Summer party in the park 

Eventually the spring will come. And then the summer. Let’s hope we get a fine summer evening to celebrate our Friends’ party in the park.  The date is Wed. 3 July. The time is 6-8pm and the place is the marquee at the east end of the Dutch Garden. Access is from the Dutch Garden only.

There will be refreshing Pimm’s fruit cup, tasty canapés and good company, all with the lovely view of the Dutch Garden summer planting. We are most grateful to James Clutton, CEO of Opera Holland Park, for allowing us once again to borrow their marquee on the raised terrace to the east of the Dutch Garden. Come rain or shine, we will be protected from anything the weather will throw at us. 

This is the one event of our year that is only open to Friends and their immediate guests, but not the general public. Do come and celebrate with us!   The car park is free after 6.30pm. Please do book early, as we need to plan the catering.

Tickets, at £25 each, can be booked online HERE.

[May 2024]

Phillip Fei Hou – new trustee

We are delighted that Phillip Fei Hou has agreed to become a trustee of The Friends.

Phillip Fei HouHe joined The Friends after spotting a plea for volunteers and soon became a regular at the pop-up events in the park. He readily engaged park visitors and got them interested in what we do. Every so often, the trustees have got stuck trying to do something, and Phillip said ‘Oh I can help with that’. And he did. Most were tech solutions where he could coax data into something useful.   

The reason he can do all this is that he holds a BSc in Physics and another in Software Engineering. He taught physics and enjoyed nurturing young minds with a passion for science, before transferring to work in the software industry. Next, he ventured into life as an entrepreneur, running his own business for over 30 years. So he has technical skills and business skills, gained from software development, tech consulting, the restaurant industry, digital publishing and property investment. That translates into a lot of very useful support for The Friends, and the trustees decided they would like him to join the committee.

Phillip and his wife live not far from the park and know it well. He is a team player and we enjoy his company, as we all do our best to run The Friends as successfully as we can. There’s one other thing: Phillip’s dog has been taught by him to be exceedingly polite and well-behaved, so he hasn’t forgotten his teaching skills!

Welcome Phillip. The trustees look forward to working with you. 

[May 2024]

News update as at 2 May 2024

Bolle’s poplar

Picus test analysis
Picus test analysis

Many of you will have noticed the loss of the very big tree just inside the Ilchester Gates, a Bolle’s poplar. Sadly, it was badly diseased and unsafe with so many people walking underneath it. Bartletts tree experts warned some years ago that it was one to keep an eye on. When the RBKC Arboricultural team checked it in 2020 they found fungus at the base. At that stage it was crown reduced to remove weight from the top so that it could be kept  a little longer. In March 2024 a further Picus test showed extensive decay at the base. It had to go. The decay was caused by Ganoderma bracket fungus which eats slowly but relentlessly into the tree.  Picus is a non-invasive way of determining the extent of decay inside a tree and it works by taking readings of soundwaves passing through the trunk and measuring the density. This can reveal damage in an otherwise healthy-looking tree.

Photo by RBKC

Water Management in Holland Park

Rainwater flow past West Woodland enclosure
Rainwater flow past West
Woodland enclosure

For a long time, there has been discussion about managing torrential rain which causes small rivers running through the park, taking soil with it and gouging out troughs in the woodland paths. The water pools where we don’t want it, the north lawn becomes a quagmire and too much water channels out of the park and into the sewerage system. The new flood management officer in the town hall understands how to manage water in parks and is developing a proposal, with Parks Management, to absorb rainwater near where it falls and channelling surplus to where it can be used. The Friends have been consulted and support the concept. We will bring you further news when it is available.

Photo by Richard Kulczycki



Panel 2, prior to damage
Panel 2, prior to damage

The story continues. Alvar Mailan from Richard Rogers Conservation has painstakingly removed panels 1&2 of the paintings under the arcade by the Iris Garden. The panels are now back at RRC’s studios where the canvas backing is being repaired following discovery of mould. We await news of the next development and of when it will be possible for artist, Mao Wen Biao, to retouch the surfaces of these two panels. After nearly two years, we still await to hear when the Council will do the work to prevent water ingress from the walkway above.  

