Belair Park is a 10 hectare (25 acre) public open space held on a long lease from the Dulwich Estates Governors by the London Borough of Southwark. Formerly the grounds of a mansion, one of its principal features is a lake imitating a sinuous river.
The Park is home to numerous species of plants and animals – including water fowl, bats (which can be seen at dusk in the summer feeding over the lake). There are alder and willow trees and alder growing around the lake, and around the Park are to be found beautiful mature oak trees, which once grew along the margins of field.
The Lakeside Willdife Walk was initiated by Martin Heath and has been maintained with the help of numerous volunteers from the local community, including teams of workers from the New Leaf project based across the road at West Dulwich station, corporate volunteers from Deloitte and Ernst & Young, and local agencies, such as Embrace Cooperation.
The Walk offers a number of habitats for native wildlife. These include hedgerow/narrow woodland, ditch, wood-pile, lake bank and islands. It leads into a wetland area to the north, within which there are sedges, yellow flag iris and corky-fruited water dropwort.
The islands provide protected areas for waterfowl to nest.
The Friends have produced a report outlining their vision for the Lakeside Walk and the progress of work to date.