By Sam Wilson Ford
Parks and green spaces in Lewisham were formally recognised as London’s best last week.
The Good Parks report saw Lewisham’s “outstanding” 47 parks and 15 nature reserves beat off fierce competition from fellow south-Londonders Lambeth and Southwark, who placed second and fourth respectively.
The borough scored 49 in a rankings system determined by boroughs’ performance against ten criteria, such as community involvement, public satisfaction, sustainability and supporting nature.
The likes of Greenwich and Croydon performed poorly, ranking 24th and 28th with scores of 35.25 and 33.5.
Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham said: “As an inner-city London borough, it’s a huge achievement for Lewisham to be independently assessed as having the best parks in London.
“None of this is possible without our amazing community volunteers and Parks’ Friends user groups.
“We truly appreciate everything they do to make Lewisham’s parks and green spaces so special.”
It’s official! Lewisham parks have been rated top out of 32 boroughs by @ParksforLondon 🤩👏🎉
Our fantastic parks team work in partnership with Glendale to give us the best parks in London! 🌳✨
Thank you as well to our many community volunteers! 💚https://t.co/IAdymy0ftM pic.twitter.com/ZYuRDYKnZU
— Lewisham Council (@LewishamCouncil) November 19, 2021
The accolade comes mere days after the borough secured its highest ever number of Green Flags, with new sites announced at Garthorne Road and Dacres Wood.
The prestigious Green Flag Community Award assesses sites freely accessible to the public on criteria such as cleanliness and biodiversity.
Of the ten criteria, Lewisham led in the ‘events’ category with the report applauding its diverse range of community and commercial events, whilst simultaneously recognising the need to protect parks from overuse.
It’s official, Lewisham’s parks have been ranked best in London by @ParksforLondon.🌲💚
This wouldn’t be possible without our amazing parks team and of course our dedicated volunteers and parks users groups.
Here we’re celebrating earlier! 🎉🎉🎉 pic.twitter.com/Oi2S0DDxOZ
— Damien Egan (@damienegan) November 18, 2021
Cllr Patrick Codd, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, added: “We are thrilled – our wonderful parks and green spaces have brought much needed happiness and sanctuary to our residents during the very challenging times of the pandemic.
“Events strengthen communities, promote greater social inclusion, keep our open spaces active and vibrant whilst providing vital funds for key parks, keeping our quality green spaces sustainable and accessible for all.”