The Wilderness, Shirley Church Road

We have received the following message regarding this important site in Shirley :-

MHA is  delighted to invite you to find out more out more about volunteering opportunities to revitalise our seven- acre historic ecological garden and deliver an exciting activities programme. We are having our first volunteer open days 1st, 2nd and 3rd April.

As you know The Wilderness was the original home on the site on Shirley Church Road, built by the Rev William Wilks, complete with a seven-acre garden designed by him on his retirement around the turn of the 20th century. It is now MHA Hall Grange Care Home for older people.

The site of the garden was formerly part of Shirley Common, or Addington Hills as it is known today. It includes natural heathland and the little pockets of acid grassland and heathland heather. One of the most interesting features is the sphagnum bog, which is home to some very rare plant species. In addition, the bog area is the only remnant of a once more widespread habitat in the area and means that The Wilderness is designated a Site Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation.

Wilks approach to gardening was non-interventionist and he sought to accentuate the natural beauty of the landscape rather than impose upon it. He managed The Wilderness and the work he put in to it is still visible today, albeit overgrown with many of the original paths and plant species either dormant or overtaken by more invasive plant species.  Our volunteers will help to develop a magical multi-generational outdoor experience for the residents of Hall Grange and of the local community through a range of conservation, restoration activities and tasks along with the promotion of the unique heritage of The Wilderness.

Join us to find out more about this exciting programme, the roles we have available, how we will support you and the benefits this exciting programme will bring to the local community.

We look forward to meeting you at the following open days: at MHA Hall Grange, Shirley Church Road, Croydon, CR9 5AL Please come to the main entrance of the Care Home.

Light refreshments will be served. We will be mainly indoors for a short presentation, meet the team and sign up opportunities.  Please bring/ wear suitable clothing and footwear for an outdoor tour.

Monday 1st April 2pm- 5pm-To find out more about Garden Conservation and Restoration

The main focus of this event will be let you know how you can help with practical gardening and conservation tasks as part of an exciting programme to Reclaim the Wilderness.

Tuesday 2nd April 2pm- 5pm- To find out more about Activities, Events and Green-care

The main focus of this event will be to let you know how you can help with the delivery of a range of informal and formal outdoor learning activities for residents of Hall Grange Care Home and the wider community. We will also be letting you know about how you can help us to deliver an exciting seasonal calendar of community events in the Wilderness garden

Wednesday 3rd April 2pm- 5pm- Outreach and Oral History Project

The main focus of this event will be to let you know how you can help with the delivery of an outreach exhibition inspiring people to engage further with the programme of Reclaiming the WildernessWe will also be letting you know how you can help us take part in an exciting oral history project to capture the living memories of The Wilderness.

Please RSVP by emailing or by calling

Head Gardener Alice Henry on 07966 232359

Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund



87th Annual General Meeting

To be held at Harris Primary Academy Benson School

 West Way, CR0 8RQ

At 7.30pm on Wednesday 8 May 2019


  1. Chair’s welcome
  • Apologies for absence
  • Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday 22 May 2018 and matters arising (printed in SPAN October 2018)
  • Chair’s report
  • Treasurer’s report and matters arising from the report
  • Croydon Local Plan & Shirley Planning Forum – update from Trevor Ashby, President
  • Approval of nominations for Life Membership of SPRA
  • Proposal to revise SPRA membership subscription fees – effective April 2020
  • Proposal to revise the rules to amend those officers authorised to approve financial payments
  1. Resignation of Officers, Trustees, Auditors and Members of the Executive Committee
  1. Election of Officers, Trustees, Auditors and Members of the Executive Committee
  1. MP’s presentation
  1. Police report
  1. Croydon planning report – update from Steve Dennington – Service Head – Spatial Planning, Croydon Council
  1. Any other previously notified business


Motions for the AGM (8 May 2019)

In respect of the rules of the Association the following changes are proposed:

Rule 3 : The Executive Committee proposes to increase the annual subscription from £5 to £6 with effect from 1 April 2020.

Rule 8b : Current wording ‘ ……and cheques shall be signed by the Honorary Treasurer or Honorary Secretary, and a Trustee.’

Proposed amendment: ‘ …….and cheques shall be signed by a Trustee and one from the following list : Honorary Treasurer, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Secretary (Zone and Road Stewards), President.’

Car theft alert

We have been advised of two recent break-ins to cars parked on front drives, where car windows have been smashed to steal, one presumes, items left on the seats, or look for parking cash from the glove compartment, or perhaps to steal the car. It’s safest not to leave any items visible in the body of your car when parked … even an empty carrier bag may look tempting to a thief.

