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About Us

A potted history of the group

Interview with Julian Meers

In 2018 Julian Meers expressed interest in this ‘forgotten’ area at the Surbiton end of the Queens Promenade opposite Ravens Ait. He was given the go ahead and some funding by Kingston council to start clearing the land surrounding the old gardener’s hut. In March 2019, Queen’s Promenade Friends was formed as a community group, volunteers joined up and the project of creating a pocket park began.

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Pocket Park Site in March 2019

The first job was to install a new roof on the Victorian gardener’s hut. Then over the course of the next two years, wheelbarrows of soil and rubbish were taken away to make way for raised beds and water butts.

Before

After

The park also features some restored artefacts found during renovation, including benches, paving blocks and a Victorian era Royal Borough of Kingston post with its distinctive 3 salmon logo. Other items were built and installed from scratch by volunteers, including a bug house, bird feeder and a bench made from a disused wooden electric cable reel and a church pew. The pocket park was officially opened May 2021 by the Mayor. In the space of just over two years the area has been transformed from a derelict and neglected wasteland into a haven of nature by the river.

Queen’s Promenade Friends have been supported by the following organisations

Department for Communities and Local Government
Ward Councillors
Citizen Zoo
Bulbs for London
Holland, Hahn & Wills
Kingston Burrowes
Radio Jackie
The Good Life

We also wish to thank members of the local community who often compliment our work as well as kindly donating many plants, pots and tools.