FiSH Open Garden Event,East Sheen, A Wonderful Surprise

Leave a comment

FiSH Open Garden Event,East Sheen, A Wonderful Surprise

We had an open garden event in East Sheen, organised by FISH, last weekend.  I am sure it has been running for a while now once a year, but this year though I had seen the posters it didn’t ‘register’ in my mind.  What a mistake.  Jenny who runs FISH locally lives on our street and put forth such a great visionary picture for the event that I felt compelled to try it.

I could already see plenty of people walking around locally with maps, and all I had to do was get my £10 out for my ticket, get a map and have fun finding the local generous hosts who had kindly decided to open their gardens to the public.

The sun shone as I walked for 2 1/2 – 3 hours around my local area.  Most of the time I was completely in awe of what I had just seen.

Some of the houses you wouldn’t even know existed as they are down long paths unseen in the depths of mystical greenery.  There was also the added bonus of a classic car viewing down one of the streets for all you car enthusiasts.

There were classic gardens, preened to pristine condition with manicured lawns that you could eat your dinner off.  The houses were glorious and in such a variety of architectural styles and period.  One particular garden was lush and you could smell the abundant flora even as you approached, it reminded me of the headiness from the plants you get in the Caribbean, so pungent.  Another garden had an Eastern versus Western twist, I fell in love simply with the pool house, let alone the main residence.  This had a vintage brickwork pool with an elegant 30yr old Japanese Wisteria hanging like mermaids tresses from a stone pergola.

So next year make sure to save the date, take a bottle of water, or you might be tempted to take a sip of the various cups of tea, sample some cake or have a glass of Pimms, that are also offered for a small fee by the hosts of some of the gardens.

You can find out more about FiSH here:  FiSH

FiSH Neighbourhood Care aims to inspire a caring community where older people live fulfilling, independent lives knowing that help willingly given by neighbours is at hand.

Here are some visuals of my experience.  Until next time, Justine xxx


Palewell Pond Vandalism And The Friends of Palewell Common And Fields

Leave a comment

Palewell Pond Vandalism

Please take time to pop by one of our community blogs which covers one of our most precious green spaces, Palewell Common & Fields.  It would be great to get feedback and perhaps find out all the behind scenes activity that goes on by local volunteers who act as guardians for mother nature.  You can find the blog here:  Palewell Common & Fields

I write because recently I went down to admire the Palewell Pond that the volunteers have spent so much dedicated time on maintaining and creating in the first place, along with other local groups.  Having taken some photos, I didn’t get time to post them before finding out the horrible news that vandals had in fact attempted to ruin this wonderful area.

You can read the full post here:  Palewell Pond Vandalism

You might want to consider supporting The Friends of Palewell Common and Fields by becoming a member, it’s a mere £10 per annum for individual or family membership.  In return for this £10 you get a sense of ownership and participation in supporting The Friends and joining in with a local community group to keep our green space as it should be for the enjoyment of others.

To join please click here:  About The Friends Membership or To Join


Leave a comment

Important dates for your diary, come help out volunteering for a couple of hours at Palewell Common & Fields our beautiful local green space

Friends of Palewell Common & Fields


We have volunteer days with Nature’s Gym (Glendale – Richmonds conservation partner).

As a rule of thumb we meet at Pistachios cafe which you can find situated just a short way from where the cars are parked.  The time of meeting is usually 10am.

There are a variety of activities undertaken on the volunteering days which generally improves not only the look of Palewell Common & Fields but also the environment.

It also sometimes is a chance to take up a new skill and or to socialize.

Dates for the next volunteering days at Palewell Common & Fields are:

On Tuesday 21st October we hopefully will have some bulbs to plant on the old ‘pond’ area.  These bulbs are to fill in gaps in what is our gorgeous annual daffodil display. In addition, work on clearing the woods and paths will  be undertaken.

View original post 65 more words

Children volunteer in East Sheen!

1 Comment

Children volunteer in East Sheen!

I thought this title might attract the attention of a few!  It is true however.  Yes I am a mean mother and volunteered my 8yr old and 12yr old to volunteer down at Palewell Common & Fields where Gina from Nature’s Gym was organizing various path clearing etc activities.

I have to say they really really enjoyed themselves and were suitably exhausted afterwards having spent 1 1/2 – 2 hrs down on the Common.

Who came to volunteer?

The group who came to volunteer consisted of the organizer, Gina from Nature’s Gym you can find her on facebook here Natures Gym Facebook.  We also had David who is Chair of the volunteering group,  The Friends of Palewell Common and Fields (see their website here – The Friends of Palewell Common & Fields or you can follow their blog here – The Friends Of Palewell Common, or you can friend their Fb account or Fb page, or better still follow and twitter them on their twitter – Friends of Palewell Common & Fields Twitter @PalewellCommon.   There were a couple of other Friends committee members and members but I know they would have liked more.