Dogs Trust – microchipping is now a legal requirement – event this Thursday

Croydon Council’s Tracey Belamy has written
My Colleague Tara Boswell is running a couple of Dog Awareness days and I thought you may like to spread the word amongst your community groups. I have attached the posters which you are welcome to print off and put up.

Please feel free to circulate the dog warden service’s two upcoming dog awareness events in partnership with charity Dogs Trust; posters attached.

The events includes:

Free microchipping
Free I.D tags
Free behavioural and training advice
Low cost neutering vouchers
Lost dogs advice
Free Dog Health Checks
Fun Agility
Rescue and stray dog adoption information
Dogs and the law
Advice on dog related issues within the borough

All people and dogs are welcome.

Thank you in advance for your support and for continuing to Take Pride in your communities

The event is from 11 – 3 on August 30 by the Pavilion in Park Hill Park, Barclay Road, Croydon

Another new scam to be aware of

Neighbourhood Watch Logo
Action Fraud (NFIB)
Message Type Icon

Magazine Advertise Debt Alert

Victims receive a telephone call from someone purporting to be a bailiff enforcing a court judgement, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. The fraudsters state the debt originates from the victim not paying a magazine advertisement subscription.


A variety of magazine names and publishers are being used by the fraudsters, who also commonly use the names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents such “Scott Davis”, “Stephen King” and “Mark Taylor”. These are names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents employed by debt enforcement companies. 
The fraudsters request that the debt be repaid by bank transfer. If the victim refuses, they threaten to visit the victim’s home or place of work to recover the debt that is owed.


Once the money has been transferred, victims are not provided with receipt details of the payment or contact details. Later when victims make enquiries, they’ll discover that the debt did not exist, and often that no advertisement was placed.


This type of fraud is nationwide. Since 2017, there have been 52 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud. From the reports received, there are a range of different businesses and individuals being targeted.


Protection Advice:
1. Listen to your instinct: just because someone knows your basic details, such as your name and address, it doesn’t mean they are genuine.


2. Stay in control: always question cold callers: always contact the companies directly using a known email or phone number.


3. Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: a legitimate company will be prepared to wait whilst you verify information.


If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting or by calling 0300 123 2040.


Visit Take Five ( and Cyber Aware ( for more information about how to protect yourself online.

Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

New scams to be aware of

Dianna Fraser of Shirley Neighbourhood Watch has advised us …

‘Kent Police are warning drivers of a fraudulent emails, texts and phone calls from a company that claims to be the DVLA.

The messages are likely to contain links to several websites that have been made to look similar to the official one. DVLA does not send out emails or text messages with links asking people to confirm details or payment information.

In a similar scam, emails and messages have been received from what seemed like HMRC informing them of a tax rebate, with a link to confirm payment details.  Once again, HMRC will never text or email you with links.

Anyone that receives an email or message like this should delete it immediately and report it to Action Fraud.

If you need to access any official sites then access them directly through to be directed to the secure site you need’.

Police warning about burglaries

In an emergency always dial 999. When non urgent please call 101.


Contact details for your local policing team are:


Follow us on twitter for further updates at @MPSShirley


You can anonymously contact crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Residents of Shirley, please be aware there have been a recent increase in burglaries in the area. You are receiving this poster as the burglars are targeting houses near you!

Since December we have had 26 burglaries and we fear this is rising. The method the suspects are using is accessing the REAR of properties, and smashing doors and windows open. Most of these burglaries are occurring on WEEKDAYS, late afternoon to evening times.

The suspects appear to only be taking cash and jewellery, and the most recent burglaries this month have targeted vulnerable, elderly residents.

–         Please be vigilant and call 101 if you see any suspicious activity/persons/vehicles in the area.

–         Try and get Vehicle registrations if you spot suspicious vehicles and pass these to your local policing team.

–         Ensure all doors and windows are locked, especially when you leave your address… THIS INCLUDES YOUR PORCH DOOR!

–         Do not leave your bins next to your garden fence; this makes it so easy for suspects to jump over into gardens and garages/flat roofs.

–         If you can try and make your address look occupied in the evening if you are not there. For example leaving a living room light on, or having lights flicker on and off on a set timer.

–    Do not leave valuables on show.

–         Do not leave keys on show through window, or leave them in doors.

Theft from motor vehicles

We have received the following from our PCSO

Dear resident,

Please be on the look out for  GOLD coloured Volvo Estate and a Lime Green coloured V70 estate. No plate numbers, they are involved in theft from motor vehicles and Builder vans in the Shirley area. Both being driven by 2 white males


PCSO 7312 John Iles


Email –

Tel – 020 8721 2469