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Pets Corner – Park Petiquette

Summer seems finally to have arrived and as the mercury rises so do the numbers of visitors to our glorious public spaces. The majority of responsible dog owners make daily, even twice daily forays to the park come rain or shine and in colder months the range of park users is fewer. However, warmer weather brings out other visitors in force: families and picnickers, those wishing to sunbathe or play games with the kids, learner cyclists, skateboarders and even Nordic pole walkers. All of these present major temptations to dogs, always on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities to scavenge or chase things that don’t belong to them. In the face of such ‘novelties’ many owners lose control and with it the respect of other park users.

Recently Southwark Council implemented Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOS), with a view to cracking down on irresponsible dog owners in local parks and cemeteries. These supersede and replace any existing Dog Control Orders. According to Southwark, members of the community are tired of their children being jumped on by random dogs, their picnics pinched, joggers and cyclists chased and the continuing problem of dog poo. As a consequence we all need to be much more aware of our dog’s behaviour and prepared to control our dog around other park users and that includes other dogs and dog owners. Penalties for not doing so will be severe and Southwark Officers now have the power to order owners to put their dog on a lead if the dog is perceived to be a nuisance.

Here is a simple guide to park petiquette, the aim being to make life more pleasant all round:

  1. Ensure you have reliable recall against any amount of distraction, if you don’t then keep your dog on a lead and only let him off at times when you feel certain you can keep his attention on you.
  2. Rather than let your dog frolic with other dogs, make yourself his key playmate. Teach him tuggy with manners, search and find games (good to play on a long lead) and if you want to throw toys for him to fetch ensure you have trained a solid retrieve to hand.
  3. Do not allow your dog to chase other animals, including other dogs, as his primary source of entertainment. It is unwise and dangerous to encourage prey drive. Dogs allowed to refine prey drive by chasing squirrels and birds in the park will be uncontrollable and may start hunting and chasing other small dogs- with possibly disastrous consequences.
  4. If you see another dog on a lead in the park give him space, do not let your dog approach him off lead.
  5. Do not assume that because you have a puppy all other adult dogs will love and protect him. Many adult dogs loathe puppies. Teach your puppy manners around adult dogs as soon as possible.
  6. Do not assume all people will love and protect your dog, understanding that when he runs up to them or leaps at their toddler, he is “just being friendly”. Teach your dog manners around all categories of human as early as possible.
  7. In areas of parks and cemeteries where signs ask you to put your dog on a lead, do as asked. It is good practice for your dog to learn to go on and off the lead regularly in the park, rather than viewing all park time as off lead play. This way other park users who do not want to interact with your dog are not forced to.
  8. In areas of potentially high, mixed traffic, like park pathways and roads, it makes sense to have your dog on a lead. Your dog learns this is the norm and will accept it, other park users will appreciate it.
  9. Always carry poo bags and ALWAYS pick up.
  10. Let’s try to lead by example and not fuel the ambitions of a few who would like to ban dogs from our public spaces.

Leonie St Clair: www.londondogstraining


The Last Word: Dr Christine Langhoff

Dr Christine Langhoff is a local resident, mum of two, clinical psychologist and director of Circle Psychology Partners and Dulwich Psychologist, a counselling and therapy service for children, adolescents, adults and couples.

How long have you lived in the area?

I have lived in Dulwich since 2008 when I started working as an assistant psychologist at the Maudsley.

What brought you here?

My first job in London. One of my friends had recommended Dulwich to me and he was quite right. We still love it. Even though commuting to various places during my doctorate was not always easy, we stuck it out. It is such a great place to live in now that we have children. I have also done away with the commuting by running my private practice in Dulwich.

What do you most value about the area you live in?

I love Dulwich Village as it doesn’t feel like we are living in the middle of a big city. Not only is it a wonderfully green place to live in but it is also exceedingly friendly. You can never leave the house without bumping into someone you know.

Do you know your neighbours?

Yes. That is what I love about living on Woodwarde Road. Not only do we know several of our direct neighbours but we know many along the road as well as the surrounding streets. Our older daughter goes to school with some of our neighbour’s children so the school run is fun too as there is often someone to walk with.  

What is your favourite place to eat?

Rocca’s with our children every time. The service is great and the staff are very family friendly. It is always a pleasure.

