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Updates from DKH Open Space

Pippa Krishnan from Southwark parks wrote today with the following news:

Dear local resident,

I have good news! I have managed to secure an extra £26,340 of funding which means that some of the works that I had to cut from the project will now be going ahead! These are:

  • Sanding down and treating of wooden picnic benches
  • 3 bird boxes and 3 bat boxes will be installed
  • Small observation area with bench will be installed at entrance to natural area
  • Repair of the wooden capping on the ramp to the Estate

We will not be sanding down and treating the two wooden ramps or reshaping the gravel areas around the picnic benches, because these are not cost effective.

This leaves us with some money left over for additional works. We will be carrying out the following:

  • Adding a gravel application to the tarmac semi-circular path which means it will match our new resin-bound path (this is happening today!)
  • We are looking at adding loose gravel to the woodland pathway as a way of remedying the muddy puddles which occur in some low lying areas.
  • We will be building a small circular raised bed to re-home some of the herbs that are currently next to the picnic benches. This will raise the height of the herb garden, keeping it out of the way of dogs and other animals.
  • Repair to handrail on ramp to Estate
  • 26 root waterers to help the transplanted fruit trees survive
  • Fencing off an area of Japanese Knotweed with temporary fencing to prevent it being strimmed as this makes it spread

We will no longer be planting a hedgerow along the end of the woodland, as we would have to remove a lot of vegetation to do so. We will plant the hedge along the boundary between the woodland and the Estate as this will be planted on the slope and therefore we wont need to remove as much vegetation. Some plants had to be removed so that the fence can be installed. Other areas where vegetation has been removed are being planted with native species of hedge, meadow and wild flowers.

Apologies for not giving you the chance to comment on these additional works, but we had to instruct the contractor to go ahead quickly, otherwise we would have incurred extra costs as they would have to remove all their tools and machinery and leave the park, and then come back again to carry out the other work. This means we would have had to pay extra costs to set up the site again, so by going ahead straight away we have saved about £1,000.

However this still leaves us with approximately £10,000 for more ecological works at the park, and we would like your suggestions! Here are some ideas:

  • pond in the natural area
  • habitat boxes (e.g. hedgehog houses)
  • plant hedge along end boundary of woodland during winter
  • dead wood sculptures
  • wormery
  • woodland walk brass rubbing plates (not made of brass to prevent theft!)
  • Meadow seed for improvement in March 2013
  • Removal of a few sycamores in the woodland as they are blocking the light to the native trees we planted as part of the previous project, and over half of them have died
  • Checking and clearing out of bird/bat boxes as required. This must be done by a trained professional in the winter

Please let us know your ideas! Anything where the local community can get involved would be great! Remember the funding is for ecological improvements only, and the amount available may be lower if the current project has any unforeseen costs.

We have had to rethink the drop-bollards because the slope of the ground means that they could damage the bottom of vehicles. Would anyone have an objection to installing a swing gate at the boundary of the access road (off Dog Kennel Hill) and the pavement?

This is not yet confirmed as I would need to get a quote and ensure we have enough funding. If we can afford it we will have it painted green to look a bit better and match the other metalwork in the park.
All the best,

Pippa Krishnan

Service Development Officer – Southwark Council
Public Realm – Parks & Open Spaces
Third Floor – Hub 1
Environment & Leisure
PO Box 64529
London SE1P 5LX
020 7525 5133
07957 420 196


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