Jennie Kettlewell

Photo by Gilead Limor

[May 2024]





New café in Holland Park

By the time you read this, you may have had a chance to visit the Holland Park Café under its new ownership. Daisy Green Foods signed the lease in late April and has wasted no time in getting the café up and running, even if not with its full offering just yet. The new name is still to be decided.

Prue Freeman, founder of Daisy Green
Prue Freeman, founder of Daisy Green

Daisy Green is a family business, run by Prue Freeman and her husband Tom Onions. Founded in 2012, they have grown the business and now have a mix of cafés and restaurants across London, with each venue individually designed to fit its local environment and community. They live near Holland Park, which means they know the park well and can tailor our café to what park visitors really want.

The main point of a café is to offer really good coffee at a fair price and that is something on which the owners pride themselves. To go with the coffee there will be a choice of cakes and pastries. There are light dishes on the menu, made with responsibly-sourced fresh ingredients in a Mediterranean style, with accents of Asian flavours. That means plenty of choice, whether you want a quick coffee, a meal, or one of Daisy Green’s special breakfasts.

The long-awaited changes to the service area will be made, once agreed, so that the frustrating queues at busy periods are a thing of the past. No doubt the interior will be freshened up, while respecting the nature of the listed buildings in our park. Table service will be a new feature, which will be a benefit in that the tables will be clean, and it will also help reduce the queues. That doesn’t mean you can’t go to the counter and buy a coffee and sandwich to go.

Many of our members have asked if the café staff, under the management of Ade Phillips, will still greet us in the café. We are delighted to tell you that they will.

We understand the opening hours will be 7.30am to half an hour before dusk, when the park closes.  A limited number of appropriate evening events may take place, with the agreement of Parks Management. It is good news that Daisy Green is community-focused, both in terms of relationships and in terms of donating to local charities. They operate an environmentally friendly business, and encourage keep cups. 

At this point we would like to say a big thank you to Cooks and Partners, who have run the café for the past 17 years and who have co-operated, on so many occasions, with The Friends.

The Holland Park Café has always been a welcome meeting point for local residents and all park visitors, and Prue Freeman intends to keep it that way. So, drop in and sample the new coffee, snacks and meals, and bring your friends. We very much look forward to working with the new owners and to supporting their successful business.

Photo from Daisy Green

Jennie Kettlewell

[May 2024]

Matthew Rose wins award

Matthew being presented with his award
Matthew being presented with his award

The Ecology Centre is proud to announce that Matthew Rose, one of their Education Team, has been awarded the 2024 Robert J. Jones Award in Environmental Education by the Educator’s Trust, the charitable arm of the Worshipful Company of Educators.

This national award, is given to an outstanding practitioner in environmental education. Matthew was nominated by Dr Melissa Glackin and Shirin Hine of Kings’ College London, having worked with them in support of an Environmental Education Masters course, PhD research and the publication of the Heartwood collection of essays. In the award citation, Matthew was described as ‘an exceptional, knowledgeable and professional environmental educator, who has offered his community an inspirational personable service, provided with care and humility’. The Friends agree with that and send congratulations to Matthew. 

Photo from Max Weaver

[May 2024]

Peter Barrett saves the day

Technical problems with Mailchimp can be challenging and we got thwarted with a mailing one weekend in March. It was thanks to Peter Barrett of Rapidpage, who manage The Friends’ website, that it was sorted out. In spite of being unfamiliar with Mailchimp, having no responsibility for our account, and it being a weekend, he worked out what changes were needed and gave us the all clear. Should the problem recur, we now have instructions to deal with it. Thank you Peter.

[May 2024]

Michael Volpe’s new book

Michael Volpe’s new book
Michael Volpe’s new book

Former General Director of Holland Park Opera, Michael Volpe, is remembered by many opera-loving Friends. On 29 April, he was back in Holland Park for the launch of his second book ‘Do I bark like a Dog?’ The launch was at Daunts Bookshop, Holland Park Avenue, where his family and friends joined the celebration. The book tells the story of his Italian roots and is a testimony to his mother and her family. Many extra-ordinary events took him from his childhood in Fulham to a life in opera where he has been a significant influence, being awarded an OBE for services to opera. 

