Six diverse parks will form a pilot study for the borough

The six parks that form the basis of the study. Image: Tyréns

Tyréns has been appointed as landscape architect and masterplanner by Croydon Council to develop strategic plans for six parks in the borough.

The council wants masterplans to guide the renovation of selected key parks as part of a pilot study. Each chosen park is representative of a particular urban, recreational or ecological context, ranging from historic Victorian parks to country parks that are important for nature conservation and natural grasslands.

The study will form the basis for a pilot to inform the renovation, maintenance and activity planning of Croydon’s wider parks network into valued assets that are enjoyed by local communities, encourage healthier lifestyles, host community and other events, preserve and improve the borough’s ecology, and provide spaces for all.

The six parks selected by the council for the study are: Ashburton Park; Park Hill Recreation Ground; Lloyd Park; South Norwood Lake; Norbury Park; Happy Valley.

Tyréns UK will lead the project supported by London firms Fourth Street and Shape. Ideas in development include an enhanced cultural offer, sports and wellness trails, improved recreational facilities, opportunities for local businesses, and support for active community management and maintenance of parks.

Croydon has 127 parks and open spaces covering more than 1,000 hectares and ranging from formal parks and gardens, to urban countryside sites and woodlands, ponds and meadows.


  1. As long as they don’t slip into that classic middle class habit of telling others what they should do in public spaces, public parks are about the local community and adoption by said community will lead to a space that works for their needs not the egos of the designers. Think; Gun Powder Park….alienated the locals, all about visitors of a certain type , nothing for parents with push chairs etc. A post modern storey that forgot about people.
    A good example is Burgess Park, South London. As Holly Whyte the great urban designer noted in his study of popular plazas in New York, its about people, sitting, watching, meeting, eating and being near water…
    And yes I am in the trade/profession.

  2. Already involved (as a local resident and member of a local open space Friends group) in the study for Happy Valley–a unique and precious area of chalk downland landscape and SSSI situated within the London boundary –I welcome this Croydon Council initiative, and hope that it results in better use of this wonderful resource by ALL age groups and income groups. Particularly to inform and inspire young people to visit and enjoy the site, and even help loom after it.

    I also hope that the consultation , among the understandable desire to celebrate the natural richness, is not going to forget that a huge number of visitors come here for the landscape, a “reason for visiting” sometimes –bizarrely– omitted from park user questionnaires I have completed in recent months.

    I also hope that Tyrens don’t end up recommending new facilities to chase the “Capital funding buck” but which turn out to be money losers and a drain on revenue. Any of us who have been involved in local authorities know the allure of capital funded projects to members and officers, especially if someone other that the council is doing the funding, but the sad reality of constantly reducing local authority “Revenue” money for staffing and maintenance of land, play equipment and buildings can only too soon make some types of project, like visitor centres, a white elephant, if income generated is less than expenditure

    It would be a tragedy to get new facilities that prove within a few years to be unaffordable to maintain and run, , or which divert scarce revenue resources from existing necessities to dubious “desirables”, which might be justified by over-optimistic forecasts as to income likely to be generated .
    Let’s hope that Croydon audits each proposal to ensure that it is really wanted by the public, will complement or improve landscape quality, and be economically sustainable now, next year. in 5 years and 25 .

    Lewis White CMLI


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