Gilmore Road Triangle in Lewisham is almost on the market place in the centre of Lewisham and although I have lived here for over forty years I have never seen it before! It is almost certainly a little pocket of farmland dating back to goodness knows when – quite extraordinary.
A walk in Manor Park in Lee is enjoyable and interesting even in the winter. This is another green space in Lewisham which hides away between rows of houses, and is part of the imaginatively re-egineered Quaggy River Restoration Project.
A walk in Manor House Gardens in Lee is always a jolly occasion. There are happy children in the playground, people chatting quietly, walking, or jogging, and birds dipping in and out of the lake. This is a very popular local park with a history.
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.