Fort Greenwich


So what’s all this about, then? It looks a bit like a wild west stockade, over in the eastern part of Greenwich Park. Scared of Chives sent me this, wondering if I knew anything about it. Of course I don’t – I am not party to anything that goes on in the park – but I can guess it’s Olympic-related. Here it is from another angle:

 

I have no idea – lookout for injuns over Vanbrugh Castle? Ideas and suggestions please.


the attachments to this post:

fort greenwich 1
fort greenwich 1

fort greenwich 2
fort greenwich 2


24 Comments to “Fort Greenwich”

  1. Joe F says:

    Only a guess based purely on the photos, but could it be a jump/obstacle for a horse riding cross-country course?

  2. Concerned says:

    Yes, I understood it was the base for one of the jumps. Not especially temporary or portable.

    Incidentally, Edward Hill’s case is coming up soon. Apparently LOCOG were expecting more like his.

  3. Steve says:

    Yes, there’s a couple of those gone up in the last week. Horse jumps for sure.

  4. Dave48 says:

    And here’s me thinking they were some sort off observation platform for people to take in the views. Silly me, why would they consider the regular park user and tourist.

    BTW there’s a similar platform been built on the boating pond which has also been re-lined….that’s a hell of a water jump!

  5. Steve says:

    Dave48, I was wondering what the work on the pond was about.

    But was it really necc to do this 18months before the Olympics? Couldn’t they have closed off the boating pond after next summer?

  6. Benedict says:

    …so does that mean I’m allowed to take my trusty stallion out for test run round the park…..

  7. Catherine says:

    It looks very standard for a “drop” fence… The horses jump off it, down the hill. I expect the reason for building it now is to allow the ground around it to strengthen, partly by growing a good crop of well-rooted grass. This will not only make it safer for the competitors but also minimise the damage done by them. If you imagine shirt-term changes to grassland, like turfing, the surface would be too loose to survive several passes by hooves without being ripped apart. Better that they do this early.

    The people building this course are professionals, who do this all the time in parkland across the world… If you look at the places where events are held, they do recover well from year-to-year. They have no interest in destroying the land. Of course we want them to be careful of historic features, and not to close the park for long, but regardless of the politics and committees, I think we should trust the course designers/builders to do a good job.

  8. Dan says:

    Steve,

    There’s a test event in the park next July…

  9. Indigo says:

    @Concerned 12 November 2010 at 11:25 am

    Incidentally, Edward Hill’s case is coming up soon. Apparently LOCOG were expecting more like his.

    I’d love to know how you know that LOCOG “were expecting more like his”.

    Wake up, sheeple. Everything that LOCOG has done in the Park so far is unauthorised development. The course markers, the trees pruned that did not need pruning, the spraying, the destruction of large swathes of rare acid grasslands, and the construction of the three jump bases. Why do I say this? Because LOCOG has neither fulfilled (“discharged”) nor even applied to vary the all-important planning condition 1 (about the reinstatement of the Park).

    Instead, LOCOG appears to have hit on the wheeze of getting from The Royal Parks a special licence (or two or more) to operate within the Park. Subverting the planning laws of England. Undermining the statutory authority of the Council. Side-stepping all those pesky nuisance laws about conservation and public health and safety and audits and guarantees. Greenwich Council was asked a week ago to serve LOCOG with a Stop Notice – which is what it would do to anyone else behaving like this – but since then there has been complete silence from the Council.

    What next – will the Greenwich Hospital give itself a licence to develop Greenwich Market in whichever it wants, and leave the Council to deal with the traffic problems and so on?

  10. Indigo says:

    Catherine – use your eyes, for Heaven’s sake – the course preparation has already destroyed land: the rare acid grasslands.

    Also, the company preparing the course has – to my knowledge – no experience whatsoever of working in a unique and fragile place as Greenwich Park.

    Greenwich Park is absolutely wasted on some people, people like Catherine. I met someone last week who has lived beside the Park for something like 60 years and is apparently completely blind to its ecological importance and as a safe place for young people to socialise.

  11. JR says:

    Today they grubbed up two benches near these horse jumps. Nearly 2 years ahead of these ridiculous elitist events, so the local community lose another facility. They need to use a bigger, better venue with proper facilities, such as Windsor, which will also look nice for the TV cameras.

