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Big Garden Bird Watch Sunday 29th January 2023 from 10.30am until 12.30pm – all welcome.

Tennis Courts at Hilly Fields: what do you think? questionnaire link here:

We’ve prepared a short questionnaire to give the community a chance to make their views known about the proposed handover of two tennis courts at Hilly Fields to the Lawn Tennis Association, for upgrading and managing as paid for and bookable courts. Further courts in Lewisham will also be handed over in this scheme, including Telegraph Hill, Mountsfield Park, Chinbrook Meadows and the two remaining Courts at Ladywell Fields (South). https://forms.gle/hywKtpGncnbj3gRu8

Hilly Fields Tennis courts – current contract requirements state to ‘maintain facilities to the highest possible standard’

Hilly Fields Quiz 2022

Thanks to everyone who visited the Friends of Hilly Fields stall at the Midsummer Fayre on 25 June and attempted our quiz. One person got all ten questions right, three others got nine questions right. They win vouchers to be used at the HF cafe and will be contacted. If you didn’t do the quiz on the day but would like to have a go just for fun, the questions are below and the answers are at the end.

1. Hilly Fields is located within which conservation area?
(a) Brockley; (b) Crofton Park; (c) Ladywell; (d) St Mary’s.

2. Which Brockley born poet played on Hilly Fields as a boy?
(a) David Jones; (b) Ebenezer Jones; (c) James Jones; (d) Tom Jones.

3. Which of these hills is not visible from Hilly Fields?
(a) Blythe Hill; (b) One Tree Hill; (c) Richmond Hill; (d) Shooter’s Hill.

4. The author Henry Williamson lived across the road from Hilly Fields as a boy. What is his best known novel?
(a) The Maltese Falcon; (b) Reynard the Fox; (c) Tarka the Otter; (d) Watership Down.

5. Open air political meetings were once held on Hilly Fields under which tree?
(a) The Anarchist Ash; (b) The Liberal Lime; (c) The Socialist Oak; (d) The Tory Thorn.

6. Which of these birds has not been seen on Hilly Fields (as far as we know).
(a) Red Grouse; (b) Red Kite; (c) Redstart; (d) Redwing.

7. Which Premier League and England star once played football on Hilly Fields?
(a) Ian Ormondroyd; (b) Ian Rush; (c) Ian St John; (d) Ian Wright.

8. What kind of tree was planted on Hilly Fields to mark the Queen’s 2012 jubilee?
(a) Elm; (b) English Oak; (c) Golden Willow: (d) Silver Birch.

9. What unusual buildings appeared on Hilly Fields after World War 2?
(a) Geodesic domes; (b) Hobbit houses; (c) prefabs; (d) shepherd’s huts.

10. Who wrote a 1978 number one hit from her flat in Wickham Road, Brockley?
(a) Kate St John; (b) Mica Paris; (c) Kate Bush; (d) Gabrielle.

1. (a) Brockley, of course! 2. (a) David Jones; 3. (c) Richmond Hill. 4. (d) Tarka the Otter. 5. (c) The Socialist Oak, of course! 6. (a) Red Grouse; 7. (d) Ian Wright. 8. (a) Elm – a ‘disease resistant’ elm, to be precise. 9. (c) prefabs; 10. (c) Kate Bush, of course!

Midsummer Fayre – from midday Saturday 25th June, 2022

The fayre is run by the Brockley Society, if you wish to have a stall, you need to contact them on on the link below.

The Friends will have their regular stalls, a chance to come say hello, see our plans for future years, come with your ideas, sign up to our volunteer list and try your hand at the annual quiz.

If you don’t have time to volunteer, you can support the work in the park by purchasing our bags, cards and postcards.

Stories and Sea Shanties: this coming Thursday, 23rd June, 2022

Dawn Chorus Walk

We will be holding our first dawn chorus walk since 2019 on Thursday 31 March. Meet outside the cafe at 6 am. If you have binoculars, please bring them. We’ll do a circuit of Hilly Fields and and identify common bird songs and calls such as those of the blackbird, robin and wren, as well as the song and mistle thrush and the migrant warblers blackcap and chiffchaff if they happen to be vocal. If we’re lucky, we might hear a great spotted woodpecker drumming or a nuthatch calling. We’ll point out as many birds as we can whether they’re singing or not!