Coffee or tea? Where?

Tea for me. My favourite place is Gail’s. I will probably have a cherry and chocolate scone too! 

The best kept secret…

I simply love Sydenham Hill/Dulwich Woods. I feel it is massively underrated. Riding my bike up Grange Lane and then strolling through the woodland is one of those simple pleasures I absolutely adore. Great for relaxing and forgetting about the everyday stresses.  

What is your favourite shop?

As a book worm and lover of real books and not just my Kindle, I can definitely be found in Village Books.

The book I’m reading at the moment…

I am on two books at the moment. One for leisure: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and one for work: The Compassionate Mind Workbook by Elaine Beaumont and Chris Irons

My perfect holiday…

This has to be somewhere with guaranteed sunshine – sorry UK! I like a holiday in the countryside with a pool and a beach nearby. As much as I love Dulwich, sometimes it is great for my family to get out of the city.

Outdoor cinema season at Belair House

Night Star Cinema in collaboration with Belair House is hosting a season of summer night film screenings continuing with the 1942 romantic classic Casablanca (U) on Thursday 21 June.

Screenings will be held under the stars, on the lawn of Belair House, a stunningly beautiful Georgian mansion in the heart of Dulwich Village, South London.

Fully stocked bar is available serving cocktails, food, snacks & ice cream throughout the evening.

Doors open from 6pm, the film programme begins at 9:15pm.

Enjoy good food, music and the party atmosphere, topped off with a classic movie, and a licensed bar open ’til 1am. Remember to bring warm clothing/blankets, and something to sit on.

Belair House, Dulwich Village, London SE21 7AB


Casablanca, Thursday June 21st. Doors open at 6pm. Movie begins 9.15pm. Tickets £15. Buy tickets here or in person at Belair House – limited tickets available on the night.

Details of the remaining presentations at Belair House this season:

Murder on the Orient Express (2017) (PG)
Thursday July 26th
Doors open at 6pm
Movie begins at 9pm
Tickets: £15

A lavish, luxurious train journey through Europe turns deadly in ‘Murder On The Orient Express’, forcing legendary detective Hercule Poirot to solve the case and find out whodunit. Night Star Cinema in collaboration with Belair House is hosting a season of summer night film screenings continuing with this 2017 reimagining of Agatha Christie’s most famous whodunnit.

Grease (PG)
Thursday August 30th
Doors open at 6pm
Movie begins at 7.45pm
Tickets: £15

From the long running hit Broadway show comes one of the most popular screen musicals of all time. Perfect for some late summer lovin….

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (12a)
Thursday September 27th
Doors open at 6pm
Movie begins at 7pm
Tickets: £15

There comes a time in every adolescent’s life when he must fake out his parents and blow off a day of school. This is Ferris Bueller’s day.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (15)
Thursday September 27th
Doors open at 6pm
Movie begins at 7pm
Tickets: £15

A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. What better way to celebrate the end of a long hot summer (maybe?) and the coming of the spooky season. Not for the feint hearted this. Drag out those suspenders and come ready to do the Time Walk again.



The Great North Wood by Tim Bird

An atmospheric, mythical history of South-East London’s long-lost ancient woodland, The Great North Wood, stunningly brought to life by award-winning comic artist Tim Bird.

Forest Hill. Honor Oak. The names of South-East London’s leafy suburbs evoke the ancient woodland from which they arose. There was a time, many centuries ago, when all of the southeast was covered in dense forest – ‘England slumbered beneath a canopy of leaves’ – that is, until Man began to pull it apart, bit by bit. One particular forest stretched from what is now Croydon to Southwark, from Lambeth to Lewisham.

As Man claimed ownership of this land, they wrote a name on a map: The Great North Wood.

Over time, The Great North Wood was cleared – Empire called for wood to make ships; a growing population required land for farming; industrialisation allowed railway lines and roads to cut through the forest and bring people into newly-formed suburbs; war and rebuilding brought a new kind of destruction in the form of bombs, then concrete.

Now, only small patches of woodland remain amidst South-East London’s suburban sprawl. The forest whispers its mythical history through these patches, and through names on maps: ‘Norwood’.