    Catherine… why should we trust a bunch of unelected strangers who went against massive local opposition, working for something no one round here wants or needs? They needed severe persuading even to go around various structures and rare grasslands, burial mounds etc, so if they need to be told even this basic information, how can they seriously be trusted to treat the park in the right way??

    Greenwich Park belongs to us, to ordinary people in the community to use day to day and to have a break in, to wildlife and for the historic sites. It does not belong to a bunch of corporate vandals who care nothing for what happens as long as they make a profit.

  12. darryl says:

    I see the NOGOE “hearts and minds” policy has been ramped up again…

  13. Paul says:

    Indigo, how can we possibly get a sense of the real problems with the park, faced with your incessant, hysterical propaganda?

    I am concerned that some acid grassland is being damaged; but you assert: “The course preparations have already destroyed the rare acid grasslands.” What, all of them? Really?

    I recall you’ve also spent huge amounts of time with a conspiracy theory of how commercially available lawn treatments constitute chemical warfare on Greenwich residents. Really?

    You assume that every official or person concerned with the olympics is venal, corrupt or stupid, and that you are the lone arbiter of what’s right and wrong. Do you really think people will listen to you? You are becoming the Olympian equivalent of those dishevelled characters who lurk around Oxford Street carrying a sandwich board declaring “the end is nigh.” And in the process, you’re probably causing real, valid concerns to be dismissed.

  14. JR says:

    Hi, I sent this on 15th Nov but it didn’t work! So…
    They just grubbed up two benches near these horse jumps. Nearly 2 years ahead of these ridiculous elitist events, so the local community lose another facility. They need to use a bigger, better venue with proper facilities, such as Windsor, which will also look nice for the TV cameras.

    Catherine… why should we trust a bunch of unelected strangers who went against massive local opposition, working for something no one round here wants or needs? They needed severe persuading even to go around various structures and rare grasslands, burial mounds etc, so if they need to be told even this basic information, how can they seriously be trusted to treat the park in the right way??

    Greenwich Park belongs to us, to ordinary people in the community to use day to day and to have a break in, to wildlife and for the historic sites. It does not belong to a bunch of corporate vandals who care nothing for what happens as long as they make a profit.

    One last point is that being too negative can have the opposite effect, as the above comments about Indigo demonstrate. The thing to remember is that we need constructive criticism (eg, they shouldn’t shut the park or build jumps next to Roman remains, and they can go to a far better location such as Windsor).

    Someone ought to keep an eye on what LOCOG is really up to, no need for exaggeration! People are rightly upset and some non-violent protest action/comment is useful but let’s not alienate other park users by exaggerating. We have enough reasons to want LOCOG out of our park already!

  15. Indigo says:

    Great news, people, the CPS blinked first. This morning they dropped their case against Ed Hill.

    I think it is because LOCOG have started work without fulfilling planning condition 1, nor have they applied to vary it, which undermines the CPS case that Ed was removing something that LOCOG had got permission to put there. In law, everything done so far by LOCOG in the Park is unauthorised development.

  16. JR says:

    That’s fantastic news! Are LOCOG basically admitting that all the structures they are putting up are not quite legal?? Or are they scared of what the court will discover when the terms and conditions of their dubious contract are scrutinised? Either way, it’s a small victory for a tireless local resident against the juggernaut of the Olympics lot.

    They really need a bigger space where the Equestrian events can be safely held without massively inconveniencing the local community, building on archaeological sites and cutting swathes through acid grassland.

    It also has to be remembered that the events are almost 2 years away and it will all take months to put right again, so we have years more of tractors, machines, trucks, obsessive contractors, digging up, mowing every day etc ahead of us.

    Come on, LOCOG, move this nonsense to a better site (Windsor) while you still can and leave the park to the people that need it!

  17. Indigo says:

    I think LOCOG didn’t want the public scrutiny. They’ve been extremely secretive up to now; they didn’t expect Ed to opt for trial by jury (I believe) instead of caving in as soon as charged.

    There may be more about this soon – Olympics security – how do you suppose that the police are going to get 23,000 people across Romney Road and back again every day during the 2012 Olympics? Traffic surveys over the past 15 years show that 80 per cent of traffic in Greenwich is through traffic.

    At least one reliable source says that LOCOG intends to force all the spectators to park and ride – from Bluewater !!!! – with coach parks on Blackheath on, er, the opposite side of the road from the Park.

    I hope Ed is able to get his finger prints and DNA removed from the police database pronto, as the CPS dropped all charges.

