Hilly Fields: State of Play


On Saturday, The Hilly Fields User Group showed-off their plans to remodel the dated playground at the top of the park. As you can see from this visual, the new park would constitute a radical and positive change, compared with the existing facilities. The idea of blending play with wildlife habitat is a great one.

Polly explains:

Here's the latest version of the playground plans. It will of course get some small changes and reworking as it is developed. We had a steady stream of people on Saturday coming to look at the plans and give their feedback, which was all positive.

To summarise, the key aims for WILD ABOUT PLAY, as the project has been named, are to:

1. Introduce landscape features from the park eg meadow and native planting into the play area
2. Create a space that changes with the seasons and where children are close to nature
3. Improve the biodiversity of park whilst encouraging close contact with nature as part of the play experience
4. Extend the use of playground to all age groups, particularly toddlers and the over 8s, creating a setting that allows children of all ages and abilities to play together
5. Create inclusive play experience welcoming for all children and their carers and parents.
6. Develop the sloping site with natural features and integrated equipment eg bridges, stepping logs, sand and water play ,etc
7. Work with local schools including the special schools to make artwork for use in the area possibly based on wildlife in park
8. Include local schools and environmental education staff at Lewisham Council to discuss planting and undertake community planting projects for area
9. Provide flexible space: storydeck / platform / stage for nursery groups or classes to use

32 comments:

I said...

Far too good for children. Will unaccompanied adults be allowed to play there?

Tamsin said...

Sounds fantastic - and I know what hard work it is to get this siort of improvement actually moving. But I do have a doubt about the proposal to include artwork by local school children in the finished product. Children's art projects are great in the doing but really the only place for the end results is on the cork-board at home or granny's mantlepiece - or at most the school playground or main corridors. When you are 13would you want to see what you did when you were eight?

Anonymous said...

looks terrific. I was really impressed with what happened at the playpark across from the Horniman and I was hoping Hilly fields plans would be as good.
They look even better.

Anonymous said...

How will Hugh negotiate the wobble bridge?

sonofagun said...

What a great Idea,But how long before some bloody Idiots vandalise It ?.

osh said...

Why should they? No one's vandalised the park in Telegraph Hill and that's been there a few years.

Don't waste your time worrying about stupid vandals. Enjoy the fact that people are doing something good.

Anonymous said...

Will there be a communal dogging spot?

Anonymous said...

yes, to dogging potential of much of that equipment makes my imagination run wild.

the hound said...

The rotating disc will make dogging a whole new experience.

Brockley Kate said...

I can't quite work out which area this covers - where is the path which currently runs between the grass-meadow area and the play-area?
The path on the diagram says 'retain existing gates' which suggests it refers to the gates into the play area, not the public open path which runs to the south of the play area.

Bea said...

This new play park looks first-class and I for one can't wait to see it open. I have spent far too many hours of my weekend there over the past four years in all seasons and weather.

It’s great to see areas involving more creative play such as the new water feature.

Kate - the path you can see is the one that already runs through the play park. The pirate ship hasn't changed its location so you should be able to visually orientate your way round that.

As to vandals - why should that be a problem? The current play park isn't vandalised nor are the many ones in London I end up having to spend 30 minutes in on the way to wherever I am heading.

Anonymous said...

About who does the art, as long as its not the guy that did the new mural or his likeminded fiends I'm ok with it.

Anonymous said...

I like the mural and would welcome more of the same

Anonymous said...

Yeah but not in a kid's playground yeah?

Brockley Kate said...

Thanks Bea - so the existing path would remain, but would have 2 gates added to it?

Anonymous said...

'existing gates' may be the clue there.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

except the current play area is entirely to the south of the path and the gates don't exist.......

Anonymous said...

not even where it says 'allow access through existing gates'?

Tressilliana said...

It looks to me as if the intention is to completely remodel the area currently enclosed by the railings, except for the pirate ship. If you're approaching from Montague Avenue you walk along the path to the existing gate which takes you into the playground and the pirate ship (to be retained) is on your left. So the path I think Kate is talking about, which runs down to Adelaide Avenue, is not shown on the plan at all.

It all looks lovely. I hope they get the funding.

Anonymous said...

That path doesn't need to be shown, but the plan is quite clear and involves no loss or gain of land - north to south and with the school (not marked) on the E/SE corner.

I only noticed the concrete ping-pong table the other day!

good luck to all involved

Brockley Kate said...

I'm just a bit confused because I know there was some talk a while back about extending the playground down the hill (to the south of the current space), and when I saw this plan I therefore assumed that the path on the plan is the Adelaide Ave path that divides the playground from the 'meadow' area at the moment. But it seems I was wrong - so this covers the same footprint as the current playground?

I like the 'wildlife' theme, and the idea of a mini stage.

Polly said...

Tressilliana, for your info re funding, we do still need a successful stage 2 lottery bid for some of the money, but we can progress a large part of the plans without delay from the existing funds we have already secured.

Monkeyboy said...

oooohhh.... rotating disk. I think they mean round-a-bout but it is 2008 I s'pose.

I remember many a life threatening play session at the playround in Priory Park N London as a child. We used to sit on the round-a-bout while the bigger kids spun it so fast that 6 year olds would be flung far and wide. It was like training for a moon mission.

Brockley Nick said...

There was a yellow and red plastic disc, I think in Greenwich Park, that used to give me friction burns as I tried to cling on. Horrific thing.

Anonymous said...

You're not aloud to say roundabout - that's racist.

Monkeyboy said...

oh i don't know. Lethal play activities toughen them up don't you know, our forebearers didn't conquer half the known world by teaching their kids finger painting.

Victorian Dad said...

Indeed. A good thrashing never hurt anyone........much.

No doubt a few of the doggers indulge.

Anonymous said...

"that used to give me friction burns as I tried to cling on"

we are talking playground equipment here are we?

hilly said...

With reference to Tamsin's comment about children's art.We have already carried out a successful project with year 8 students at Prendergasts. They studied the Evelyn Dunbar murals in the school hall, then came out sketching views in the park. Back in class they did a series of pieces with mark making, printing and cut outs from their original drawings. We took a these down to Heather Burrell, an artist blacksmith working at the APT studios in Creekside. She used the work for the gate design on Eastern Road. I don't see why they shouldn't be around in 100 years.

Other successful projects I've done with children and artists are imprinting in clay and casting concrete slabs for use in parks, the same but making concrete discs we have inset in timber seating. I've also worked with the same artist on workshops where we make small collages which she then takes and casts in resin. I've set these in granite boulders, logs, timber posts to the climbing frames.

We already have some lovely drawings from Saturday.

Tamsin said...

That all sounds great - and being set into bits of the play equipment and park furniture makes sense. It is when children's art is put in as a feature in its own right that I think aesthetically it can be a bit of a disaster. I was merely voicing a note of warning based on my purely personal view of the Equiano Plinth in Telegraph Hill Park.

Comment said...

Tamsin good of you to raise the raise the subject about the commissioning of children's art and equally good to see the structured approach the Hilly Fields people are taking to ensure a good quality outcome.

Anonymous said...

I don't have children myself but even I am excited. Brilliant news!!!

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