As part of the large scale regeneration at Erith Park, The Dell green space has been redeveloped into a brand new eco park for everyone in Erith to enjoy. Local residents celebrated the completion of the park with a tea party in the sunshine!
The Dell green space has been a hidden treasure in Erith that local people have loved and enjoyed for many years. However, recently some people were using it as a dump to discard their household or commercial waste. Then local resident, Tracey Kember, came along and helped organise two clear up events with McDonald’s employees, other local residents and Orbit staff. They cleared fridges, cookers, bags of litter - and even removed tractor tyres! The result was a green space that everyone could once again enjoy.
Since that time, the regeneration of Erith Park has moved forward and local people told the regeneration team that green space was really important to them. When plans were drawn up for the new Erith Park, this was made a top priority and plans for an all new Dell were made in partnership with members from the Erith Park Core Group.
The new design enhances the space for local wildlife to flourish. Many of the original trees and shrubs have been retained and additional foliage has been added. The result is an improved green space for everyone. A family of hedgehogs has already moved in! Specially designed art benches and sculpture by artist Will Jordan have been added along with climbing structures for young people. Natural paths have also created to help people access and explore this outdoor oasis.
Residents are marking this era at Erith Park by placing a time capsule within the construction site. It contains the old and new plans of the scheme, photos of the development in process, old keys, a rent book with money and souvenirs, as well as a virtual time capsule on Orbit’s files to store the ‘Ballad of Larner Road’ poem and other documents to be opened by the residents of Erith Park in 50 years time.
Tracey Kember, resident and member of the Erith Park Core Group says; “I grew up playing at The Dell with my friends. We used to make camps and scrump for apples and blackberries that made great jam and pies. Last year along with other residents, Orbit staff and colleagues from the local McDonalds, we held two huge clear ups which revitalised the area in readiness to transform it into a wildlife haven for Erith residents to visit. I’m so pleased to see the new Dell finally completed. It’s beautiful!”
Francois Jensen, Community Engagement Officer, says; “Orbit is really proud how the partnership between residents, London Borough of Bexley, Wates Living Space and ourselves has brought back to life this neglected piece of land to be enjoyed by both local wildlife and residents.”
Everyone is invited to a Midsummer Magic event in the Dell on Saturday 21 June from 1 to 5pm to enjoy some special summer entertainment and to help us celebrate this fantastic new green space!