  18. Paul says:

    Good news re Ed Hill, indigo – you should email greenwich.co.uk and get them to print a new story, maybe even interview him (while the phantom is on furlough)

  19. Adam says:

    I must say, I find the spouting of the self-elected champions of the ‘ordinary people’ pretty tedious (first prize for tediousness to Indigo for the statement “Greenwich Park is absolutely wasted on some people, people like Catherine”).

    How many times is Greenwich likely to host an Olympic Equestrian event? Certainly not again in my lifetime, and, as an ordinary member of the local community, I am looking forward to it. If you don’t like the Olympics coming to Greenwich, feel free to object, but don’t claim to speak on behalf of others.

    Having said all that, I don’t instinctively share Catherine’s optimism that LOCOG will always get it right, so all credit to those who are working to hold LOCOG to the commitments they have made (which, incidentally, include restoration of the acid grass after this is all over).

  20. JR says:

    Fair enough, Adam, you are entitled to your opinion too, but the vast majority of ordinary people in the meetings (and signing petitions and so on) were definitely against the use and closure of the park for the Equestrian events.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who hates the way our authorities hold so-called consultations and then proceed to go ahead and do what they like anyway. When people complain about this they are accused of whinging but I don’t think those in charge should just be able to get away with it and get paid handsomely for their cynical behaviour while locals are patronised and intimidated if they object.

    Indigo may be”self-elected” and I don’t always agree with everything he says but who the hell elected LOCOG to take over and shut the park and put up ridiculous horse jumps, bring us the joy of all the traffic and heavy security that will be needed and cut new paths everywhere? And where is the legacy if it all has to be put right again and dismantled at some stage in the future? Why not build permanent facilities at, say, Windsor where the money would be better invested?

    I still think it’s a poorly chosen venue that’s too small and too needed by, yes, the local community and, like it or not, locals are mostly against it.

    I agree with you though that LOCOG do need to be held accountable and watched carefully and unfortunately I don’t think this is happening yet.

  21. Vic says:

    i’m with adam on this. while we should all be alert to any genuine “destruction” of the park, i have yet to see any. the acid grassland still prospers and the jumps thus far constructed are hardly a huge inconvenience, nor do they constitute any kind of destruction. the equestrian events are coming to greenwich park whether we like it or not. while windsor great park may have been a better location from the point of view of some greenwich residents, greenwich park will make a spectacular location for the eventing and i, for one, cannot wait to see it. i will be inconvenienced when they shut the park, as a dog owner, but i also see the bigger picture. london and greenwich WILL benefit.

  22. JR says:

    How WILL Greenwich benefit exactly, Vic? The 2 years of works, the actual closures, the extra security, the traffic, the damage to the park, helicopters, the bus and rail routes closed around Blackheath/Greenwich?how will people who use public transport travel around at this time? And will you really even be able to get tickets for this event? Sorry, but I’m not convinced that all this for an event most people are not interested in is worth it for a few extra tourists.

    It’s not as though Greenwich has no tourists and needs to attract attention, it is a busy World Heritage Site already. A lot of people do object to things being forced upon them by the people they apparently elected (followed by those who can’t understand why authority should ever be distrusted), especially when there are far less controversial and delicate alternatives available to them.

    Most people give in and just say it’s a done deal, but at least with pressure they will be a) more careful about their operations and also b) think twice before deciding to force other big events on our community spaces.

    Some people just say “it’ll look nice, so stop complaining”, but if they didn’t want objections, they should’ve listened to what the petitions and those in the meetings were saying. Sorry, but I hate arrogant authority and don’t want the park shut/damaged at all for these stupid rich men’s games.

  23. JR says:

    Hmm, I hope i didn’t sound too grumpy, it isn’t my intention, but basically just saying it’s worth keeping up the pressure on LOCOG, watching them and so on, and not happy about some random committee people swooping in and imposing massive events onto somewhere useful and very dear to many people. :)

  24. Vic says:

    JR, well, i am retaining my optimism for now about the benefits, as it will be happening whether we like it or not, and i would rather embrace than dread it. we will see an increase in visitor numbers, not just from those visiting the area to watch the games, but from the competitors themselves. as i understand it, people are already taking deposits on bookings for property rental during the period.

    i understand the frustration at the feeling of having something forced on us but it was ever thus and we don’t own the park, sadly. personally, i’d like to see it used for more events, perhaps summer concerts and the like, but maybe that’s just me.