Rookery Christmas Fair 18 December


Not far from the Norbury/Lambeth border is the Rookery. The work there by Streatham Common Co-operative is inspirational, and shows what can be done when there is an active and visionary group. This Sunday sees the Co-op’s family Christmas Fair.

Highlights include a Mulled Wine & Beer Marquee, Food & Drink Village, Children’s Entertainment Tent, a Secret Santa’s Grotto, over 45 food and crafty stalls and Musical Entertainment from local choirs, ending with Carols by Candlelight with everyone encouraged to take part at 4pm.

£2 entry fee for adults, Children free.


11.10-11.50am.  STICK MAN

Drama/act out session based on the well known Julia Donaldson book with fabulous local drama teacher Nikki Woollard.  For the under 6s. £5


Beat the cold learning some funky street dance moves with Whizz Dance.

For 6-10 year olds. £3

1-1.40pm.  STORY TIME

Seasonal and festive stories and songs for the under fives with Emily from Story Island.  For the under 5s/pre-school and toddlers. £3


Sarah Redmond presents a festive cabaret performance for all the family.

All ages. £6 For all ages


Let your children end the day with a fun Christmassy yoga session. The perfect relaxing end to a busy day at the Fair. For ages 5-10. £5 (with sibling discount).

4pm. Carols by Candlelight.

All prices are for children only. Accompanying adults are free to all events including the CABARET performance. There is no advance booking and there will be a limited number of spaces for each event. Pay on the door only so please arrive in good time for any sessions you want to attend to avoid disappointment.

Please bring cash! No card payments.

There will also be two Forest School sessions:

10am- 12.15pm & 1-3.15pm, 5yrs-11yrs

Within the session the children will learn how to play safely in an outdoor environment, and will have opportunity to play woodland games, wildlife ID, seasonal natural crafts, fire lighting and toasting marshmallows. Cost £15 per session.

New Playground

Following from the consultation in 2015, the Friends of Streatham Common, SCCoop and Lambeth Council are now running a public consultation on updated design by Chris Blandford Associates.

‘ We have secured the funds for the playground upgrade works and the aim is to complete the implementation by Summer 2017. If you would like to comment on the plans for a new playground like the one shown on the this proposed plan then please add your voice to the consultation before the closing date of midday 19th December 2016.’

Please take a look at the plans (see the link below) that have been proposed and then complete the survey.

New Public Square

Do you want a new public square across the main road at the bottom of Streatham Common at the end of Greyhound Lane?

If so – complete the survey that can be found here:

New Projects

SCCoop priorities:

  1. Improving the Rookery further by restoring the cascade and rock garden
  2. Keeping the paddling pool open
  3. More ecology in the Local Nature Reserve and enabling more volunteering
  4. Partnership with the London Wildlife Trust and the Great North Woods project

‘We have submitted an initial bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund along with the Friends of Streatham Common to restore the Rock Garden and get the Cascade working again.  The initial feedback has been positive, so we are now preparing a more detailed bid which hopefully will provide the funding needed to restore the garden. We should know by the Spring.

We have a plan to keep the paddling pool open next year and have a fundraising target of £5000 to enable this – more on this next year.

The conversion of the barn in the Rookery Yard into a micro-brewery by Inkspot is gathering pace now.  Some of the income from this will enable us to hire a part-time member of staff to help look after the Local Nature Reserve.  You can read more about the role at  If this is for you get in touch or you know someone, please pass it on – closing date is tomorrow.

We have now completed a two year extension (until October 2018) to our contract with Lambeth, however following the cuts to Lambeth’s budgets the core grant has been reduced so it now just covers our core staffing costs.  However we can offset this loss from our fund-raising, the barn rental income, and a share of the new Rookery Café rental income.  And as long as our fund raising is successful (please come to the fair on Sunday) we should be able to keep the Rookery at the high standards you have come to expect, and also start work on our other priorities above.’

Garden News

‘Visitors to the Rookery will have noticed there have been some changes to the main entrance, where we have cleared an area and put in new planting. This area was filled mostly by bramble and some very low quality rhododendron. In fact it is quite indicative of much of the planting in the wooded area at the upper North Western boundary of the Rookery.

It is clear at some stage there has been some reasonable planting here, yet over time it has been neglected and in some cases invasive species are beginning to dominate. SCCoop spent a considerable amount of time last year removing much of the bramble. What remains is basically a green wall, which is fine for now but surely could become another project! However it is interesting to note the reactions of the public once part of this wall have been cleared – one starts to see possibilities.’

‘Most of the new planting in the plan above has now been completed.  This is a simple plan for winter colour and scent. We planted yellow and green stemmed dogwoods which in winter will provide a backdrop. In front of this we will planted 3 red witch hazels providing bright red flowers on bare branches in winter which will prove an effective foil to the yellow backdrop. These plants are also highly fragrant so providing scent at a key point in the Rookery.

When funds allow we will also plant a small, slow growing tree Acer Griseum which will survive under the existing canopy and provide further autumn interest. Much of the planting here was paid by a member of the public as an fitting alternative to a memorial bench which have a very slow moving waiting list. We also received a contribution from the Streatham Society.

We took delivery in November of our bulb order for the central sundial beds. There is a great range of spring and summer flowering bulbs which will really add to the current planting. This work will be undertaken by staff and volunteers over the coming weeks. This planting was paid for by Anthony Gold and there are still some plants to purchase. Any remaining budget we propose to use for additional planting in the White Garden.

Volunteers have been working hard in the White Garden. Autumn was an ideal time to rationalise/move plants. This is an opportunity to take note of what has been successful, which plants are becoming dominant and what needs to be cut back or divided. This is a large task and it is clear that we need to replace some plants which have not been quite as successful. This work will be taking place throughout autumn and spring.

The team also hosted a group of 10 young apprentices from Capel Manor for a week of work experience. Nick (deputy head gardener) acted as the workplace mentor for this and has drew up a list of tasks which included reducing the edible hedge which borders the community and some of our more neglected borders.’

SCCoop’s website is

From SCCoop enewsletter.

About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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