A potted history of the group
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.
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.
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.