Burgess Park to reopen in July

Fri 29 June 2012, 3:24 pm

One of South London's biggest parks will reopen to the public on 21 July following a major 8 million transformation.

The 20ha Burgess Park will now feature a new over-fives playground and a 5k fitness route, made up of a run, jog or walking route around the park, with new gym equipment along the Peckham and Camberwell edges.

The lake has been redesigned and expanded, with two 9m-high water fountains and a 90m wooden bridge designed to connect Albany Road residents to other parts of the park. It will also be home to hundreds of fish, as well as two new wetland habitats used by waterfowl, bats, swifts and house martins. 

In a first for Southwark parks, there is a designated section of the park, near the lake, for barbeques where there will be a seated area and space for cooking, which will be expanded if the idea proves popular.

Other enhancements include improving 800m of existing paths and creating over 3.5km of new footpaths, widening the entrances to make access easier for everyone, and installing 50 new bins and benches around the park.

Barrie Hargrove, Southwark Council's cabinet member for the environment, said: "We're tremendously excited about Burgess Park opening to provide fantastic new facilities for the local community and connecting local communities from all corners of the park whether you live on the Camberwell, Peckham or the Walworth edges.

"We've had the vision and the confidence to redesign this space so that it will have the widest appeal. The park itself has been opened up so that from particular walkways you can see from one end to the other. Although everyone will use the park differently, we can all be proud of it together."

Funding for the project includes a £2 million grant from the Greater London Authority, matched with a further £4 million through an enhanced partnership between Southwark Council and the Aylesbury New Deal for Communities, and another £2 million added from the council's budget. 

The council has also recently invested more than £1.2 million in the Chumleigh Gardens open space, play area and cafe in the heart of the park.