Brockwell Park in Herne Hill, South London is registered grade 2 on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and gardens. Under the management of Lambeth Council since 1982, Brockwell Park has within its facilities one of the only remaining outdoor swimming pools in London.
The popular 50 hectare park was in need of redevelopment: in addition to the new play area, there was also a need to carry out essential work on the drains and some improvements to the paths and landscaping. LUC were retained to work on the rejuvenation of the park from 2005. Part of their remit included securing funding for the entire project.
The completion of the ‘natural’ playground marks the first stage in the redevelopment program.
The first new playground has a beautiful location in the heart of the park, replacing an old Victorian paddling pool. LUC created designs for a natural play area that reflected the historic surroundings of Brockwell Park and used a varied and exciting range of equipment. The playground is made to look as natural as possible with large glacial boulders, sandblasted concrete, timber benches and wooden walkways. The aquatic history of the site is celebrated with a combination of water play equipment, including spray jets, water pumps and dams. There is also an extensive sand pit and picnic lawns.
The larger playground opened in May 2012, comprising 3 new playground areas within a natural setting, with picnic area grass mounding, rocks, tunnels and planting. Covering 3 distinct areas, this playground has been created to appeal to all ages. There is a dedicated toddler area with swings, playhouse, wobble dish, sailing boat, ramps and slides. The junior play area includes equipment such as a log bridge, suspension bridge, hut, see-saw and a climbing wall. And the senior play area has a zip wire, timberwood tangle, nest swing and whirlwind feature.
The new playgrounds have been very well received by the local community. The site is a destination playground for children and families not just the immediate community, but neighbouring communities also.
Councillor Florence Nosegbe, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and the 2012 Games, who opened the natural playground said, “…I can’t imagine many places better for children or their families to come and play and enjoy themselves…”
LUC have also received several pieces of positive feedback from park users, here is just a selection:-
“We have always loved the park and the improvements have only added to our enjoyment of it. The waterpark and new playground are wonderful, our children love them and the fact that they get so busy is a testament to how good they are and what a draw they are to the park. The ponds are looking beautiful and the general work such as relaying of paths and new railings, seats etc has made the park more attractive and user friendly. All the work has been done very sensitively and the park has retained its character.”
“The tunnel of trees is so lovely and my kids always find a new climbing frame to explore every time we go. My sons think the pipes in the sandpit are really cool and I feel very proud to bring friends from other parts of the country to see the great place we live.”
“The design is spectacular and stimulates all age groups. I’m glad to see equipment that really challenges older children’s abilities. The new play park has reinvigorated the community and really brought people together. It is difficult to over-estimate the positive social impact it has had on a huge number of families, not to mention the effect on health and wellbeing. Furthermore, it is satisfying to think that these benefits will be felt by future generations. Thank you and BRAVO!!!!”