Council Investigates Lewisham’s Park Life

Lewisham Council are currently running a park survey in order to find out how public spaces are used and enjoyed. The information gained from the survey aims to: “Improve the Council’s new open Space Strategy“.

According to Lewisham Council this survey is designed to allow the public to “have their say” about the Lewisham parks and open spaces.

East London Lines spoke to local park users and found that the majority feel positive about the condition of their local parks and green areas.

Perri, 22, mother of two likes “peaceful” Lewisham Park because: “It is secluded and therefore safe for kids to play. But I believe the gates should always be shut in order to improve the security of children.”

Fordham Park in the heart of New Cross offers a range of newly built playgrounds; nevertheless Wayne Thompson, 30, father of four, asked: “When are they opening the football pitch? I live just across the street but need to take my kids to Ladywell to play football properly. That should change.”

“The works at the Park are progressing well.” says Dario, 24. However, he wishes to see more community projects happening in the open space: “I want to set up events, live music, fun activities for everyone of all age groups and use the space to meet and make friends”.

This idea would be supported by students Jenny, 16, and Lucy, 15, who come to the park regularly after school and feel that the park should host film screenings or have a stage for musical events.

Local resident Anita, 35, visits Telegraph Hill Park every day. She enjoys her “green living room” – perfect for “stay-cations.” She says: “Telegraph Hill park is great, it is well maintained, diverse and good for picnicking as well as business meetings.”

She is already looking forward to The Big Lunch festival held on the 5th of June in Kitto Road, right next to the Park. “The road will be closed for that day and lots of people will come to sit together in the park and on the road to have a picnic together.

Anita’s only qualm is the park opening hours: “It could open later than 8 pm in the summer. Ten o’clock as a closing time would be ideal.”

UCL students Natalie, 30, and Caroline, 29, use the park as their “open air learning and relaxing space.” It is this usage that spawns their desire for more tables and benches, as this would make it easier to combine work with leisure.

Senior citizen Hugh O’Neil, 64, loves Telegraph Hill Park: “If it is a good day, I come here every day for 3 or 4 hours to have my lunch or go for a walk. I love it because I have no garden. Apart from that it is a nice way to get out of the house.”

While Mr O’Neil is satisfied with the condition of the park, he too suggested some outdoor events would liven it up: “I would love some music, no disco but some reggae in the sun would be nice.”

Follow this link to complete the survey and find out more information.

Words and pictures: Katherina Herold

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