Greenspaces: Peckham Rye Park

Peckham Rye Park is the bit of Peckham Rye Common hidden behind a row of trees to your left as you travel from Nunhead to East Dulwich. You probably already know this, but it had never occurred to us to ask what lay beyond.

For a narrow sliver of parkland, Peckham Rye Park squeezes a lot in to its 50 acres. As well as the wide open tracts of land, beloved of games-players and dog-walkers, it features a Japanese garden and an old English garden, called The Sexby Garden [above, top], which is hung with vines and covered with sprouting purple blossom. Five ponds and a lake are scattered about the ornamental parts of the park, while the river Peck runs through it.

The park underwent significant restoration work in 2004-05. Waters were cleared, paths resurfaced and the Sexby Gardens returned to their former glory while the bowls pavilion was rebuilt. Today, the park remains beautifully maintained while the bowling green [above, bottom] is open to the public, with complete novices welcome to play for only £3 per hour between 11am and 5pm at the weekends.