Eaglesfield Park Open Air Gym/Green Flag Status

Today I received some campaign materials from Clive Efford MP, which included the news that Eaglesfield Park is going to have its own Open Air Gym (?!) and improved signs and paths in order to meet the criteria for the prestigious Green Flag Award.

The concept of an open air gym seems quite strange to me as I’ve become happily accustomed to the idea of people getting their endorphins behind closed doors on those bizarre W. Heath Robinson style contraptions that allow you to run nowhere, lift nothing and so on – walking the streets is certainly much more pleasant now than it was at the height of the jogging craze; these days I can happily amble around in a reverie without sweaty spandex clad neurotransmitter freaks huffing and puffing at me from all directions.

The money itself is going to come from an Olympics Legacy fund. I assume the idea is to use the events to enthuse local people about sport at the same time as giving them an outlet for all their newfound enthusiasm – this is the legacy, and surely a good thing if it gives people something to do other than moan about the bankers nicking all our money. I’m personally looking forward to the target sports at the artillery barracks, and will be watching as much Robin Hood as I can in the run up to the games. I’m not sure if local people will be able to get tickets though, quite possibly not, and even if they can I’ve heard that they change hands for thousands of pounds.

As for the Green Flag award, it sounds quite good considering the recognition that the Plumstead Common Environment Group have earned as a result of their award winning restoration of the Slade Ponds. It certainly bodes well for the Lily Pond plans as being able to write “Green Flag Status” on grant applications helps to make a good impression on the potential future funders by demonstrating that there is a precedent of time and money being invested in the park.

Eaglesfield Park: The changing landscape

Coat of Arms of John Lidgbird Sheriff of Kent, 1741
Coat of Arms of John Lidgbird Sheriff of Kent, 1741 - from which the park takes its name

The modern name for Eaglesfield is derived from the coat of arms of John Lidgbird, who was made High Sheriff of Kent in 1741 and owned the site. His coat of arms displayed two eagles. The current play park there has seen a number of changes over the years, but as features go, it possibly started out as a dew pond, formed to collect drinking water for the Oxen grazing on deforested areas (hence the name Oxleas)[1. From the Eaglesfield Park management plan (2008 draft).].

At some point it became the yacht pond, as seen in the postcard pictures below, and later still a paddling pool, before being transformed into a play park around 1994.

There’s also pictures of the (hopefully) soon to be reinstated Lily Pond.

Update – plumstead-stories.com sent me another nice one of the park, can’t quite figure out whereabouts it is though:
eaglesfield park

Good Dog (Owner)

It might not quite be a banksy, but the council dog stencil does seem to be fairly effective at keeping the hill clean and safe, at least in the bits it appears; I certainly would tread carefully walking across the roundabout lawns on the wimpey estate, or certain parts of eaglesfield or shrewsbury park or the woods, although things are getting better.

Anyway it seems to be a fairly serious initiative with its own enforcement officials being geared up to hit anti-social dog-owners where it hurts, i.e. the purse.

I’m not sure what kind of dog the stencilhound is? I once saw a similar street painting in paris, and it was definitely a lapdog of some sort, you know the type that fits in a handbag, but the Greenwich version appears to be modelled on a cross between a Poodle and an Alsation, I call it a Poosation.

The Treasures of Eaglesfield Park

Title: The Treasures of Eaglesfield Park
Location: Eaglesfield Park Lily Pond
Link out: www.foep.org.uk
Description: Find out more about the history of this fantastic park from the
Bronze Age to the present day and be part of shaping its future:

* A new wildlife pond for Eaglesfield Park – what do you think?
* Displays, pond restoration plans and information
* Guided walks of the park will begin at 2pm and 3pm: look at the history of the park, it’s wildlife and proposals for restoring the pond
* Children’s Nature Activities – seed planting, bark rubbing, colouring and more
* Dress up in 1940’s costume and join in the fun!

Free entrance / disabled access: Via ramp at the corner of Foxcroft Road and Cleanthus Road, SE18

Organised by: The Friends of Eaglesfield Park, Froglife, Groundwork London, and Digging Dads Army Project

Working in partnership with Greenwich Council Parks and Open Spaces
Start Time: 12:30
Date: 2009-06-20
End Time: 16:00

Eaglesfield Park Neighbourhood Watch Community Event

Title: Eaglesfield Park Neighbourhood Watch Community Event
Location: Eaglesfield Park
Description: The Eaglesfield Park Neighbourhood Watch Scheme is hosting their second free, family event to help foster community spirit, and promote the benefits of local neighbourhood watch schemes.

Take part in fun activities, stands and stalls, and get to know the people that help make our community great.

Meet the Shooters Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team; Lewisham Mounted Police; Woolwich Army Cadets; Eltham Fire Brigade; British Transport Police, Woolwich Scout Group, Shooters Hill Lawn Tennis Club; Woolwich and Plumstead Bowls Club, local Friends’ Groups – to name but a few!

Have your face or hands painted, take part in the raffle or try some of our yummy home-made cakes.

Event opens at 1pm by PC Cliff Graham, raffle draw 3pm.

Eaglesfield Park, Eaglesfield Road, Shooters Hill SE18

For more information about our scheme visit: www.shnws.org.uk, or email: epnws@hotmail.co.uk

Eaglesfield Park is situated at the top of Shooters Hill, London SE18. It is the second highest point in Greater London, and boasts panoramic views over Kent. The park can be reached by the 486, 89 and 244 buses, with the nearest train stations at Welling, and DLR at Woolwich.
Start Time: 13:00
Date: 2009-07-11
End Time: 16:00