Mayow park bowling green. What’s the sitch?

Hello SE23-ers!

I walk my dog every day in Mayow Park and I’ve never seen the bowling green being used. Does it get used? What’s the story?

I was vaguely wondering whether there could be any scope to make it a part of the park just for dogs or something. Dog owners use the park all year round and Mayow is blessed with some very responsible owners so I’m sure it could be maintained. It could be a really lovely use of space and solves that dogs in the centre of the park thing.

Hi @anon37953414 :wave:

If you also post on it will hit our Sydenham community too :+1:

It does get used for private parties, although pretty infrequently it has to be said, and a few weeks ago it held a table/boot sale.

There were some rumours it was going to turn into a sensory garden/trail and or calming space for outdoor yoga/other mindful activities last year (or maybe more) but guess that didn’t come to fruition

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Are you proposing to repurpose the bowling green as a fenced dog area, like at the Honor Oak Sports Ground and Bellingham Green, for example? (E.g reviews here:

If that were the compromise, and if dogs had to then be kept on leads everywhere else in the park, I think it would be good.

An enclosed dog park could be a really good/helpful thing and I’m sure highly appreciated. The space would also be used during winter that way, too.

For me, for example, I’ve just adopted a dog so having a safe, enclosed space outside to train her would be invaluable and make her better behaved in the park generally.

It feels like the park already caters rather well to parties, yoga and kids, and there’s plenty of places in the area for those anyway.

I’m sure everyone has an idea how they think it could be best used, but I wonder if there’s scope to propose ideas to the council as the use of the park has clearly evolved away from bowls.

So many dogs use the park I’m not sure it would actually work to only confine them to this area off leads. I think it would need to be in addition to the current set up but I think it would likely reduce the dog traffic.

There’s already plenty of provision for dogs in Mayow Park. I believe the large area that runs from the cafe alongside Mayow Road is unofficially the dog area, and there are more areas at the back and around the edges.

And yet dogs are still regularly taken on to the central area where sports are played, or allowed to run amok elsewhere, even leaving the occasional poop. Granted this may only be a few ‘bad’ owners at certain times (always when I am there), but I don’t think dedicating yet more space to dogs is in anyway going to help.

I also note the reviewer of the Bellingham enclosed dog area, which I previously linked, complained:

At the time of our visit, the dog area was full of undisposed dog mess

It would be sad if that were to be the fate of the bowling green.

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That will never happen. It’s nowhere near big or interesting enough for dogs, it’s a boring patch of flat grass. As for them being on leads elsewhere, that won’t happen either. Leads are for when they’re on the streets. I love seeing my dog having the ability to run full pelt without her lead on, it’s proper exercise.

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Note I only suggest dogs be kept on leads if other areas of the park were to be enclosed as dog areas. I agree it’s doubful it would happen, though the American Garden in Dulwich Park is ringed by signs saying dogs must be kept on a lead. Unfortunately, and despite lots of open space in that park, those signs get frequently ignored too.

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Probably best to run any enquiries/ideas past the Friends of Mayow Park, who have led and organised many of the improvements to the park in recent years and will know what the plans are. Not sure who but there is an active FOMP Facebook group you could contact. or contact details on their blog at


Thanks @ThorNogson! That’s super useful.

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