In The Great North Wood, Tim Bird amplifies the forest’s whispers, bringing to life its history and many legends. We learn of the great oak tree (only a rusty plaque remains) that gave name to Vicars Oak Road and of Margaret Finch, the gypsy fortune-teller immortalised by the name Gipsy Hill. We hear the legend of Queen Elizabeth I knighting the great tree on a hill – now Honor Oak, but no tree remains. Through these legends, and by learning about the disappearing Great North Wood, we come to understand what has been lost and appreciate the pockets that remain. A curious fox, London’s constant reminder of who was here first, leads us across Bird’s journey through space and time.

The story of The Great North Wood is stunningly brought to life through Bird’s beautiful storytelling and tender illustrations. The creator of Grey Area: From the City to the Sea – which won Best Comic at the 2015 British Comic Awards – and Grey Area: Our Town, Tim Bird is a master of using the comics medium to give us beautiful, quiet, understated stories that demand the reader’s careful consideration.

Praise for Tim Bird’s Grey Area: From the City to the Sea

WINNER: Best Comic, the British Comic Awards

‘Grey Area is a piece of beautifully understated storytelling from Tim Bird, and one that fully deserves your considered attention and support.’
— Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier

‘This is a beautiful work, Bird creating images that sit there and demand that the reader ask questions, images that look gorgeous yet also demand that the reader engage.’
— Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet International

‘It’s amazing… like a slice of London. You can feel the streets, it’s poetically told… really really good. The quality of the book is really great, the oversized production… big art size.’
— Big Planet Comics Podcast

‘A quiet, beautiful and poetic little graphic novel.’ — J. federleicht, Goodreads

Praise for Tim Bird’s Grey Area: Our Town

‘Grey Area … looks and feels fantastic. This is a comic of few words that resonates quietly afterwards, a quick read that leaves you going back for more, and the work of a confident, maturing cartoonist trusting his storytelling instincts.’
— Pete Redrup, The Quietus

‘The page of origami birds is the perfect example of beautiful simplicity; I spent a fair while gazing at it in wonder. Another great book from the ever- excellent Avery Hill and a perfect little bit of escapism.’
— Emily Owen, Down The Tubes

‘Our Town cements Bird’s place as one of UK comics’ most subtle and nuanced storytellers. … It’s powerful yet delicate in construction and further evidence of both Bird and Avery Hill’s place at the forefront of the new wave of British comics.’
— Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier

‘Bird’s visuals are both simple and clean, but also tightly structured, with a great eye for design and his panel layouts beautifully realised and very carefully considered… a very thoughtful and original read.’
— Alex Thomas, Pipedream Comics

‘[Bird’s] theme plays out like a poem, lyrical and rhythmic, each artistic choice carefully considered, each panel full and absolutely necessary to the rest of the piece.’
— Daniel Elkin, Comics Bulletin


Chair required for Link Age Southwark’s board of trustees

Link Age Southwark is seeking a new chair of its board of trustees to carry on the fantastic work of their current chairperson who is stepping down in the Autumn. The charity is in good financial shape, with a great team of staff and fellow volunteer trustees who are all completely dedicated to the charity’s cause.

If you possess good leadership skills, have a passion about the issues facing older people in our society and are keen to take on the responsibility of the governance ofa great charity as well as leading it to build more success in the future, this is the opportunity for you.

Link Age Southwark is a successful, award winning, vibrant, local charity providing support to over 600 people over 60 in Southwark through its free volunteer services including: befriending; activity groups; transport and light gardening and DIY. Link Age Southwark also provide specialist support to people of all ages with a diagnosis of mild to moderate dementia, with dedicated groups and befriending on offer. Over 500 volunteers are engaged in providing this support and other activities on behalf of Link Age Southwark.

This is an exciting time for Link Age Southwark as it celebrates 25 years of service to older people in the borough. They have recently been awarded The Queen’s Award for Volunteering Services and they were awarded Charity of the Year in Southwark in 2017.

Over its 25 years history, Link Age Southwark has built a great reputation in the community for the work that they do to alleviate loneliness and isolation in older people and enrich the community by encouraging volunteering.

For more details about the role and how you can apply, please visit The deadline for applications is end 30th June 2018, with interviews for shortlisted candidates in July.  Call Ruth Driscoll, Director on 020 8299 2623 if you would like to discuss this exciting opportunity.