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Pepys Estate parks and open spaces

During 2010/11, Lewisham Council spent almost £3 million on improvements to six public parks in and around the Pepys estate of North Deptford.

A consultation in 2006 suggested that Pepys residents wanted the money (which had been ring-fenced from the sale of Aragon Tower several years earlier) spent in this way.

Some of the key design decisions made following initial consultation with local residents were:

  • to increase the amount and variety of lighting in the area, including floodlit illumination of a new games court
  • to remove certain railings to make the area feel more welcoming and ‘open plan’
  • to plant more flowers and small shrubs
  • to create different play environments for various age groups
  • to provide a safe and practical space for young people to gather, and a formal football field in Lower Pepys Park.

Additionally, new seating, lighting and pathways were all introduced, while access to the existing nature conservation area was improved.

Alongside landscaping work in Aragon Gardens, which has provided better vantage points over the river, a new sculpture has been commissioned which will be visible – including at night – to highlight  Deptford’s river frontage. The sculpture’s design has been inspired by The Golden Hind, the ship in which  Sir Francis Drake sailed around the world before finally mooring at Deptford. It will be constructed from Gleam timber and galvanised steel, with durable canvas ‘sails’. Local residents helped select the sails’ colours.

Planning permission has been granted for the sculpture, which should be in place by the end of the year.

A spring fair was held in the area in March 2011 to encourage local residents to start exploring their new environment.

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