In past years, we’ve been able to extend the walk to include the Brockley and Ladywell cemeteries. With council permission, a member of the Friends Group would admit us at 7am via a gate on Brockley Grove. That seems unlikely to happen this year as the gate was blocked with an earth bank during lockdown and that is still in place. The walk will finish therefore by 7am. If by any chance, we can gain access to the cemeteries, finishing time will be 7.45 approx. People can drop out at any time though if work calls.

We will have a few copies of our Birds of Hilly Fields booklet for sale if anyone has not yet bought a copy. These are £3.50 and all profits go to the Friends of Hilly Fields.


Big Garden Bird Watch 2022

bird watch details


Hilly Fields Quiz 2021

As usual, the Friends of Hilly Fields produced a Hilly Fields Quiz for the BrocSoc Midsummer Fayre on Saturday. And as usual there were ten tough(ish) questions. Nobody got all the questions right but three people got 9 out of 10 right and will share the prize vouchers for the Hilly Fields Cafe.
We thank everyone who showed the have-a-go spirit in tackling the quiz. It’s actually an opportunity to learn stuff about our local park and its connections as well as to show off (or not) your existing knowledge.
If anyone didn’t get round to it on Saturday, here’s your chance to try the quiz now. The questions are below as set out on Saturday. Try to do it without scrolling down to the answers at the bottom of this post and without recourse to your smartphone.


1. The Hilly Fields stone circle has two tall stones of Caithness slate to the east of the main circle which act as ‘gates’. After which saint are they named ?

(a) St Englebert; (b) St Herbert; (c) St Norbert; (d) St Wilbert.

2. Hilly Fields has a basketball court alongside the tennis courts. In which country did the game originate?

(a) Canada; (b) England; (c) Mexico; (d) North America.

3. The Hilly Fields cafe belongs to a chain of park cafes named after nuts. Which nuts?

(a) Peanuts; (b) Pecans; (c) Pine Nuts; (d) Pistachios.

4. There is a Brockley running club named after Hilly Fields. What is its full name?

(a) Hilly Fields Harriers; (b) Hilly Fields Hellhounds; (c) Hilly Fields Hill Runners; (d) Hilly Fields Hobblers.

5. Which well-known author lived as a child on Eastern Rd facing Hilly Fields?

(a) Emily Dickinson; (b) Blake Morrison; (c) Samuel Richardson; (d) Henry Williamson.

6. One of the suffragettes who used to address meetings on Hilly Fields was killed by the King’s horse at the 1913 Derby. What was her name?

(a) Emily Davison; (b) Emily J Harding; (c) Emmeline Pankhurst; (d) Emily Spender.

7. The Nuthatch, a small bird which nests and breeds on Hilly Fields, has a talent unique amongst British birds. What is it?

(a) It does the splits; (b) It turns somersaults; (c) It walks backwards; (d) It walks upside down.

8. The Bowls Club on Hilly Fields is named after which famous sailor and privateer?
(a) Charlie Drake; (b) Emmanuel Drake del Castillo; (c) Sir Francis Drake; (d) Ludwig von Drake.

9. The London plane is a common tree in the park. Why were so many planted in London in the nineteenth century?
(a) Queen Victoria liked them; (b) to provide timber for ship building; (c) they are easy to grow; (d) they could survive the pea souper fogs.

10. What distant chain of hills can be seen to the south of Hilly Fields?
(a) The Chilterns; (b) the High Weald; (c) the North Downs; (d) the South Downs.


  1. (c) St Norbert; 2. (d) North America; 3 (d) Pistachios; 4. (a) Hilly Fields Harriers; 5. (d) Henry Williamson, author of Tarka the Otter and many other books, some set locally; 6. (a) Emily Davison; 7. (d) The Nuthatch can walk upside down on a tree trunk (see here); 8. (c) Sir Francis Drake; 9. (d) Pea souper fogs. Bad fogs and smogs block the pores in the trunk through which trees breathe, but London Planes shed their bark so were able to survive; 10. (c) The North Downs. They’re not north of Hilly Fields but north of the South Downs which run from Eastbourne to Winchester.

The summer fair is on..17th July, 2021.

Start at 12midday and finish is at 5pm.

We are helping bring some new events for this year’s fair, but the event is organised by the Brockley Society volunteers. Should you want a stall, here it their information:


THIS IS A VOLUNTEER RUN EVENT, if you want to help out with this community event, you can contact


Friends of Hilly Fields stall at a previous midsummer fayre