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ANNUAL REport_2016-17DEVELOPMENT PLAN: agreed by the Friends of Hilly Fields, as a document to work towards with the council, Glendale and park users. It highlights the areas for grant applications and voluntary work within the park.

HF_development_planD_2015Lewisham Council’s tree department have now completed a survey of the trees in the park. This will enable them to programme the tree work over the coming years and for us to plan new positions for the long term.

2010-09-08_Hilly Fields Tree Plan

This page includes documents relating to the park, such as development plans, applications for grants and so on. Some may be pdfs, which may require you to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. It is free and takes just a short while to download and install. Acrobat Reader from Adobe (link opens new window)

Playground Briefing 2008
Playground briefing pdf
(opens new window)
Overall development April 2006

BRIEF FOR HILLY FIELDS PLAYGROUND ( A grant was successfully applied for in 2009 and the main body of the work was completed by the summer of 2010, we did not have quite enough money for everything and still have scope for some additions and improvements once we have secured more funding. The focus of this will be improving accessibility)

Over-arching aims
1.    To create playable space where children and young people have a range of play opportunities within the park.
2.    To ensure that disabled children and young people have access to quality playable space.

What follows are general aspirations that we want Hilly Fields Playground and the wider park to meet.
1.    The playground should work on the principle of inclusiveness: used by all ages, abilities and disabilities, with the requirements of parents and carers also to be given attention, particularly in respect of very young children’s playable space.
2.    It should be biased towards the formation of a ‘natural’ environment that changes with the seasons, allowing experience of the natural elements.
3.    It should ‘design in’ a capacity to change and evolve and be changed by users, and the possibility of the temporary.
4.    It should be designed in the context of the park and the areas of Brockley and Ladywell and should evoke a sense of place and local identity.
5.    No presumption that fixed play equipment provides best possible play opportunities, though some might.
6.    There should be seating and shade; with consideration for people’s sense of safety and security; management and maintenance. The design should be sustainable.
7.    Children and young people should have access to a wide range of play experiences and a varied and interesting environment; challenge in relation to the physical
environment; movement – e.g. running, jumping, rolling, climbing, and balancing; manipulating natural materials, stimulation of the five senses, and social interactions.
8.    There should be opportunities to experience risk and challenge.

Ideas for Detailed Brief

  • Play in the park currently takes the form of a traditional enclosed play space, focused on equipment, and featuring extensive areas of tarmac and rubber surfacing and excessive railings. The new scheme will aim to make the whole playground more creative and integrated with the park
  • The playground will retain its perimeter fence to prevent access to dogs. Retain East – West footpath with self closing pedestrian gates.
  • Create a windbreak across site to help shelter from exposed winds
  • The top site will be sensitively designed to incorporate more traditional fixed equipment.
  • Lower sloping site to be designed with more natural play and an integrated sand pit.
  • There will be more emphasis on quieter, creative, social play, than is the case at present. This will be achieved by the use of more natural features and surfaces within the play space.
  • Safety surfacing will be chosen bearing in mind all of the relevant factors, including the activities which are to be catered for. Loose fill surfaces such as sand and play bark will be considered, especially where these can contribute to the play value of the equipment and the surrounding area.
  • The play space will not be separate, but will be integrated in to the park landscape.
  • Play equipment will be chosen partly for its ability to harmonise with the park landscape.
  • Existing play equipment may be refurbished and re-sited within new design.
  • There will be a minimum water provision of a drinking fountain and a possibility of water play
  • The local community and schools will be involved in the new plans with art workshops, creating art work that will be built into the final scheme.

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Principles for the maintenance of Hillyfields, April 2006

  • Build on the high level of satisfaction with the general character of the park.
  • Respond to concerns about certain elements – paths not suitable for wheelchairs, poor state of the play area, neglected areas need attention such as the quiet garden, fence along Hillyfields, ‘woodland/conservation area’, etc.
  • Define certain areas so that their current character is enhanced and so that we:
  1. maintain the heritage of the area – historical/social and environmental
  2. improve access and encourage more and varied users
  • Maintain the openness of the park, stressing the importance of ‘passive surveillance’ through the view provided to surrounding houses.
  • Maintain the value of the park originally envisaged as getting views of and the winds from Kent. Maintain it also as a vantage point from which to view London, old and modern as recently mentioned in one internet guide to London.
  • Work with local groups to secure the above and especially: Lewisham Pensioners’ Forum, Prendergast School. Gordonbrock School, Lewisham Bridge School, Sir Francis Drake Bowling Club, South East London Wildlife Gardening Centre, Envirowork.

Specific areas of improvement

The perimeters

1. Eastern Avenue. Plan to be submitted to awards for all to maintain this road with a ‘country lane’ feel, to make clear that people are entering a park by replacing the gate and ensuring speed notices are clear. Cross over at gate entrance. Plant indigenous plants as advised by conservationists. The lane has been well cleared and maintained by Green Gym and this should be continued.

  • £5000 from Awards for All
  • £200 from Brockley Society
  • road crossover £3,000?

2. Millennium stone circle – maintain. There is an argument for some limited and careful pruning of trees near here to maintain a vista across to Kent.

