Above: The transformation of popular Burgess Park will include a new playground for children and improved landscaping, paths, signage and entrances.
Burgess Park Burgess Park is Southwark’s largest – and one of south London’s most valued – public spaces. Located opposite the Aylesbury Estate, it was created after World War II to replace demolished homes, 30 streets, factories, churches and an in-filled canal. Despite Burgess Park’s popularity among the residents of Southwark, local people felt that the park remained incomplete. Generations using the park for play, recreation, sports and relaxation saw only disappointing piecemeal improvements and unsatisfactory upkeep of this valued green space. The combined efforts of Southwark Council, local people and LDA landscape architects are delivering the Burgess Park Revitalisation Project to improve the 46-ha gem. When Balfour Beatty completes construction work in 2012, visitors will see 92,000 new plants, including 164 trees, and new lawn and wildlife space at St George’s Gardens.
A redesigned lake will incorporate two new wetland habitats. Children aged over five will enjoy a new playground. Landscaping, improved paths, revamped entrances with rainwater collection gardens, new signage and the removal of a redundant road are also part of the £6 million Revitalisation Project. Some £4 million came from the former Aylesbury New Deal for Communities, now succeeded by the Creation Trust, with £2 million from the mayor of London’s Premier Park Scheme. Southwark previously invested £1.2 million in the park’s Chumleigh Gardens open space, play area and cafe. The project will improve the quality of life in the Aylesbury Estate area. It dovetails with the Aylesbury Area Action Plan and physically connects the park and estate with increased entrances. Creation Trust director Charlotte Benstead said: “I’m delighted the park is getting this long-awaited transformation.” issue
8 winter 2011/12 37
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