kites and muck about. Look out for them as they aim to impress.


We are planning to make this event as green as possible. We have food vans on the day selling a fantastic range of food. But if bringing you own picnic, leave zero trace. Please expect to take every bit of packaging back with you to recycle. The park will have litter pickers on the day – BUT WE DO NOT HAVE THE FACILITIES TO RECYCLE.

Planning ahead:  How to get to Streatham Common

Click for a bigger image or to print

By Bus – 50, 60, 109, 249, 250, 255.

By Train – Streatham or Streatham Common stations.

By Bike – A23 Streatham High Road – ample space for cycle parking around the common.

By Car – Not recommended. Parking restrictions will be in place and the area is already densely populated. Lets help the environment and travel by public transport instead. Do your bit for greening our City.

Map link to Streatham Common


For Press:

Hi-Res poster A3 size / 297mm x 420mm

Lo-Res poster 1500px x 2109px


FoSC response to Kisstory license application

FoSC response to Kisstory license application

Members of FoSC attended the feedback and consultation session held by We Are The Fair Ltd with regard to the Kisstory on the Common event 27th & 28th July 2019.

Whilst the organisers, year on year, have put in place restricted parking, increased security and additional toilet facilities around the immediate area, this has only been been in response to points raised by residents and users of Streatham Common during the yearly licensing hearings . But ultimately we feel the council’s overall responsibility to supporting the common during and post-event falls very short of dealing with long term environmental problems, but also with that of the general peace and ambience of the surrounding Common.

Therefore, FoSC has objections to the license on the following points:

  • Damage to the lower Common never adequately repaired. The common now has multiple ground cover and problems which has had no time to recover over 4 years, from a number of events and compounded by large events. A build up of small litter items such as cigarette butts, bottletops, nitrous oxide canisters. Deep holes and scars etc are left unfixed as they are not checked sufficiently soon enough after the events.
  • A very large section of the usable area of the Common is unavailable to the public for nearly 2 weeks.
  • The Common is not large enough for such events with sound carrying up into the wooded areas and into Norwood Grove [depending on the wind direction].
  • Noise levels are unacceptable with homes less than 100m from the stage yet noise levels are monitored over 400m away.
  • The event is not run for the benefit of local people or for the Common but instead run entirely for the profit of the council and at the expense of the Common.
  • No transparency on the deal between the council and the events company; the initial agreement was to put 1/3 of the profit back into the Common but this agreement has now disappeared.
  • Parking & traffic is severely disrupted from the start of set up to final take down. [10 day period]. Traffic during the event is a nightmare in the area.
  • Rubbish in the surrounding streets is never cleared, in spite of the organisers paying the council for clearance. It can be up to 5 days for debris to be removed, with roads leading further away from the common left untouched by cleaners.
  • Anti social behaviour by festival goers for the duration of the event; Drugs are openly sold, there is Urination (and worse) in the surrounding streets. The police presence that the organisers pay for is clearly not enough to cover these problems.

If you have an opinion on any issues arising from licensing this particular event, please respond by Thursday 21st March 2019

If you wish to make an objection, the License for this particular event is being handled by

You can also email

Click here for a direct link to the Comment on a licence application form

As we have said before, it is not a personal issue with the organisers, who have positively reached out to us this year, nor is it an objection to the music – it is purely the sheer size, disruption and ensuing environmental problems to the Common’s space that makes this type of event unsustainable.

Your Say on Parks & Open Spaces: Deadline 5th May 2019

Your Say on Parks & Open Spaces: Deadline 5th May 2019

Following up from the Lambeth 2020 vision, which has proved problematic & controversial for many residents who value their green space, a new consultation is up for public engagement.

The consultation is open to comments from 11 March to 5 May 2019. Please click here for link

We cannot stress how important it is that everyone who uses a local green space in Lambeth, not just Streatham Common, responds to this consultation.

There is  increased public awareness on how the council needs to be more transparent and accountable to ordinary users of green spaces and local volunteer groups, like the Friends of Streatham Common. These are the people who end up trying to manage the aftermath associated with heavy intense use of the spaces as well as litter and environmental issues. We need to challenge how open spaces are being used for events that provide little return to the surrounding community but maximum damage and disruption.

Whilst we are sympathetic that our council has had to endure severe funding cuts, the current Parks Investment Levy (PIL) charged to private companies using parks and open spaces is not fit for purpose, nor is it transparent.

Friends of Streatham Common is pressing for a fallow year allowing the ground to rest [much like Glastonbury does from time to time]. We still have damage from a large music event held four years ago, and the ground has not yet recovered from the circus in March 2018 which churned up a major part of the lower Common in spite of local residents and FoSC members pleading with them to cease moving in heavy mud. So extreme was the damage, it meant that other events, including free community events such as Kite Day, had to be postponed. In order for the common to be environmentally stable, to regain some balance it needs a break.

We need to ensure that better planning is put in place by officials, that decisions made for financial gain should properly benefit the surrounding community, and that there is a more hands on approach as to when and how these events are licensed.

Please consider responding to the council with your opinion. Please give examples if you can. It can make all the difference.