Survey about the future of the park: Tells us how the park should be improved!

You may or may not know that Lambeth has allocated a large amount of money to improve the park (more information here and here), providing us with the chance to improve the park for everyone. The council has started the process and a team of landscape architects has sketched out some first ideas. Now we want to know what you think about them, and what is missing.

Click here to start a short, 5 min survey to tell us what we should try to achieve with this money.

There is also a survey specifically for young people! If you are aged between 12-18 please complete this alternative survey.

The more people tell us what they want, the more impact we can have on the process; your opinion matters. We will also have a table at the Hillside Sports Day (May, 18th) if would want to talk to us in person. We are ready to listen.




Hillside Sports Day (18th of May): Better than Ever

Each year the Friends of Hillside Gardens Park (i.e., we) are organising a day of free fun and activities for the whole family: The Hillside Sports Day. And each year, it is growing and getting better and better. The aim of the day is not only to provide the people around Hillside Gardens Park with a day full of free, organised sports activities, but also to bring the community together. Come along even if you do not like sports at all, there is something for everyone. Let me point out some of the highlights below, but if you are impatient, click here to book a session.  Booking is not needed, but some sessions are so popular, that booking them might be a good idea. Here are all the events, below more information.


Turn Trash to Treats: On the day before the sports day (Friday, 17th of May, 18:00), we will make the cleaning of the park in preparation for the big day a bit more fun. Come along, collect some trash (bags and gloves provided), and get cake, brownies and more in return. Fun for the whole family.

Tennis: As usual, we have a lot of great tennis opportunities for the very young (Toddlers, 9.30) to adults (taster session: 11:00), to everyone in between (Minis 10:00, Juniors, 11:00). Not matter whether you are good or bad, you will enjoy this tennis session led by our dream team of instructors, Rosena and Dino (book here ).

Theatre: For the first time , we will have an arts and drama workshop for children 5 years and younger. Let by the inspiring and experienced Mhairi Grealis from Clip Theatre. Bring your future Oscar winner at 10:00 to the One O’Clock Club and watch the magic enfold. Click here for more information. 

Social Tea: Our chair, Tom, organised this amazing event. His goal is to bring the people in the park together, to have a moment to chat and get to know each other, whether you like sport or not. So he convinced Emma’s, a local real estate agent for many years (here) to provide free tea, coffee, and cake. We are all hoping very much to meet you there.

There is so much more, Yoga and Netball will be popular as every year. And I might try to play some rugby for the first time in my life. And for most of us, the highlight of the day is seeing the kids run in the races at the end of the day.

We hope to see you there, have a chat, and get to know you.


Hillside Gardens Park: Report from the public meeting held on 25 March 2019

Dear Friend,

the wonderful Cath Raitt wrote a comprehensive report summarizing all the important things that happened at the last public consultation. We are very grateful for all the input we got from the fantastic people that came along and for Cath writing this report. You can read the report here. And below are two pictures of the wonderful ideas brought up at the meeting, summarized in the report as well; a little sneak preview. Read more about the last meeting, including more pictures of the meeting here.


Ideas for park 2Ideas for park


Friends of Hillside Garden Park- An Exciting Future

On the evening of 25th March over 30 people gathered in the church hall of St Simon and St Jude on Hillside Road. The purpose of the meeting was for Lambeth with the working group from Friends of Hillside of Garden Park to present the plan for the park.

There is just under £600,000 to be spent on the park by way of the community infrastructure levy charge which Lambeth have raised from the developer of the London Square development on the High Road. Our local councillors successfully ensured that the money would go to the park.

At the start of the meeting the working group introduced themselves, Tom Stanbury (Chair), Nigel Duckers (Minutes Secretary), Dino Skeete (Serious About Tennis), and Cath Rait (representing the residents of Palace Road Estate).


Rob Kelly is the project manager from Lambeth and Joe Todd from Turkington Martin the landscape architect. Rob introduced himself and the work done to date in respect of establishing the priorities for the park. It was made clear that this a first proposal to be revised further.


There are 4 areas of focus for the park,

  • Sports Services and Facilities
  • The existing building and WC block
  • Existing Park Infratructure
  • Entrance and Signage

Joe then presented the sketchbook for the park, this can be found here. The sketchbook highlights design opportunities. The highlights include a well-defined circular walking route; re-locate tennis courts 3 & 4 to the Multi Use Games Area’s to have a bank of 4 tennis courts; a new football pitch on what is currently court 4; continuous planting of hedgerow around the park boundary to improve biodiversity; an area for young adults to include a climbing wall of skating area.

Nigel then directed the cluster groups to discuss the likes and priorities for the park. And then the dislikes if any, followed by new ideas people would like to see happen.


There was overwhelmingly positive sentiment in the room with a definite desire as a priority for the tennis court surfaces and facilities to be upgraded. Several people explained how the tarmac area by the gym is used by families and young children and wouldn’t want to lose this to a skate park. There was concern about giving up too much space to dogs and their walkers.

At the end of the meeting there was enthusiasm to see a café in the park, with former Chair Tony Emerson explaining this has been explored in the past. However, many did think with putting in the infrastructure for a coffee cart or mobile kiosk would be a sensible move as the park becomes more popular in the years ahead.

The meeting closed with Rob explaining that he and the working group would be back to present further at the end of May beginning of June. Thank you to all who attended it was a positive atmosphere in the room with all constructive contributions.


Help the Bees come back (to the park); get involved!

Kyle Moreland (07341 382 819) has volunteered to act as the local beekeeper and will be organising a new hive; hopefully in the spring when the swarms start to show. Contact Kyle if you wish to learn more, want to get involved, or if you have something to report.

Kyle writes “We plan to install a hive or two in the allotment area of our wonderful park. The London Beekeepers Association ( is a very helpful and active organisation and has members all over London. They are a very useful source of information and support regarding urban beekeeping. For example, did you know that bees will venture as far as 3 miles from the hive in search of pollen or nectar? Last year was a particularly bad year for a disease called European (or American) Brood Disease, and the LBKA maintain a ‘hotspot map’ of London for where this has occurred. Fortunately, Streatham is not considered a ‘hotspot’ so any bees from our area a considered valuable for increasing the overall London bee population.

The LBKA also operate a Swarm WhatsApp group, and will collect ‘wild’ swarms which can then be properly quarantined (if necessary) and reintroduced to a hive. So if you do see a swarm, call the LBKA or Kyle Moreland (07341 382 819) and we can safely remove it.

It would also help if the use of pesticides was kept to a minimum in the allotment; and the park in general. If any large scale spraying is planned, please contact Kyle and he can close up the hive beforehand.

Many of you will be aware of the press reports of the declining bee population. Bees are a great benefit to the whole urban ecosystem and we hope to get a thriving colony on the allotment this spring.

Hope this helps, thanks Kyle”