Love Parks: Your top ten hidden gems
Published: Tuesday 21st August 18
Thanks to everyone who has been busy telling us about your favourite parks and gardens.
Away from the more famous, bigger spaces of Battersea Park and Wandsworth and Tooting Bec Commons, these are the lesser-known, but equally attractive, nuggets which help make Wandsworth the greenest of inner London boroughs.
Celebrating our unsung parks and gardens is all part of our summer-long Love Parks campaign which toasts our wonderful green spaces. To find out more go to: www.wandsworth.gov.uk/loveparks
And here are the terrific ten in no particular order:
Fred Wells Gardens
Lena in the Fred Wells Gardens playground
Discover beautifully landscaped gardens containing lots of different nooks and crannies perfect for hide-and-seek! The park, nestling near the River Thames, boasts a tennis court, a children’s play area, formal gardens, open grassland and shrubberies.
“The two young children I bring here always enjoy themselves,” said Lena Johnson, “And it’s a very attractive, perfectly contained park.”
Tracy and Jonny in Godley Gardens
Having undergone a big transformation recently the Earlsfield garden now features a new pathway, new benches and improved landscaping but the stand-out feature has to be the fantastic new play tunnel in an astro-turf hill. If you’re lucky you might also see and hear some wild parakeets which seem to enjoy perching in the garden’s trees!
“It’s great for the kids and we come here virtually every evening,” said Tracy Wright.
“The changes made to the park have been a massive improvement and it’s really perked the place up,” said Jonny Bell.
An oasis off the busy Battersea Park Road the garden was originally laid out as an “outdoor drawing room” in 1885 by the Battersea Vestry. The Grade II listed red brick shelter and memorial sits behind the rose garden and displays a plaque to ‘The memory of the men, women and children of Battersea who lost their lives in the World War 1939 – 1945.’
“It’s important to have memorials such as this,” said Nick Tozer. “I like coming here for my lunch break and reflecting upon things such as those that have gone before us.”
Mick and Hooch take a stroll in Heathbrook Park
Another ‘gem’ hidden from a busy thoroughfare – in this instance Wandsworth Road. Tree-lined avenues surround a large green space which is perfect for dog walkers. You will also find locals exercising on the outdoor gym equipment.
“It’s a lovely, peaceful park and I come here most days to walk my dog, Hooch,” said Mick Blackley. “I really enjoy coming in here and just getting away from it all and a lot of the people are friendly to chat to.”
Shillington Park in Battersea
A beautiful, well landscaped park featuring undulating grass covered mounds and surrounded by trees. It also features an attractive play area at one end which always draws a number of families. It sits next to the bigger Falcon Park and is linked by a railway bridge.
“There is a good range of play equipment and we come here at least twice a week,” said Tesfaye, here with her son Ananias, aged four, and daughter, Bethania, aged three. “My children enjoy climbing on the wooden climbing frame and it really is a lovely park.”
Just off Harroway Road, right in the middle of a housing development, this is a necessary patch of calm in a busy area. Trees and mounds have been carefully positioned around the park to make for an attractive garden and a good play area with a climbing frame is a popular choice for youngsters.
“My friends and I like coming here, especially in school holidays and weekends,” said Daniel, aged 12. “It’s a good play area and when we play here I like to imagine we’re in the countryside.”
Bramford Community Garden
Hannah gets fit at Bramford Community Garden
Situated close to Wandsworth Town Rail Station this is a fantastic park lovingly looked after by Transition Town Wandsworth for the benefit of the community and local wildlife. Here you will find a small fruit orchard, a herb circle, wildflowers, raised beds and a small outdoor gym and play area next door. The group meets for gardening on Sundays between noon and 2pm and some Wednesday evenings in the summer between 6pm to 8pm.
“This park is a bit different and all the better for it,” said Hannah D’Souza, using some of the gym equipment. “It’s very nice to look at and walk around and then there’s the equipment which helps keep me fit!”
King George’s Park – Riverside Walk
Martin in King George's Park
This is one of the bigger parks so, for our ‘hidden gem’ we’ve focused on the scenic walk by the River Wandle on the park’s east side. A gorgeous riverside stroll there are also plenty of benches on which to sit and contemplate before heading back to the hectic nature of city life.
“Every day I bike along the river to head to work in the city and every day it puts a smile on my face,” said Martin Bielski. “I like the water and it’s just a very pleasant bit of the borough.”
Off the quiet Tennyson Street this peaceful park boasts ornamental trees and shrubs on the lawns while a good-sized play area features a range of modern play equipment including a first-rate climbing frame and swings.
“The gardens are very close to where we live and we like it so much because it’s quiet,” said Helen Aspden. “It also feels safe and you can get some shade when it’s hot and then there’s the play equipment which the children really like.”
Ray enjoys visiting Garratt Park
Blossom, bulbs and shrubs grant the park a smattering of colour all the year round and there are many interesting aspects to it including: a small wooded area, a multi-games area, a decent-sized recreational ground and seats and picnic tables. A public consultation is taking place until September 6th so the public can get involved and suggest ways to improve the park focusing in particular on: the playground, ball court, blue shelter, table tennis table and cycle track.
“This park is great for all ages and my eight and four-year-old love coming here,” said Ray McGuire. “I see youngsters using the basketball court and I like using the table tennis table. We always feel safe here and it’s a good facility for local people.”
We would love to see photos of your favourite Wandsworth Park. Just tweet or Instagram us a photo of your pictures at @enableLC , @EnableParks , @wandbc and remember to include the hashtag #LoveParksWandsworth
Wandsworth’s parks and open spaces are managed by Enable Leisure and Culture, on behalf of Wandsworth Council. Enable Leisure and Culture is a non-for-profit organization, no. 09487276, and registered with the Charity Commission (no. 1172345), providing leisure and cultural services for the benefit of local communities.