Top green award for Brockwell Park

View of the Shard from Brockwell Park during this year's Lambeth Country Show
View of the Shard from Brockwell Park during this year’s Lambeth Country Show

Brockwell Park has been awarded Lambeth’s first-ever Green Heritage award in the annual Keep Britain Tidy Green Flag awards.

The awards, which have been running for more than 20 years, signify that a green space “has the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities”.

Fourteen of the borough’s parks and open spaces now have a Green Flag award, two more than last year.

They include Brockwell Park, Myatt’s Fields Park, Streatham Rookery and West Norwood Cemetery.

There were a Green Flag community award for Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses and Brixton’s Windmill gardens.

Brockwell Park’s Green Heritage award recognises the park’s importance in terms of its history and landscape.

Cllr Winifred in Brockwell Park
Cllr Winifred in Brockwell Park

Sonia Winifred, Lambeth council cabinet member for equalities and culture, said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear that we now have 14 Green Flag awards, the highest ever number we’ve had, as well as three Green Flag Community awards.

She said Brockwell Park’s Green Heritage award was testimony to its importance as “a priceless heritage asset” and that the borough’s growing collection of awards was “a public celebration of the dedication and hard work put in by residents and staff towards maintaining its green spaces”.

The awards come at a time of concern from politicians and park users over Lambeth council’s events policy which envisages greater use of its open spaces to make money from events.

At last night’s (19 July) council meeting Conservative councillor Louise Nathanson asked Cllr Winifred why the Winterville Festival would be allowed to take over a large area of Clapham Common (which is not on the Green Flag list) at the end of the year, despite the objections of residents.

In her report to the annual meeting of Brockwell Park Community Partners in May this year, chair Ann Kingsbury said that large events in the park “continue to vex us”.

She said that after the Found festival in 2015, the park management team – made up of local groups and council officers – agreed proposals to deal with the worst aspects of the event, litter, crowd control, vehicle management and drug dealing.

Last year EventLambeth had agreed that these proposals would apply to all large gated events in the park. “But,” she went on, “when the Sunfall festival took place last year, just before the country show, these conditions were not applied. We have not had a satisfactory explanation for this.”

Friends of Brockwell Park, commenting on Lambeth council’s events policy, said that its planned eight major “commercial event days” per park “appears to have been chosen only to meet financial targets”.

The Friends said that the “build-up and break-down” time for an event could be as much as seven days – meaning a park could have limited access for up to 56 days during three summer months.

There has also been criticism of the use of the park for other commercial events like organised runs.

The staff and volunteers who take care of Brockwell Park also have to deal with repeated cases of vandalism, the most recent of which was damage inside Brockwell Lido.

Brockwell Community Greenhouses have also been targeted and park shelters damaged.


Full list of Lambeth’s award-winning sites for 2017:

Green Flag award: Archbishop’s Park; Brockwell Park; Eardley Road Sidings Nature Reserve; Hillside Gardens Park; Kennington Park; Milkwood Community Park; Myatt’s Fields Park; Palace Road Nature Garden; Ruskin Park; St. John’s Churchyard; St. Paul’s Churchyard; Streatham Rookery; Vauxhall Park; and West Norwood Cemetery.

Green Flag Community award: Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses; Eden at St. Paul’s Churchyard; and Windmill Gardens.

Green Heritage award: Brockwell Park.


The awards scheme is run by the environment charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Winners must apply each year to renew Green Flag status.

The charity says a Green Flag community award recognises quality sites managed by voluntary and community groups and that Green Heritage site accreditation is judged on the treatment of the site’s historic features and the standard of conservation.


  1. “Beautifully maintained”. Really? Did the judges see the state of the toilets by the Mansion House? Or the frequent lack of water in the water play area? Or the failure to cut the grass last year? Or the constant litter problem arising from major events / heavy park use at weekends?

    • Some valid points are raised in the comments above. Brockwell Park is a beautiful park in the middle of this busy part of South London. We are lucky to have it on our doorstep all down to the quick thinking and actions of local politicians in the late 1800’s and the first decade of the 1900’s. It could so easily have been built upon as part of Herne Hill and Tulse Hill housebuilding scheme at the time. But here it is for all to enjoy. The park workers do work hard to keep the park up to scratch, emptying the bins daily, tending to the gardens and flower beds, picking up litter. As already stated that are aspects which still need attention but that has to come from the Councillors and the Council. The bins are far to small for the amount of rubbish left behind, not only after a weekend event but just a simple hot, sunny weekend. It is the crows that pick the rubbish out and scatter it over the ground. It is park users who pile it up around the bins as there is simply no space. The contractors who deal with the water fountain in the play area seem to have been there more often this year than previous years, hopefully the amount of days with working fountains will outway the days that they are not operational. The toilet facilities certainly do need a good scrub and disinfection, the smell is there even when just walking past, especially the ones by the clock. They are boarded off at present, hopefully for an overhaul. The old clock tower has recently been renovated, again there are some weeks that this is simply not working. The grass is cut regularly, however some parts are left to go fallow. This is a good thing as it encourages native wild flowers and grasses to flourish. It also helps other wildlife such as insects, bees and birds. Those that manage Brockwell Park also leave old tree stumps and trunks in place. Again this helps beetles and certain fungi to flourish. The lakes are a delight especially with the family of swans who have been there since March. Again some parts need arrrention as the waterfall part under the bridge that does not always work and the water collected can become stagnant and smell. The walled garden is great in the summer and the greenhouse and gardens are well worth a visit. The park does sometimes suffer with all these large events and large vehicles but at least this year they are more spread out and give the space time to recover. One year there were three large events all one after the other. Thank goodness that crazy idea of a large theatre being built in the park has gone onto the back burner. Brockwell Park is maintained well, with just a few little extras plus fixing broken fountains and waterfalls, some bleach in the loos, all fairly inexpensive- it would be even more beautifully maintained.

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