3. Create outdoor classroom between stone circle and gate to conservation area. This area has been returfed and re-seeded by Envirowork. It is shady and contained. Suggest limited forms of ‘seating’ in the form of old tree trunks.

Low cost. Low maintenance – suggest Lewisham Education adopt? Create with involvement of local schools.

4. Conservation area – Employ adviser to suggest ways of easy maintenance encouraging biodiversity.    Employ conservationist for plan and instructions (issue to Glendale?)

Green Gym

5. Wildlife corridor. To run from Eastern Avenue, conservation area and then along backs of houses in Veda Road, up Vicars Hill, along backs of houses on Cliffview Road to end at the Bothy. This area is already quite a haven but needs definition. Railings to be painted around conservation area and at the back of Veda Road and new railings in keeping, to replace wire fence on Vicars Hill. Planting indigenous plants with emphasis on providing havens for small birds, butterflies, insects etc.     Conservationist to advise on planting.

Work to be carried out by volunteers

6. Bothy. It has various possible future uses: a changing room, an office for Envirowork, a Senior Citizen clubhouse, Keeper’s lodge. Discuss involvement of Envirowork. Liaise with Lewisham Pensioners’ Forum

7. Quiet Garden. Develop as ‘Kyrle Memorial Garden’ in memory of the Kyrle Society which took the lead in securing Hillyfields as a public park. Maintain woodland Spring flowers, consider removal of tall trees to provide more light for parts of the garden and the gardens bordering it. Reform and plant the flowerbeds with a reference to Edwardian gardens? Provide appropriate seating.    Liaise with Octavia Hill Society and National Trust and Lewisham Pensioners’ Forum. Request advice and work from NT.

8. Bowling Club. Together with a renewed Quiet Garden the area from the entrance on Hillyfields Crescent past the Bowling Club, the garden and including the Bothy area to be seen as a facility with great attraction to senior citizens. The Bowling Clubhouse needs renewal and this could be in such a way that it faces both ways – to the bowling green and into the Quiet Garden. Either it or the Bothy could be considered as a meeting place for a Senior Citizens’ club.

Francis Drake Bowling Club considering new gate.    Liaise with Bowling Club. Suggest involvement of local architects.

9. Football ground. Carry on with maintenance but enter into discussions with ECB on how cricket may be encouraged in the summer without disrupting its all-year use as a football pitch.    Liaise with ECB and Envirowork

10. Meadow. Employ conservation adviser to give Glendale specific instructions on its maintenance and to handle. Safety hazards.    Employ conservationist to draw up plan. Planting to be done by volunteers / Green gym. Maintenance by Glendale according to instructions.

Central area:

1. Toilet block

This area needs good maintenance and is the obvious choice for a small café. Half of the building has little use beyond a little storage. Its use a keeper’s lodge is good but this use could be moved to the Bothy. Café should be run on the basis of a lease and providing food which does not create waste and uses as much locally-produced food as possible.

Major project – apply for award.

2. Playground

This requires a complete overhaul. The less windswept top site to have new play equipment to DDA compliance and current legislation etc. Create an imaginative, inclusive and creative play space on the sloping site of existing play equipment. Major project – apply for award

3. Tennis Courts

Invest in repairs to the tarmac, fencing and equipment.

Secure funding from Lewisham

General issues

1. Paths.

Many of these are in a very poor state and inaccessible for wheelchairs. They need to be dug up where appropriate and relaid. The path from the lower Vicars Hill entrance requires major investment,

Responsibility of Lewisham Council

2. Entrances.

Provide new gate at end of Eastern Avenue. Replace entrance at bottom of Vicars Hill including a kissing gate.

Include this in application for railings along Vicars Hill.

3. Trees.

Employ an environmentally aware tree surgeon to undertake pruning that has been neglected for years. The same to provide a plan so that trees are pruned to maintain passive surveillance and historic views as well as views of modern landmarks such as the Dome. Maintain the feel of certain orchard areas – near the Bothy.    Employ tree surgeon


1. Major awards will need to be got for:

  • Eastern Avenue
  • Playground
  • Kyrle Memorial Garden
  • Toilet Block
  • Outdoor Classroom

2. Conservationist / tree surgeon will need to be employed to provide guidance on planting and drawing up instructions for future maintenance by Glendale on the following projects:

  • Banks on Eastern Avenue
  • Conservation Area
  • Wildlife Corridor
  • Meadow
  • Tree pruning

This could be one adviser taking on all these elements in an integrated way.

3. Approach Lewisham Council for funds for:

  • Path relaying
  • Tennis Courts maintenance

4. Liaison with Envirowork to secure:

  • Future of the Bothy
  • Encouragement of cricket on the football pitch
  • Upgrading of the Bowling Clubhouse

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  1. Roseanna Santagata says:

    Could you advise about the tree chopping incident by Ali Matar I was reading. How can this have happened? Utter vandalism. What is being done now? Huge loss am sure you will agree?

  2. Chair says:

    I’ve just seen your post, but I can’t see any comments about the tree chopping incident.

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