Ask not what Mile End Park can do for you; ask what you can do for it


There are over 7,000 independent local ‘Friends’ groups for parks and green spaces throughout the UK. They make a real difference to the spaces they love, in publicising, championing and helping to maintain, as well as improving and protecting them. They act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the community and parks staff, contribute hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours, bring in tens of ££millions of extra funds and resources annually, and try to ensure good maintenance and management. 

We, the Friends of Mile End Park, help the park in a number of ways including:

  • Litter Picking
  • Bulb Planting and Woodland Management
  • Eyes and Ears
  • Obtain additional funding
  • Hosting Events
  • Letting People Know What’s On in our park

Litter Picking

We hold a group litter pick every month usually on the second Sunday of the month. We meet by the Art Pavilion at 10am and litter-pick for a couple of hours before going for a well-earned cake and some light refreshments at the nearby The Coffee Room. New volunteers are always welcome. We go out WHATEVER the weather. You can read more about our litter-picking on our dedicated Litter Picking page.

During COVID-19 members of the Friends carried out many dozens of daily litter picking walks.

Bulb Planting & Woodland Management

Since 2018 we have hosted bulb planting sessions in either Chris’ Woods or the Woodland Walk by the Mile End Climbing Wall. We have planted tens of thousands of native woodland bulbs (such as wild garlic, snowdrops, winter aconites, bluebells, and wood anemones). The sessions can be cold, dry, wet, warm. In 2023 we had the lot, but whatever the weather we have fun, a good chat and always cake and coffee.

Before the bulb planting we thin out some of the dominant species (such as nettles, brambles, cow parsley and alkanet). Without doing this the woodland would become something of a monoculture.

In 2024 and beyond we hope, funding permitting, to start planting “in the green” bulbs in the late Spring. These cost more, but tend to take better and you can easily tell which way up to plant them! You can read more about our bulb planting and woodland management activities on our dedicated Woodland Management page.

Eyes and Ears

Hundreds of people walk through the park each day and we encourage them to report any concerns such as damaged trees, poisonous plants, fly-tipping to the Park Management either by phone or using the council’s Find It. Fix It App. The Friends also do regular walks through the park and meet with the Park’s Management Team regularly to discuss our findings. Keeping an eye on the swans at the Art Pavilion is something many of us do.

Obtain additional funding

Some funding streams are not available to those responsible for managing the park, but are available to us. The Friends regularly apply for funding from organisations to put on events or buy equipment that don’t accept applications from councils.

Hosting Events

As well as litter picking, bulb planting and woodland management, the Friends also put on other activities such as guided walks, Dog Shows, the Park Life Community Fair, and events at the Art or Eco Pavilion such as the East End Canal Festival which celebrated 200 years of the Regent’s Canal.

What’s On in Mile End Park

The park hosts several festivals every year, the Fun Fair comes to Town and the Eco and Art Pavilions put on dozens of events that are open to the public. We let people know about these events via Facebook, X (nee Twitter), Instagram, sending out emails to subscribers or by posting on this website. If you want to be kept informed then please subscribe to one or more of these. If you were to pick one I’d say the email list is the best.