Garden Rules


GARDEN RULES  –  JULY 2012 (amended 28 June 2017)

Like other private London Squares, and according to a Parliamentary statute, Mecklenburgh Square Garden is managed by a Garden Committee which is elected by, and from, the residents and tax payers of the Square.  Under the statute, the Garden Committee is required to have up to nine members, who are elected at the Annual General Meeting, held in the first week of June.  All correspondence should be sent to the Chairman of the Garden Committee.

The Mecklenburgh Square Garden Committee has drawn up these rules to ensure that all sections of the Square community can enjoy the quiet and beauty of a London garden.  It is a small and precious green area.  Please respect the rulings of the Garden Committee, which are formulated to ensure that this wonderful amenity is retained.

A  Garden

1. Garden Access and Garden Keys

  • (1) All College Members and Council Tax payers of Mecklenburgh Square are entitled to use the Garden.
  • (2) The Committee also gives “external key holder status” to a limited number of residents near the Square. Applications should be directed to the Treasurer.  External key holders are charged an annual subscription for the use of the Garden.
  • 3) Members of William Goodenough House, London House and the Goodenough Club may obtain Garden keys on an ad hoc basis from their respective reception desks by depositing their room keys in exchange for a Garden key.
  • 4) College Family members may obtain keys, against a deposit of £100, by applying to the House Administrator of William Goodenough House.
  • (5) Garden keys are the property of the Committee and shall be given up on demand. Garden keys are given only to permitted users and are not transferable.
  • (6) The Garden gate must always be relocked immediately after entering or leaving the Garden.

2. Please show consideration for other users of the Garden at all times.

3. Jogging is permitted only on the gravel paths, never on the grass verges.

4. Bicycles are not permitted in the Garden except tricycles and bikes for small children.

5. Ball games, frisbee throwing and similar activities are not permitted in the Garden under any circumstances. They cause damage to plants and disturbance to others.

6. Please do not pick the flowers – leave them so that others may enjoy them.  Soil and stones should not be removed from the Garden.

7. The playing of radios or the use of any form of amplified sound equipment is not permitted in the Garden.

8. Guests may be brought into the Garden, but parties may only be held with permission of the Garden Committee.  Organisers are responsible for advance bookings and must guarantee good order (see C Barbecues).  There shall be no noise that might disturb other Garden users, and all parties and barbecues (inclusive of the time taken to clean and tidy up afterwards) must terminate by 11 pm.

9. Keyholders are responsible for the good behaviour of their children and of any guest that they, or any member of their household, bring into the Garden (see D Children).

10. The Garden opens at sunrise and closes and must be vacated by 11pm.

11. Dogs are not permitted in the Garden.

12. Ball games and the use of frisbees or similar are not permitted in the garden.

13. The flying of Drones or UAVs is not permitted in the garden.

B Tennis Court 

1. The tennis court may be booked only by those entitled to use the Garden (see A1).

2. A one hour session costs £4 payable when booking in person at William Goodenough House Reception. Bookings for the week commencing on a Monday may be made from 8pm on the Wednesday of the previous week.  During the first 24 hours (until 8pm on Thursday) a key holder may make only one booking.  Thereafter, further bookings may be made up to a maximum of one per day.  Players intending to play together may not reserve consecutive hours under different names, but a second hour, if available, may be booked on the day itself.

3. You should exchange your house/room/flat keys for the tennis court keys from WGH Reception just before you are due to play. The Garden Committee reserves the right to vary the hourly rate without warning.  Bookings may not be made by telephone.

4. A booking may be cancelled up to 24 hours before the time of play, and the booking retained for use on another occasion.  In the event of later cancellation, the court fee will be forfeited.

5. If a booking is not taken up by 15 minutes past the hour, the court may be taken by another player for a fee of half the full rate.  The half fee shall also apply to those under the age of 15, if the court is not booked at the time of play.

6. If, due to rain, less than 15 minutes’ play is possible, the booking may be used on a second occasion.

8. The court rules are as follows:-

  • (a) only rubber-soled shoes without heels may be worn.
  • (b) after play, please padlock the tennis court gate, unless other players are immediately coming onto the court.
  • (c) remove rubbish (if any)
  • (d) the net must be wound down to release the tension at the end of play

9.  If your ball ends up in the flowerbeds, do not attempt to retrieve it yourself. One of the gardeners will get it back and it will be placed into a ball bin inside the court.

C Barbecues 

1. Two of the four grills may be booked in advance.  Two are always kept free for ad hoc users. If you are part of pre-booked party, please make sure that the other 2 barbecues are accessible and that you don’t surround the barbecue area with tables.

2. Booking forms are available from the reception desks in William Goodenough House and London House.  All bookings must be secured a minimum of two weeks prior to the proposed date.  A barbecue-booking schedule is available at William Goodenough and London House Reception for information only.

3. Groups of 9 or less do not necessarily need to book.  Larger groups of between 10 and 19 are required to book grills, but only one such group booking will be accepted at any time (see 1 above).

4. Organised parties of 20 or more require permission from the Garden Committee and, due to the demand on the Garden, it is necessary to ensure that all large gatherings are comprised mainly of Mecklenburgh Square Garden key holders.  Also, a £50 deposit is required.

5. Applications may not be approved due to previously scheduled events.  It is, therefore, important that permission is obtained before inviting your guests.

6. Please complete and return the booking form (with a £50 deposit, if applicable) to either College Reception. Your deposit will be refunded one week after the barbecue provided that the garden is left in excellent condition and all refuse has been removed (see below).

7. All users of the barbecue must remove their rubbish.  The barbecue area must be left clean and tidy ready for the next users. The Garden Committee does not provide charcoal and rubbish bags.  Please remember to bring your own.

8. Rule A7 applies to all users of the barbecue, namely the playing of radios or the use of any form of amplified sound equipment is not permitted, neither is the use of portable generators.

9. Please remember to keep the gate locked at all times.

Barbecues – Booking Procedure Overview

BBQ Procedure

D Children 

1. Young children, under the age of 8, must be supervised by an adult key holder.

2. An area near the northern gate is allocated as the children’s play area.  Games and other activities should be restricted to this area so as to minimise inconvenience and discomfort to other garden users.  In turn, other users are requested to minimise any interference with children’s reasonable enjoyment within this zone.

3. Young children may bring toys and other play equipment (including balls, tricycles and dolls’ carriages) into the garden for use within the designated area.  Toys borrowed from the shed should be returned to the shed after play.  Parents should be careful that the activities of their children do not to impinge upon the enjoyment of others or cause damage to the garden.

4. Climbing on trees and entering garden beds is strictly prohibited.   Playing in the garden beds and borders damages and kills new planting.

5. Gravel, sand and bark must not be removed from their correct places, i.e. paths and  the sandpit.

6. The climbing frame and slides, and the Wendy house are for the enjoyment of younger children and are to be used only under the supervision of a responsible adult.   The last person(s) to use the sandpit should ensure that the sandpit is covered before leaving the Garden.

7. Parents are responsible for the actions of their children.  Deliberate damage to any part of the garden or its equipment may lead to withdrawal of the privilege of use of the garden.

8. The children’s notice board may periodically display other information about use of the garden in addition to points of interest.  Children are invited to contribute.

9. The gardeners often attract considerable interest from children.  Please ensure that your child’s fascination does not interfere with the important work they have to do.

10. Have fun!