www.hilly.org.uk Rotating Header Image

Trees and Memorials

Trees planted over 120 years ago make the park one of our most treasured local environments.
The friends support the planting of trees in the park, it is a symbol of the continuance of life, a long lasting and a beautiful gift for future generations, which will help reduce the negative impact of climate change. A tree may be donated to commemorate people, organisations and special events, such as birthdays and anniversaries.
Tree species and positions need to be agreed with the friends and council. We favour native species because they provide the backbone of habitats in which native insects, birds and mammals thrive and link to the historic and cultural heritage of the area. The park is also a green beacon seen across from the valley ridges and neighbouring parks such as Blythe Hill. By planting native trees you are helping a web of species to survive and providing a green haven for humans to thrive! We will be promoting a management strategy in the park to encourage more diverse grassland that will complement the habitats of the trees.
Glendale manage and organise the ordering, purchase and planting of trees in the park. We also recommend that trees are ordered via Street Trees for Living https://www.streettreesforliving.org/plant-a-tree
This scheme will guarantee your tree against failure or damage in the first two years after planting. They require a commitment to water the tree for two years and a donation of £350 per tree. We can sometimes arrange for the tree to be watered by our volunteers, if you aren’t local to the park. Tree species and positions all need confirming with the Friends and the council.  
Species which are well suited to the park include hawthorns, hornbeams, limes, field maples, cherries and disease resistant elm. Having seen a few of the large poplars (probably the Manchester Poplar) fall to storms, we are also looking at planting some replacements.  Due to the oak processionary moth https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/pest-and-disease-resources/oak-processionary-moth-thaumetopoea-processionea/ we are not planting any new standard oak trees at present. 
Historically, elms followed a field boundary along the top of the hill, limes lined the Adelaide Avenue and the key paths and boundary at Hilly Fields Crescent was planted with London Plane, a traditional Victorian Park tree. The position of new trees is carefully considered, with views, historic planting and park layout, ground conditions, prevailing winds, and proximity to boundaries and buildings all featuring in the mix. 
In keeping with the natural character of our parkland and its hundred year history, trees will NOT have a plaque.
(There are incidences of trees ‘appearing’ in the park overnight. These are often incongruous species and frequently badly placed for long term survival. They may be removed by the managing contractors). 
This year we have bluebells flowering in the orchard. These have been funded by a collection in memory of a local artist. We intend to discuss with Glendale and the Council if we can develop the donation of bulbs that can be naturalised in the park. This will entail close liaison with mowing regimes.

After careful consideration with regards to our heritage and modern needs, it was agreed with Greenscene, Lewisham and the Friends that replacement benches would be in keeping with the original Victorian style. The Cartmel Bench is a reproduction of the original bench seen on old postcards and “The Architect” that features the new bowls pavilion in the 1950s.

The benches will have oak slats. We are committed to not using tropical hardwoods, as previously used in the memorial benches selected by the managing company, Glendale.
The reasons are probably best explained on this website. REASONS to not use tropical hardwood

Glendale Lewisham will order and install the bench. They currently cost in the region of £1800+ VAT each, with additional costs if you want a simple plaque.

The Commemorative Donations Scheme states:

  1. “Wording will need to be considered carefully and should reflect the environment into which it is being installed”. 
  2. Please Note: The placing of memorial items by or on your bench or tree will not be permitted and items such as flowers, toys, candles etc will be removed. 

The original style of park bench in Hilly Fields. New benches on the main paths will be this style the Cartmel Bench, with oak slats.


  1. Joe Bannon says:

    My brother I law passed away a few weeks ago, he was a park keeper in lewisham for 23 years and was at Hilly Fields regularly during this time and was his valour its park.
    We wishful to plant a native oak in the park and this is being arranged through Glendales.
    However we wish to area angel for a memorial bench who do we arrange this with?
    I would be grateful if you can kindly provide the information so we an do this please.
    Joe Bannon

  2. Sue Harte says:

    We would like to have a bench installed in the park. Could you please let me know what the process for ordering and having it installed in the park is? Many thanks

  3. Francis Chavez says:

    Does anyone knows who to contact to organise a memoril bench? Many thanks

  4. Chair says:

    Sorry Francis I did not spot your message. Glendale organise the Cartmel Benches and they can be contacted on tel. 0208 318 3986
    or. lewisham@glendale-services.co.uk

  5. Margaret watts says:

    I would like a plaque put on a bench, how much would this cost

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *