Visitors will be able to enjoy wild swimming in a reinstated 18th-century lake, beautiful views of the mansion house and plenty of family activities when the park officially reopens on Saturday 20 July.
Led by Lewisham Council and supported by a £4.9million National Lottery grant, the park’s Georgian origins have been reimagined for a new generation of visitors.
Beckenham Place Park now has London’s first purpose-built wild swimming lake. Inspired by the original 18th-century design of the park, the lake is once again a focal point. Complete with a beach area it is now open for swimming, boating and other water-based activities.
Natural play areas, cycle tracks and walking routes have been created to enable people of all ages to enjoy as much of the park as possible.
The park is a key site for wildlife, boasting a range of diverse habitats. From ancient woodland to hay meadow, natural river to pond, it is a great place to get close to nature.
The new lake will provide a valuable open water habitat for bats, birds and other wildlife that call the park home. Meanwhile, a new wet woodland area provides an excellent habitat for amphibians and invertebrates. It will also host environmental education activities in the park.
The Grade II listed stable block and yard now houses an education centre and a café with a terrace overlooking the gardens. Other historic features have been returned to their former glory including the pleasure gardens, courtyard and the carriage drive to the mansion.
A Victorian cottage has been restored as a base for volunteering activities. Around it, a community garden has been grown where local volunteers will tend the produce and community partners can provide horticultural therapy. It will also host activities for schools, forest schools and pre-school groups.