The volunteers with Natures Gym down at Palewell Common and Fields

The volunteers with Natures Gym down at Palewell Common and Fields

It is surprising the amount of behind the scene work that goes on by volunteers through either The Friends of Palewell Common and Fields or Nature’s Gym that I am sure most residents do not really notice nor have any idea of.  But if the work was not done, things would soon get unruly and not look as manageable and pleasant as they do.  So if you have any time to spare, please do join in on these volunteering activities, you can spend as long or as little time as you like.

Both my children and myself got to learn a whole heap more about the forest, nature and gardening in general.  We got some exercise, fresh air and chatted with some lovely people.  All members present were totally at ease with the 100 questions my lively youngest would fire off one after the other without drawing breath and managed to occupy them in a totally engaged fashion in clearing brambles, cutting down branches and overgrown areas.

Volunteering for Natures Gym at Palewell Common and Fields

Volunteering for Natures Gym at Palewell Common and Fields

Volunteering down at Palewell Common and Fields

Volunteering down at Palewell Common and Fields

They strode through the forest with cutters in hand, I admit I was slightly nervous as to whether they would damage either themselves or the implements, but they waltzed down the pathways like warriors and set to work in united fashion with the adults.

Volunteering down at Palewell Common and Fields

Volunteering down at Palewell Common and Fields

What did we do?

As you move through the path, there are many areas where either brambles, branches or other vegetation would smack you in the face or catch your ankles etc, which is particularly annoying for joggers amongst other residents.  These were clipped back.

There was a large overgrown area of brambles all down the side of the path that has the Richmond Park brick wall beside it, now a pram would fit down this path.  You can see from the pictures below the before and after.

There were areas where trees had fallen over, or branches that were either in the way  or a hazard, these were sawn up and moved away.

You will see from the picture below that a branch high up is precariously hanging off another branch, about ready to fall down and hit a walker, this will be reported and dealt with.  Do you see it?

Volunteering down at Palewell Common and Fields

Volunteering down at Palewell Common and Fields

We noted areas of interest, as The Friends of Palewell Common and Fields are hoping to create a nature walk.  There is already the den with a vine to swing off (how long the vine will last I’ve no idea).  There is also the Woodpecker tree, which stands in solitary fashion with many holes easily visible up the entire length.

Believe it or not there is a pond, well a kind of pond with a small stream, we cleared the path to there also and areas were noted that needed more work done.

Of course on the way we found various creatures and insects, two were a newt and a rather handsome looking spider!

a new from Palewell Common and Fields

a new from Palewell Common and Fields

A handsome spider from Palewell Common and Fields

A handsome spider from Palewell Common and Fields

There is talk also of a bug hotel being built or two perhaps a focal area for the children to enjoy seeing the bugs and insects that help also to clear the forest floor, giving them a hotel fit to compete with the Dorchester!

After the stint of volunteering we bumped in to two local dog walkers, being a dog fan I had to take pictures, one is of monty owned by Ali from Oh Darling in East Sheen, the other is a stunning french bulldog called Rocky, no idea who owns him but whoever it is is lucky!  I am a bit biased as I have a frenchie myself.

We then finished off of course down at the icecream parlour which brought a great big smile to my boys faces.

volunteers at Palewell Common and Fields

volunteers at Palewell Common and Fields

If you want to find out regularly about events and activites, why not join to become a member of the Friends of Palewell Common and Fields, it is only £10 per annum for an entire family, this gives you a discount card for various things ie at Pistachios on the Common, gets you on the list for recent events and items to discuss but more importantly gives you a say in what goes on on your local common and gives you also the knowledge that the money spent gets re invested in various events and also restorative/productive acitivities on the Common.

The Friends of Palewell Common & Fields membership page

Thank you as always for reading, Justine xx

© Justine Nagaur,

Palewell Common & Fields

Palewell Common & Fields

Roll up, roll up come & help us out at Palewell Common Tuesday 2nd Sep 11am with some woodland activities!

Leave a comment

Let’s not forget to help out at Palewell Common tomorrow, 2.8.14 at 11am in maintaining the lovely space we have called Palewell Common and Fields. Volunteers needed please

Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

Roll up, roll up come & help us out at Palewell Common Tuesday 2nd Sep 11am with some woodland activities!

Improve your health and well being by taking part in conservation activities in nature reserves, parks and green spaces in Richmond. Nature’s Gym is free and fun – and no experience is needed.

We meet outside Pistachios around 11am, just come along as you are, perhaps some wellies if wet, Nature’s Gym provides the rest.  Gina will be organising the group and directing people to all kinds of different interesting activities.  It’s a great opportunity to learn a new skill and socialize.

Activities proposed

Trail along our Tree ID walk!

Optional tasks include; sycamore sapling removal, building a Stag beetle loggery


A selection of fun pictures from some of our other gardening volunteering days!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Please take a look at our website for further…

View original post 11 more words

Team building, volunteering & serving the community all in one!

Leave a comment

Volunteering is an essential part of our Community and team building an essential part of creating the building blocks for a dynamic team of staff members, why not combine the two and give back and receive all at the same time?

Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

Teamwork by Olswang LLP & Nature’s Gym from Glendales

There was fun to be had on the 16th of this month when a group of staff from Olswang LLP, a law firm joined with Gina who runs Nature’s Gym through Glendales who maintain Palewell Common & Fields.

Smiles were to be found all around, the weather was good and colleagues got to spend some quality and healthy time together.  Team bonding  is important for any business and to throw volunteering in to the mix a great way to give back to the Community and to forging stronger links between personnel.

Various things such as fixing a dead fence, clearing pathways and an obstructive tree that had fallen across a popular path was dealt with.

So from the Friends of Palewell Common and Fields we would like to say a big thank you to Oslwang LLP for donating hands to help…

View original post 63 more words

Ever wanted to volunteer locally but no idea where to start?

Leave a comment

Why not come to the Volunteering Fair which will be taking place on Wednesday 4th June 4 – 7pm @ York House in Twickenham.

Just drop in and see if anything catches your eye.
There will be over 40 charities and organisations looking for volunteers
Get expert info and advice from Volunteering Richmond staff
Find out about current volunteering opportunities
You can sign up as a volunteer or register now here.




If you are an organisation looking for volunteers and wish for more information and or to book a stall, click here.

Justine x

Low turn out but a productive volunteering session was had organized by Glendales Natures Gym


Though a low turnout, I had fun, going around butterfly and bird counting, though they seemed to fly off as soon as I arrived I managed to record a few, not that I have a clue to recognize what they are, however, nice bedtime listening! 🙂 I did manage to entice another resident to come and help as he was minding his own business having a relaxing stroll, but needs must at times and he enjoyed it 🙂

Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

Today at 11am we headed down to Palewell Common to meet with Glendales Nature Gym to do some volunteering work, hoping to meet with a crowd eager to help!  Perhaps a crowd was a bit optimistic.  Apart from Glendale, sadly there were only three others present at the beginning including  myself and those 3 in total were the Friends of Palewell Common Committee members.


This did not deter anyone as plants and various planting instruments were brought out.

The sun was shining and it was a fine day to be knelt amongst the long grass of the orchard to do some work.

Glendales brought along chicory, primrose, borage herb, robert wild flower and poppies to plant, the latter courtesy of David, Chairman of the Friends of Palewell Common which he had picked up from this years Chelsea Flower Show.


The wire around the various young  fruit trees in the orchard…

View original post 106 more words

Volunteers needed for tomorrow ~ fancy some fresh air, maybe socialize, learn a new skill?

Leave a comment

Have you ever fancied doing some fun volunteering in Richmond?

The Richmond Council Parks department have teamed up with Glendales Nature’s Gym.

This is a volunteer group that takes part in conservation work throughout local parks and nature reserves.

It is a great opportunity to meet new friends, to get out in the fresh air, learn some new skills, take some time out.

You can follow Nature’s Gym on Facebook here.

You can also find out a little more on the Glendales Nature’s Gym website which is here.

No experience is needed to take part in the activities and all ages are welcomed.  The jobs are for every level of fitness and ability and fully supervised.

The next dates that volunteers are needed are:

21st, Palewell Common, 11am (meet outside or in depending on the weather @ Pistachios Cafe) ~ Weather permitting there will be a bird count, butterfly count and Orchard maintenance.
22nd, Petersham Lodge Woods, 11am

As quoted on their Facebook…

Tasks include, planting and bird/butterfly counts as well as orchard maintenance at Palewell Common.


Telephone: 07825 860 459

To join Nature’s Gym you will need to:
– Fill out the registration form
– Sign the code of conduct
– Complete the memorandum of understanding

You can then email them back to the Nature’s Gym email.

NB: Please make sure that you contact them before attending a session as events might be cancelled or changed.

However to first time volunteer, just turn up and have some fun!

Thank you for reading/viewing

Justine x




Volunteers needed for help in Palewell Common

Leave a comment

Volunteers needed for help in Palewell Common

If you have a little bit of spare time and like to enjoy our local green spaces, fancy perhaps meeting people anew, then please pop on down to Palewell Common on either or all of the following dates:

  • Tuesday 15th April
  • Wednesday 12th May
  • Monday 16th June

Meet outside the cafe @ 11am.

You can donate as little or as much time as you like.

What is it about?

Glendale has the Glendale Nature’s Gym (click here for more info) which organizes through volunteers to go to our green spaces and do various jobs to improve nature’s space.  In the past they have planted a small orchard with daffodils amongst the trees, clearing the glades of bramble through the woods and planting bluebells.  There is also a small pond in the woods which is kept clear (I have still yet to find this) and various other jobs, there is never nothing to do.

It is also a way to keep fit, take in some fresh air, see nature and meet other people who have a goal in common, sounds like fun to me.

All you need are sensible shoes, gardening or sturdy gloves and a bottle of water.

If you have any more queries, or perhaps know of a local group who would be willing to pitch in and help, please use the contact on either the Glendale Site, or Friends of Palewell Common Site, or better still…..

Just turn up!

As always thank you for reading, Justine x

© Justine

retro chair

Let’s keep in touch!