Yesterday I was really pleased to be able to attend the official openings of two new play areas in Ladywell ward. At 2pm, the Mayor opened the brilliant new play area on Hilly Fields. It was a beautiful day and the playground was packed with children and parents using the new equipment and taking part in the arts & crafts sessions laid on as part of Brockley Max. The water pump, sand and fortress are huge hits.
Brockley owes a huge debt of gratitude to Rachel Mooney, chair of the Friends of Hilly Fields, for all her work on the plans for this play area and driving the project forward. A landscape architect by trade, she knows her stuff and also put in many hours of tedious form-filling to various bodies to get all the funding together for the project.
Keith has some good photos of the opening over at Hilly Fields Birdwatch.
Just before 3pm I popped over to Foxborough Gardens. While the Mayor was watching Billy Jenkins perform over at Brockley Max, Cllr Susan Wise, cabinet member for customer services (which includes housing and the environment) was doing the honours and opening the new play area in Foxborough Gardens. This is a project I've been involved in and supported since residents first got in touch back in June 2008, so I was determined to be there, even if only as an ex-councillor!
I was asked to judge the competition to choose the name for the new play area. It was a tough call, but the play area is now 'Fox's Garden', as suggested by nine year old Leila.
As well as the new play area, the TRA was successful in making a bid to Capital Growth, for funding to help set up a gardening project for children on the estate. Last weekend I helped residents and children (aged from approx 2 years to pensioners) with their first planting day. The children enjoyed it, though one of them ran off in disgust when he found out he was digging in horse manure! At the end of the session the children all took away a sunflower seed they had planted in a pot and are having a competition to see whose grows the tallest. I was pleased to see yesterday that the runner beans were already climbing up the sticks, and the only signs of any damage were due to local wildlife and easily fixable.
I'm now looking forward to seeing the new adventure playground on Ladywell Fields opening soon too, which will provide a much needed base for some of the older children in the area, and hopefully help keep them occupied over the summer.