4,500 demand Maryon Wilson animal park is saved

Protesters gave a Greenwich councillor a 4,500-signature petition demanding Maryon Wilson Park’s animal centre stay open at a demonstration in the park this lunchtime.

Around 45 people turned out for the Wednesday afternoon to present the petition to Charlton ward representative Allan MacCarthy and to highlight the threat to the future of the park, which faces having its £43,000 funding cut by Greenwich Council in April.

Cllr MacCarthy said he and his fellow councillors were “trying their level best to get a positive outcome” for the park.

“Hopefully we can say something soon as we’re working on it – believe me, we’re working on it,” the Labour councillor continued.

“I’ve lived in Charlton all my life and I’ve known this facility all that time, so you know where I’m coming from.”

Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks chair Tim Anderson said he was delighted with the turnout, which saw groups from Charlton School and Thorntree Primary School join parents, grandparents and toddlers from around the local area.

“It’s a unique facility in south-east London, and was bequeathed to the people of London – it has to be saved,” he added.

The petition will be handed over at a full council meeting later this month, when a Friends member is likely to ask questions of councillors.

Options currently being pursued include handing the animal park over to a trust – although that would not immediately solve the question of funding the park.

The Friends group is posting daily updates on the campaign at its website. Some 7,500 names have now been collected in various online and paper petitions.