Hatcham Gardens is part of the Deptford to New Cross Links project, one of the Mayor’s Great Spaces. Commissioned by Design for London and the London Borough of Lewisham, the design evolved from consultation with local people led by the Building Exploratory and the New Cross Gate Trust, including children at the local Kender primary school, which borders Hatcham Gardens.
The renovation has removed patches of tarmac, stripped away fences and planted 50 Albazia trees, which create a canopy over the new ground surface, extra furniture and play equipment. A new public drinking fountain offers free refreshment to anyone using the Gardens. The play items include two large sandpits (the first in the borough), chess tables, large benches and a ping pong table. The old park had suffered from vandalism, especially from people owning dogs, so we have been addressing this issue particularly through a varied public engagement program. Dog owners and Battersea Dogs Home have advised on the design of a designated dog area, while the children of Kender Primary School developed icons for dog obedience mats which have been carved into granite.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
“The Great Outdoors programme is creating a network of well designed and enticing public spaces across the capital, increasing London’s popularity as a place to live in, visit and invest. Hatcham Gardens is now a modern oasis for New Cross residents where they can relax on new benches under shaded canopies and enjoy the new drinking fountain. The transformation of the park makes it a more inviting and safer place to rest and play.”