BURGESS PARK is a public park situated in the London Borough of Southwark, in an area between Camberwell, Walworth and Peckham. At 46 hectares (113 acres), it is one of the largest parks in South London. Developed in a former area of housing and industry, it offers extensive areas of grassland, with a lake, hedges, trees and woodland. Edit
Address: Albany Road, London SE5 (Map; OS grid reference TQ331778). Nearest postcode: SE5 0RJ.
Unlike most London open spaces, Burgess Park was carved out of a highly built-up area. Virtually all the land occupied by the park was previously housing, industry and transport infrastructure. The idea for the park came out of the 1943 Abercrombie plan for open spaces in London, and the land has been gradually assembled and landscaped over the subsequent decades, first by the London County Council, then by the Greater London Authority and, since the mid-1980s, by the London Borough of Southwark. An important stage in the construction of the park was the closure of the Grand Surrey Canal in the early 1970s. Terminating at Addington Wharf on Walworth Road, the canal had served the Surrey Commercial Docks, and the area near Camberwell was full of 19th century streets, houses and industrial buildings, many of which had suffered heavy bomb damage during the 1939–45 war. A stretch of canal now incorporated into the park was the site of Camberwell Wharf. The park was named Burgess Park (after Camberwell’s first woman mayor) in 1973. Forty years later, the site is still being developed. It recently underwent a multimillion pound transformation and reopened in July 2012. In 2013, new hedges have been planted, using native species, to provide shelter for birds and insects. More hedges are to be planted in 2014.
The site includes grassland laid out as sports fields, rough grassland, scrub, hedges, a lake and small areas of woodland. Near the centre of the site, at Chumleigh Gardens are a group of “world gardens” created in 1992. They consist of Mediterranean, Oriental, Afro-Caribbean, Islamic and English gardens.
BIRDS The site has not been extensively watched by birders, but in a snapshot survey on May 29th 2009 Dave Clark found 33 common bird species (see Listings, below). Several other common species have subsequently been reported on this wiki. Birders have also recorded a number of more interesting species in recent years — most notably a female Ferruginous Duck in November 2010. Three Crossbill flew over in June 2009, a Red-crested Pochard turned up in February 2010 and a cock Pheasant was seen in March 2012. A 2nd-winter Mediterranean Gull overwintered in 2008–09, returning in 2009–10 and 2010–11 and reappearing briefly in November 2011. Egyptian Goose are seen regularly, and a pair bred in 2010. Passage migrants have included Skylark and Swallow.
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DIRECTIONS Motorists should head for the small car park on Albany Road (B214). If no spaces are available, try the residential roads to the south of the park. The nearest railway station is some 1.5km north-west of the park at Elephant & Castle, which can be reached by London Underground (Northern Line City Branch and Bakerloo Line) or by National Rail (Thameslink Sutton Loop). More than a dozen bus routes from Elephant & Castle serve Burgess Park: route 343 passes along Albany Road, routes 12, 35, 40, 45, 68 and 468 pass the Camberwell Road entrance, and routes 53, 63, 78,168, 172, 363 and 453 pass the Old Kent Road entrance (with the 63, 168 and 363 also going along Trafalgar Avenue). Between them, these routes also connect the park with much of south and central London.
ACCESS The park is open day and night. It has a number of access points, the main ones being on Albany Road, Camberwell Road and Old Kent Road. There is a small car park on Albany Road and a bike park in Chumleigh Gardens (off Albany Road). The car park has spaces for 25 cars and is free for up to four hours.
FACILITIES Toilets can be found at Chumleigh Gardens (Albany Road side of park), the tennis centre (Camberwell Road end of park) and the sports centre (next to the lake on Cobourg Road). A cafe is located in the centre of the park outside Chumleigh Gardens, and the park also has a number of picnic tables and two designated areas for barbecues. Food and drink can also be purchased nearby at pubs and convenience stores on Camberwell Road and Old Kent Road or at two large supermarkets on Old Kent Road.
A snapshot survey by Dave Clark on 29th May 2009 found the following 33 bird species: Greylag, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Swift, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Sing Thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Wren, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Jay, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch.
This page has been cobbled together from various internet sources by someone who has never visited the site but thinks that it deserves a page on this website because it keeps cropping up on the Latest News page. If you are familiar with the site, please correct, expand and/or update this information (and delete or amend this paragraph).