I walk around Hither Green a lot. I have a dog (@dougiecockapoo on twitter if you are interested) and we stroll around a lot. I vary my walks a lot and to my mind there are three main open spaces.
A lovely space in the SE12 postcode (probably Lee but who cares). I walk through here nearly every day and I meet a lot of dog walkers. It has a dedicated dog walking area by the tennis courts which is ok but ends up like a sodden bog in winter. The big open space is out of bounds to dogs which is not a problem to me but the irony of it being covered in goose poo always makes me smile. As a dog walker I always feel comfortable here and have given and been given poo bags when they have run out for me or others. I like the way the park is heavily used by so many different groups and I see my son’s teachers walking through to Trinity and they always say hello.
I have started visiting this park much more since the bridge into Longhurst Road opened a couple of years ago. It is less than two minutes from my house. The park is not as popular as Manor House Gardens and unfortunately the little café hasn’t reopened this year. I see a different group of dog walkers here and a different group of people. I do wish the toilets were open more reliably as the park may get more footfall from families. I have had trouble with a terrier going for @dougiecockapoo but other than that no problems. The other thing that puts some people off is that there are often drinkers in the park in summer but they have never caused me any problems. I like this park as it feels more natural with access to the Quaggy for dogs and children. As one of my friends describes it this park is a little bit edgier than Manor House Gardens. There is abat walk and AGM for the friends of Manor Park on 23 October 2014 at 18.00.
I go here with @dougiecocakpoo quite regularly. I like this park as it is massive in comparison to the Manors and two circuits is enough for him. The park always feels like it needs some tender loving care and since the park keeper left (for whatever reason) it hasn’t felt quite the same. However the very active user group is pushing the council to get a new café and more facilities and I really hope they are successful. I like the bandstand and the views from the playground area are lovely. I normally walk around in the early morning or lunchtime and see a lot of dog walkers and people exercising. The lower part of the park is quite overgrown and wilder which is good but I know some people are a little bit wary of that area. For me I think it is excellent dog walking territory.
There aren’t that many other open spaces that I can class as Hither Green and I cannot include the cemetery. The other large open spaces are the piazza by the clock tower and the area by Staplehurst Road at the exit of the train station. I find the area around the piazza quite sterile but it is more of a European piazza than a park. The Staplehurst Road area will be greatly improved afterFUSS have planted a meadow by the train station.
Other open spaces nearby I can think of are Northbrook Park, Ladywell Fields, Blackheath and Greenwich Park but they are all well away from Hither Green.
My favourite out of the main three? Manor Park and I think it is for @dougiecockapoo as well. Why? Plenty of off lead space and not too manicured with a good mixture of people. Which is your favourite park or open space in Hither Green?