[May 2024]



Guided tours of Holland Park

The history of the buildings, people, sculptures, statues, art and the gardens.  
Expert Blue Badge Guides will entertain you with fascinating stories about the long history of Holland Park and what went on there.– scandals and all. 

Sat 18 May. 2.30-4pm. History of the Holland Park gardens and
              grounds.  Guide Leila Sukiur.  

Book a ticket online HERE or contact Jennie Kettlewell on jennie.kettlewell@thefriendsofhollandpark.org or call 020 7243 0804.  

£10.00 per person. Meeting point will be on the ticket.

[January 2024]


Summer party in the park

Nicholas Hopkins
Trustee, Nicholas Hopkins, preparing
  the summer party bar in 2022

Wednesday, 3 July 2024, 6-8pm in the marquee, east of the Dutch Garden.

Save the date in your diary and we will give more information via email, on our park noticeboards and on our website, saying when and how you can book. The party is for members of The Friends only, though members are welcome to buy a ticket for a guest. It is the perfect place for a summer party, as the marquee offers a fine view of the seasonal planting in the formal garden and gives shelter from the sun, if we are lucky, and the rain if we are not. 

Text & photo Jennie Kettlewell

[February 2024]


Data Protection Privacy Statement, 
including Key Procedures for Friends of Holland Park
Charity no 281348

Aims of this policy
The Friends of Holland Park (FHP) needs to keep certain information about its members in order to distribute its quarterly newsletter and to contact members about events and other matters concerning The Friends. 

The charity is committed to ensuring any personal data will be dealt with in line with the Data Protection Act 1998, as amended 2003 and the General Data Protection Law, to become operative from May 2018.

To comply with the law, personal information will be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed to any other person unlawfully. 

This document highlights key data protection procedures within the organisation. The aim of these procedures is to ensure that everyone handling personal data is fully aware of the requirements and acts in accordance with data protection law.

This Privacy Statement defines the trustees and any other persons using data connected with the business of the charity. 

The type of personal data we hold
 Contact details of members, who have completed a membership application form. Needed for distribution of newsletter.
Contact details of council officers and elected members for the day-to-day running of the charity. These can be identified by the sortable database code.
Contact details of suppliers.
Contact details of those members who have agreed to hand deliver the newsletter and the areas in which they deliver. Needed to produce delivery schedules.
Each entry shows whether or not a member is registered for Gift Aid, so that we can make an annual return to HMRC.

Who holds the data?
The Secretary is the controller of the database. Other FHP Trustees who may process personal information are: 
The Chairman
The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer
The Events Organiser.
The information is not shared with other parties, with the exception of the Independent Examiner and HMRC in the case of Gift Aid data.
Names and addresses, in hard copy form, are given to newsletter deliverers so they can hand deliver to the correct address. 

Personal information is kept in the following forms: 
Paper details kept by the Treasurer, Secretary and Chairman, securely filed. 
Digital database of members kept by the Secretary and circulated, in encrypted form, to the Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Chairman, and Events Organiser as necessary. 
Digital Gift Aid records kept by the Treasurer and sent to Independent Examiner, in encrypted form, for filing with HMRC. 
Digital records from Paypal account showing receipts. 

Security of data
Each trustee that holds member data has confirmed in writing that their systems are secure:
All computers are password protected with a secure password
All emailed records are encrypted.

Deletion of data
The Friends of Holland Park Bank statements and Gift Aid reports are kept for reference and are regularly referred to.
The current member database, used for newsletter distribution, is cleaned every September. Members who have not paid the current years subscription are left on the database until 31 December and then removed, as they are no longer deemed to be members.
Previous member databases are a useful source of reference and are regularly referred to e.g. when they claim their membership has only recently lapsed. These databases are retained for seven years but for reference only and not for contact.
Analysis of payments by cheque and cash are kept for seven years.

Right to access data
Each member has the right to see a copy of the data held about them and the right to correct it if it is found to be incorrect. Contact The Secretary at: rhoddy.wood@thefriendsofhollandpark.org.

Risk Assessment
The trustees of The Friends of Holland Park operate a Risk Assessment process which is reviewed annually. In the unlikely event of a break of data protection, the process would be to:
Inform the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) 
Inform those whose data has been compromised

Amend the process which has caused the breach.

24 May 2018