In the past 18 months Glendale and Lewisham Council aimed to provide safe, well-maintained, attractive parks for the benefit of all users by improving the environmental quality and sustainable practices in use. Both also aimed to increase community interaction by facilitating at least 160 events, growing sports participation, increasing volunteer participation and promoting the parks as a resource through digital marketing activity.
Key initiatives in the past 18 months included the introduction of trials of battery-operated hand tools with a view to investing in the technology, and restoration of parks sports facilities including new cricket squares in Mayow Park and Hilly Fields. A further four parks secured Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) funding to overhaul the tennis facilities and finance coaching sessions.
Other initiatives included meeting with walking groups to discuss changes to maintenance regimes in order to improve existing routes and create new ones - and the launch of a Lewisham-specific website and Twitter account to provide updates and improve the transparency of the parks service.
Achievements include being ranked joint first in Parks for London’s compendium, demonstrating excellent levels of public satisfaction, awards for quality, regular events, health and well-being initiatives, sustainability projects, community involvement, skills development and strategic planning.
Meanwhile, as a result of the sustainability initiatives introduced, the partnership now sends zero waste to landfill, and any mixed waste is sent to SELCHP, an energy-from-waste incineration plant for south east London, to be recycled into heat and power for local homes.
The partnership secured 15 Green Flags in 2016 - this success has been retained for the past three-years – and in 2017 two green spaces achieved Green Flag Community Award status based on submissions by local parks friends groups.
Three hundred and seventy children from over 30 primary schools across the borough took part in Lewisham’s Primary School Football League in the past 18 months, while more than £20,000 was secured for community projects by Glendale’s specialist bid writer.
In 2016, £340,000 of footpath renovations were completed in five parks, and in 2017 £461,000 were completed in 12 parks. More than 800 events were booked in Lewisham’s parks in 2017 with the annual OnBlackheath Festival generating fifteen thousand pounds for improvements to the heath.
Glendale’s Twitter feed reached 56,000 people in the community and achieved 1,252 engagements.