July 29, 2013: Belair Park wins coveted Green Flag award following upgrades to wildlife & playground.
Our thanks to members of the Friends, to our volunteer teams, and to Southwark officers for the concerted effort that netted this award.
Paul Highman, the Contracts and Services Manager for parks in the Dulwich area, organised construction of a knee-high wooden rail around the margins of the lakeside Wildlife Walk, and member Penelope Stanford suggested that the boundary should incorporate benches, which have turned out to be very popular.
Susannah Peel assisted Chair Martin Heath in cutting back and edging paths (and controlling wild roses, top left) whilst Paul Highman also created an attractive dead hedge between the lake and Walk (lower left).
Meanwhile, Friends’ committee members Anne Marie Braun and Matt Reid have secured further funds for installing new equipment in the playground in Belair Park.
SUMMER’S GOING WITH A SWING!
Last year the Friends of Belair Park successfully bid for more playground equipment for the under fives. We asked children and their carers what play equipment they would like best. Thanks to everyone who took part and to Southwark’s Cleaner Greener Safer funding, our youngest park visitors now have a Big Fish and a Sea Monster to play on, as well as the ever popular Pirate Ship.
But our survey also found a great demand for more swings. So we boldly applied again this year and were surprised as well as delighted to hear that we’ve been lucky two years running. At first it looked as if the money allocated would stretch to only two more swings. But even swings manufacturers have to do deals in these tough times. Nils Battye at Southwark Council has just given us the good news that we can have the four new swings we wanted after all.
The plan is to enlarge the playground area slightly and have four ‘cradle’ swings for babies and toddlers where the swings are now. Then there will be four flat swings for older children in the new area behind. Here’s hoping that in future the queues will be halved when the number of swings is doubled!
Right: Southwark officers Paul Highman (light shirt) & Robert Roach (at left) show playground improvements negotiated by Anne-Marie and Matt to Green Flag judges on June 6, 2013.