I am visiting all the parks and nature reserves in South East London, starting with a new park in Lewisham every week. This week, for Six on Saturday, I would like to show you six parks in which I have particularly enjoyed over the Autumn.
1.Mountsfield Park in Lewisham
Mountsfield Park is hidden away, on a hill, behind two busy main roads in Catford. Today’s park was the home of Henry Tibbats Stainton, a significant Victorian entomologist who co-authored A Manual of British Butterflies and Moths.
2.Upper Telegraph Hill Park
Upper Telegraph Hill Park has wonderful views over London! A semaphore station was positioned on this hill during the Napoleonic Wars, hence its name.
3.Lower Telegraph Hill Park
Telegraph Hill Park in South East London was created in the 19C. The Haberdashers’ Company owned the land and developed housing in this area as well as building a school and a church.
Lewisham Park is another surprising park in South East London. It was once a gravel pit and has some beautiful old London Plane trees around a sunken area which was the gravel pit.
Brockley Cemetery is perhaps an unlikely park but it is a peaceful woodland. The Cemetery was an overflow cemetery for the Church in Deptford during the 19C and today is heavily wooded.
6.Hilly Fields Park
In Hilly Fields Park in Brockley, in the Borough of Lewisham, there are playing fields, woodlands, and a children’s playground. The owners wanted to develop housing in the late area 19C. However, local people, and Octavia Hill, fought for the area to remain a green space.
These are only six parks in Lewisham which I have enjoyed. There are green spaces in abundance in London! No doubt my fellow gardeners, and The Propagator, will feel I have been lazy but my excuse is the rain!
I don’t blame you at all! It seems to have been raining here for months and I can’t remember the last time I spent any time in my garden. London does have some lovely green spaces, but they don’t entice me too live there. The trees are fabulous.
I just feel disheartened by the wetness. I have done some tidying up but not enough to say anything about it, so I am walking green spaces instead. Lewisham has 80 of these parks and reserves – quite surprising, and of course the history is fascinating. I have lived in London so long now it is hard to imagine anything else!
Hooray for anyone who champions public parks I say. With the squeeze on local government spending a lot of them are struggling but they are a great and often undervalued asset.
Even though I have lived in this part of south east London for nearly forty years I am surprising myself with the green spaces in Lewisham. The London Parks & Gardens Trust champions historic green spaces in London and they have over 2,000 such sites on their database, London Gardens Online. I am absolutely loving my discoveries!
Plenty of green spaces around you. Long may it continue and stay out of the hands of the property developers.
Absolutely! And yes, there are a lot of parks – we are very lucky