Maryon Wilson animal keeper’s house could become council home

The house is awaiting a decision on its future

A house which used to be used by Maryon Wilson Park’s animal keeper is lying empty while Greenwich Council works out if it can use it as council housing, The Charlton Champion can reveal.

The house at 20 Thorntree Road, next to Maryon Park, used to be the home of the stocksman at Maryon Wilson animal park and was managed by the council’s parks department. When he retired, the parks department employed a property guardian company to put a short-term tenant in there.

However, the council has now taken on the site with an eye to turning it into council housing after the short-term tenant was evicted for rent arrears. The current animal keeper now lives some miles away from the park.

The property has been subjected to flytipping while its future is being decided. A legal agreement signed in 1922 – when the Maryon-Wilson family gave the land to the old London County Council – could get in the way.

The house is next to Maryon Park

An council spokesperson told The Charlton Champion: The situation with the covenant is currently unclear as the two paragraphs in the title deed appear to contradict one another with regards to restrictions on developing the land.

“We therefore need to refer back to the original 1922 deed of covenant to establish what was agreed; our legal team are working on this.”

She added: “A decision is expected in the coming weeks, depending on what is discovered with regards to the covenant.

“It is being discussed whether a feasibility study will be carried out to determine if the capital expenditure required to bring the property up to the Greenwich Homes Standard could incorporate measures that will make the house very-low or, even, zero carbon.”

The council recently launched its biggest home-building programme since the 1980s, and is aiming for its new homes to use as little energy as possible. A small number of new homes were recently unveiled off Harvey Gardens.

Last week, councillors approved cost-cutting plans that would mean other members of parks staff feeding Maryon Wilson Park’s animals at evenings and weekends. Gates to parks will also now be left unlocked at night to save money.


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Urban Harvest Open Day at Maryon Park Community Garden this Saturday

The Community Garden in Maryon Park is open to all this Saturday as part of Capital Growth’s Urban Harvest event. Its chair TIM ANDERSON explains more…

Community food growing gardens across the capital will be open on Saturday 21st September to welcome visitors and volunteers.  Get a taste of London’s edible gardens by dropping in to Maryon Park Community Garden in Charlton, one of Capital Growth’s flagship gardens, from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. Capital Growth, part of the charity Sustain, is London’s largest food growing network, with over 2,000 gardens throughout the city. 

At the Maryon Park Community ‘Organic Food Growing’ Garden activities include:

  • Tours of the Garden and Forest School.
  • Display of photos from the 1966 cult film ‘Blow Up’ that was shot in Maryon Park.
  • Activities for children: Making bird feeders. 
  • Refreshments: Teas & coffee
  • Damson Jam and Chutney Sale
  • Wood Craft Sale including Bird Boxes
  • Plant and succulent Sale

In the Forest School area there will be a free ‘Family Forest School Session’ from 2pm – 3pm led by Chevonne Campbell.

How to find Maryon Park Community Garden

Enter Maryon Park from the main entrance in Maryon Road, follow the path to the left past the park lodge and find the Community Garden at the end of the park perimeter fence. Look out for the signs and bunting. 


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What happened at Maryon Park’s Big Picnic 2019?

A group of neighbours who live near Maryon Park held a big picnic there last Saturday. HELEN JAKEWAYS, one of the organisers, explains what happened…

This was our fourth Picnic and once more we were extremely lucky with the weather. We were able to put on many more games and activities this year thanks to funds raised from Greenwich Council’s ward budget, Tesco Bags of Growth and sponsorship from Lovell.We were also kindly supported by the council’s Park Rangers team.

We hosted about 500 people over the course of the afternoon, including all the performers, group leaders, stall holders and our 30+ strong volunteer team and the main field in Maryon Park was bustling with activity surrounded by people enjoying their picnics in the shade provided by the trees round the edge of the park.

We enjoyed a couple of lovely dance performances and workshops run by Greenwich Dance, football sessions run by Charlton Athletic coaches which were enormously popular, non-contact boxing taster sessions with St Peter’s Amateur Boxing Club and late-arriving roaming hula hoops and basic circus skills sessions from Aircraft Circus.

There was a busy programme on and around the small stage including a set from Charlton based DJ Ed Simmons and performances from the Brass Band, the Woolwich Singers, The Tuesday Morning Recorder Group and Creative Generation Dance and Gymnastics, all kept in order by MCs Christopher Seaden and Justine Bennett from Charlton Parkside Community Hub.

We were delighted to have our stage powered entirely by the sun and can highly recommend the Solar Roller, run by the Minesweeper Collective (enquiries to minesweepercollective[at] – this comes complete with a sound system and lovely technician Camden, who has attended our event for three years now.

We had a broad range of games for smaller children to play with and on including our stable of pink space hoppers and a very busy creative making tent hosted by Liz Buck from St Luke’s Church. A more sedate guided tree walk was hosted by the Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks. Community stalls included the 38th Woolwich Scout Group, the Brownies, Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Park, Charlton Athletic Community Trust Youth Services, Riverwood (a Mencap-funded carpentry project), Friends of Windrush School, Neighbourhood Watch, Greenwich Dance, the St Thomas Church Tuesday Group and the local Neighbourhood Forum. Woodhill Brewing Collective (Simon, Dan and Owen) were on site selling their very popular homebrew, the profits from which they generously donate to the St Thomas Church Night Shelter project every year and there were soft and not-so soft drinks on sale organised by Andrew Donkin from Valley Hill Community Hub.

The Community Garden was open for the afternoon so the whole park really was busy. The event was rounded off by some very competitive sack, egg and spoon, three-legged and space hopper races, the tug-of-war and raffle, proceeds from which will be used to support the St Thomas Church Night Shelter project. This free local event aimed at families is growing in confidence every year, but we aim to keep it small and manageable so there is plenty of space and opportunity for everyone to enjoy the afternoon.

Huge thanks are due to all those who pitched in this year – volunteers, performers, groups running the activity sessions, stall holders and of course the audience who turned up to help make it all such a special afternoon. We are always looking for local volunteers to help especially with fundraising, planning and stewarding on the day – if you’d like to be involved next year please contact Charlton Parkside Community Hub Admin on cpchadm[at]


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