Baxter's Fields in Sydenham

Baxter’s Fields in Sydenham is a grassy park which hides between houses in South East London. The park is associated with significant and important people in the printing industry in the 19C. It is another little surprise in my exploration of green spaces in South East London.

Downham Fields

Downham Fields in SE London

Downham Fields in SE London was also called Durham Hill and I found the park when I was walking in South East London. It is one of the surprising, and perhaps unlikely large green areas – a large green park, on a steep hillside, with beautiful trees and far views over London.

Forster Memorial Park

Forster Memorial Park in South East London

Forster Memorial Park in South East London is another of the surprising and hidden parks in South East London. It lies behind busy main roads and affords peace and quiet to local residents. And unusually it has the remains of Ancient Woodlands as well.

Mountsfield Park in Lewisham

Mountsfield Park in Lewisham is another surprise in my quest to visit all the parks and gardens in the Borough of Lewisham. Driving along the main roads gives one no idea of this wonderful park hidden behind the rows of Victorian housing. But step off the bus, and walk down a side road, and you are suddenly in a peaceful green space.

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Park in Lewisham

Six Parks in Lewisham

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.

Telegraph Hill Park in Lewisham

Lower Telegraph Hill Park in Lewisham

Telegraph Hill Park in Lewisham is in two parts – south and north, or upper and lower – and separated by Kitto Road. My first visit was to the South Park (Upper) last week and today I cross the road to walk in Lower Telegraph Hill Park in Lewisham (North Park).

Telegraph Hill Park in Lewisham

Upper Telegraph Hill Park

Upper Telegraph Hill Park is closer to where I live but I don’t know it! London Gardens Online tells me that ‘…Telegraph Hill Park in Lewisham is in two parts, an upper park in the south, and a lower park in the north, divided by Kitto Road. It incorporates the site of one of the Admiralty’s C18th semaphore stations, which was in use until 1815, from which the park gets its name. The Managing Director of the Metropolitan Gas Co. decided that the area needed a park and £2,000 with similar amounts from the LCC and Greenwich Board of Works. With this money they bought the land from the Haberdashers’ Company.

The park opened on 6 April 1895 with a bandstand, ponds and elaborate walks, perimeter planting and a perimeter walk. A shelter and toilets were added later in the northern park, and tennis courts were built on the site of the semaphore station in the south part, which has magnificent views. And recently the park was restored through a grant from the HLF…’.

Planting in parks in Oviedo

My Six on Saturday is planting in parks in Oviedo, and my last offering from Northern Spain. These plantings are in the Park of San Francisco in the city of Oviedo. I enjoyed a walk through the park every day and it was also well-used by local people who strolled there during the day. In the evening people dressed up and did the paseo; children played after school in the late afternoons; and it is a pleasant route from the top of the hill down into the old town. There are lots of large trees in the park but I have picked out some of the smaller plantings.

Hilly Fields in Brockley

Hilly Fields Park in Brockley, SE London

Hilly Fields Park in Brockley, SE London and part of the Borough of Lewisham is another wonderful green space. Londoners have preserved these open areas been as the city has expanded.

Margaret McMillan Park in Deptford

London Gardens Online tells me: ‘…The park is named after Margaret McMillan who with her sister Rachel McMillan were pioneers of nursery education. Margaret McMillan Park opened in 1954 and was originally laid out between Watson’s Street and Glenville Grove with a series of lawns along Douglas Way. In the late 1980s part of the park was eroded by housing development and in 1998 improvements were carried out to the park, including a bridge by sculptor John Maine. In 2009 the park was redesigned and re-landscaped as part of Route 1 of the North Lewisham Links project, the works completed in 2010…’.