The research begins!

A group of volunteers met at Lambeth Archives last Friday to begin researching the history of the Rookery and in particular the White Garden.  We looked at a variety of sources including newspaper clippings, photographs, and local society publications.

We found a stunning image of the white garden on the Lambeth Landmark website from around c. 1910. However as volunteer Rachel put it at the end of the session, “As far as I understand things, we still don’t know when the White Garden was actually created, for whom and by whom.”

Was the White Garden created during the Victorian era? Was it created for a wedding? Who was the lucky bride? These are just some of the questions we are going to explore next…

If you are interested in getting involved, then please get in contact with Charlotte at

Garden Design Group Schedule

Over the coming months, a voluntary garden design group will be helping to create new planting plans for the White Garden as well as other areas of the Rookery. They will be participating in research trips to RHS Lindley Library and Sissinghurst as well consulting with the lead garden designer about the planting plans.

Here are some of the activities which they will be in involved in:

Fri 14th March – Planning meeting

Tues 25th March – Visit to RHS Lindley Library

Sat 19th April – Survey of current planting

Fri 9th May – Trip to Sissinghurst

If you are interested in joining the group or learning more about the design plans, then please contact Charlotte at



Are you interested in Garden Design?

We are recruiting a garden design group to help create a new planting plan for the White Garden as well as other areas of the park. The garden design group will meet on weekdays and weekday evenings on a monthly basis from March onwards. They will participate in research trips to RHS Lindley Library and Sissinghurst’s famous White Garden as well consulting with the lead garden designer. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the garden design process whilst also contributing your ideas to the future of the Rookery.

If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Charlotte Dove at / 07931501422 or come along to one of our volunteer mornings on the third Friday of every month – from 10am-12pm, meet at the café on Streatham Common. We help with general maintenance tasks around the Rookery. Next session will be on Friday 21 February.


Garden Designer Job Advert

Rookery Centenary Project

We are recruiting a Garden Designer to work alongside a group of volunteers to create new planting designs for the White Garden and areas of the formal gardens.

The new plans should reflect the garden’s history whilst also taking in to consideration limited maintenance budgets and environmental concerns. Volunteers will be conducting research about the history of the Rookery and the White Garden and will be an integral part of the design process.

Key responsibilities will be:

  • survey current planting in White Garden and Old English Garden, including review of Stephen Crisp’s plans
  • create new planting designs for White Garden and areas of the Old English Garden which combine the best of the past with sustainable, low-maintenance planting
  • liaise with volunteers about planting plans and incorporate their ideas and suggestions
  • compile plant order list and liaise with Lambeth Parks about order
  • facilitate community planting days alongside Rookery Coordinator and Lambeth Parks team

We are looking for someone with an excellent track record in garden design who will enjoy working alongside volunteers in a collaborative manner. Previous experience on community garden projects would be advantageous.

To download a copy of the job description, please follow this link

Deadline for expressions of interest: Sunday 2 March 2014

If you have any questions, please contact Charlotte at




Rookery Project Update

A meeting was held on Wednesday 9th October to discuss the next steps for the Rookery Centenary project.

Following an introduction from the Chair (Richard Payne) about the latest work of the friends,   Barbara Wright from the Friends gave an update on the Green Flag Award, and what that means going forward.  Among many aspects discussed, the current bad state and regular unavailability of the toilets was noted as particularly important.  We’ll get something up on our website about this soon.

We then heard from our Guest speaker Fiona Crumley, formerly Head Gardener, Chelsea Physic Garden and Chiswick House on volunteers and a great future for public gardens.  It was interesting to hear that volunteers are really key to turning around public gardens.  We heard how Chiswick was completely turned around on the back of volunteers building momentum to move from no gardeners, to one, and then to five, as public support grew as they could see the gardens improving.  It was also interesting to hear that another key part to the project was creating a Trust to manage the gardens which could then bid for larger sums of money from the HLF and other sources and also generate some income from thing like weddings and filming, further increasing the project’s momentum.  Pleasing to hear that we are heading down the right path with our plans for SCCoop and the HLF money we won last year.

We then heard from Sophie Hussey from the Friends and Charlotte Dove who has been recently appointed as the Project Co-ordinator about the Centenary Project and what it plans to achieve.  This includes among other things the research and restoration of the White Garden.

We the spoke about the upcoming volunteer days and what work we would be focusing on initially, which in the short term includes clearing more of the ivy from the walls of the garden.  We’ll also be providing a warm drink and some biscuits for the volunteer group.

If you would like to get involved in the project, please email


New Rookery Co-ordinator Appointed

The Friends of Streatham Common is pleased to announce that it has appointed Charlotte Dove as Project Co-ordinator to manage the delivery of the Rookery Centenary Gardens Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Rookery, one of the London Borough of Lambeth’s premier parks, opened formally to the public in 1913 and has obtained a prestigious Green flag Award. Because of its heritage and unique character, the garden is on English Heritage’s Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

This is an exciting time for the historic gardens, celebrating the centenary of being open to the public this year. Following the hard work of a number committed local volunteers, the Rookery has secured lottery funding for the restoration, improvement and promotion of the gardens as well as the encouragement of volunteering.

The project co-ordinator will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of this project including the co-ordination of volunteers and liaison between Lambeth Council Park Services, the Friends of Streatham Common, contractors and other volunteers.

Please contact us if you would like to help us in any aspects of the centenary projects.

Centenary Update

We are delighted to announce that the application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Rookery Centenary project was successful.

The project is costed at £60,000 with £10,000 of matched funding including our own centenary fundraising, therefore the HLF grant will be £50,000 (approx).  This enables the relaying of paths, signage & boards, some workshops & an event, further restoration of the White Garden and Old English Garden, and employment of a part-time project co-ordinator. will give you the latest information on events that celebrate the Rookery’s Centenary this year.