Walking in Edith Nesbit Gardens off Leyland Road is a delight because this is another little park which hides away! This park is a friendly neighbourhood green space which sits in the middle of modern and Victorian housing in Lee Green. This green space is particularly important because it is the only public park in the area. Local residents and their children enjoy the park and the playground. And then there are the inquisitive squirrels! Similar to all the green spaces where I have walked in Lewisham the Edith Nesbit Gardens have history, although it is a blurred history at this point.
Cornmill Gardens & River Mill Park are relatively new open spaces in the centre of Lewisham. The centre of Lewisham has a lot of new high-rise flats and Cornmill Gardens in particular will help soften the hard landscape as time passes.
The Riverview Walk in SE London runs along the River Pool from the Retail Park in Bell Green in Southend to Catford Bridge Railway Station. Or you can walk the other way around if you prefer! It is a useful route during the winter because the path is paved while the surrounding woods or grassy areas can be extremely muddy and slippery. It is also part of the Waterlink Way which runs from the River Thames at Deptford Creek to South Norwood Country Park.
Walking in Grove Park Cemetery was a good experience, perhaps not what you might expect to hear.
Burnt Ash Pond in Lewisham hides away in the middle of a housing estate, an oasis close to nearby busy main roads. This little pond is in an area which is rich in green spaces. Northbrook Park and Grove Park Nature Reserve are close by, and Hither Green Cemetery is just across the railway line. The area was woodland in the 17C but the trees had disappeared by the early 18C and the area had become farmland. Surprisingly, farming continued here into the early 20C.
Chinbrook Meadows in Grove Park and the River Quaggy come together in a surprising green space in South East London in the Borough of Lewisham. Large grassy sports fields lead through woodlands to allotments and an orchard. Apart from the usual park facilities there are several ‘routes’ through the Meadows. Firstly, there is a route for the River Quaggy. Secondly, a railway line crosses one corner of the park, and thirdly the Capital Ring Path and the Green Chain Walk lead the intrepid walker through the park and on to Grove Park Cemetery and Elmstead Woods.
Sydenham Cottages Nature Reserve in Grove Park is a little area of wildness which you can access from Alice Thompson Close, off Marvels Lane. The nature reserve hides away alongside the River Quaggy and you can easily miss it as you drive past on the main road. But do stop. Park your car in Alice Thompson Close, or catch a bus which stops in Marvels Lane, and look at the reserve, or even wander down some of the Capital Ring Path.
Grove Park Nature Reserve hides away between houses and a railway line and it is just a joy! It is also quite easy to find it. Just walk down ’The Railway Children’s Walk’ off Baring Road. The Walk is named after Edith Nesbit who lived nearby in The Gables, a house which has been replaced by The Ringway Community Centre. The Reserve holds a Green Flag Community Award since 2009, and it is on the Green Chain Walk. There is a guide to the Reserve on the internet.
Northbrook Park in Lee, in the Borough of Lewisham in South East London, is a tidy park with good exercise facilities. The park proudly flies its Green Flag Award, one of fifteen Green Flag Awards in the Borough in 2020. This park is just down the road from another surprising green space, the Grove Park Nature Reserve, which I visited last week.
KIrkdale Green & Albion Millennium Green are two small green spaces in South East London – in the Sydenham district of Lewisham. The first is somewhat neglected, and seems to be left over from the grounds for a large Victorian house which has since been demolished. Albion Millennium Green was a neglected tennis court before the local residents converted it into a small nature reserve.