I hear that Greenwich Council have decided not to proceed with creating the Trim Trail that was proposed for Eaglesfield Park following the consultation. Nearly 90% of members of the Friends of Eaglesfield Park who voted were opposed to the outdoor gym.
Personally I think this is good news – my observation of such outdoor exercise facilities in other parks is that they don’t get serious use, and as an (occasional) gym user they seem crude compared to modern training equipment.
The friends are asking for park improvement suggestions to be sent to them by tomorrow, 13th December 2011, for submission to the council. Some good suggestions have been made already:
- Providing a home for the Blackheath donkeys when they have to move to make way for the Equestrian Centre, possibly in the lower field;
- Improvements to the playground facilities;
- Replacement of the Mulberry tree near the pond.
A home for the donkeys would be really cool – though I guess the practicalities might get in the way. They would need a shelter for when the weather is bad, and the fencing along Eaglesfield Road would need to be replaced, though it would be a good idea to improve this fencing anyway; it looks in need of some tlc. Improvement to the playground facilities would be very popular with parents – it was built in 1994 and terrifies some parents with its sheer drops.
As you might guess, I’m very much in favour of replacing the Mulberry tree, and maybe also planting some more trees, possibly fruit trees. We could have a small community orchard!
I also liked the idea in the original plan for the pond of creating new wildlife habitats, and this could be taken further by planting areas of wildflower meadow, as they have done in Peckham Rye Park. Their meadow areas include wildflowers which are becoming rare due to the effects of modern agriculture, such as Wild Basil, Lady’s Bedstraw, Creeping Red Fescue, Teasel, Evening Primrose and Corn Cockle. These areas form part of a collaboration with the RSPB London House Sparrow project to monitor bird species.
The creation of new wildlife habitats could be extended to include bird and bat boxes.
Another suggestion would be to have some kind of marker of the highest point of Shooters Hill – perhaps a small stone pillar with the height marked on top, with the distance and direction of places of interest, like the Ypres milestone in the grounds of Christ Church.
The Friends of Eaglesfield Park have a poster at the entrance to the park describing the work they have completed so far on the pond, and also announcing that the new pond will be launched with a community event in May 2012. I’ll look forward to that.