Hilly Fields update

Here is a local PR masterclass from the Hilly Fields User Group.

Step 1: email Brockley Central with news
Step 2: include pleasantries in introduction to brighten our mood on a Monday morning
Step 3: make it easy to understand what story is about by writing a self-descriptive headline
Step 4: write coherent, spell-checked article so BC merely has to cut and paste
Step 5: attach link to new blog about Hilly Fields birdwatching

Progress on Playground

We applied for £50K from the Lottery's Changing Places Grant. Our first stage application has been successful. We now need to prepare a second stage. In order to progress this we needed a survey of the park, a design, costings and a planning submission, along with some community engagement. To help get this done, we applied for a development grant (just under £1,500) from the lottery. We were told we had been successful just before Christmas.
We will now be meeting our development officer from Groundwork to plan the next stage of work and progress our outstanding items.

The grant is also dependent on the user group becoming a constituted group, so that is something else to progress in the next few months.

In addition we have been trying to secure money from central government's play builder funding. The information submitted to council is attached. This was also supported by a presentation two local parents, Ruth and Lee did at end of last year to the Mayor. (they were part of the group behind the petition)

Glendale with the user group are also planning an event in the park to coincide with the RSPB bird survey on 25th January. We haven't finalised the event yet.

As people may have seen there has been some tree work done recently. I met with Sean McBride (the tree officer) in November (I think) to discuss a long term tree strategy for the park. He identified some trees with extensive decay and these have now been felled or had their crowns heavily reducing as appropriate. They have already replaced one tree on the Adelaide Avenue Montague junction. Further tree planting will take place for the other felled trees.

Glendale prepared a management plan for the park, which will be required for the council's submission of park for the Green Flag awards.

Here are the Group's initial thoughts about how the playground would change as a result of the investment, which sound fantastic:

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

Thanks to Rachel for the great work and the comprehensive update.