A Pavement Park for Perry Vale



Hi Everyone

I’m writing to share some early ideas to green the Perry Vale pavement along the side of the railway line.

The proposal is to install large juice barrel planters, which has been done very successfully throughout Waterloo. You can see some of the planters there at this link: http://www.gomoodboard.com/boards/vCiiJd44/share

The images associated with the post are ‘artists impressions’ but give you a sense of the vision we have for the site.

If successful the planters could be the first step in a larger scheme in which the planters could be installed throughout the town center.

If you’re interested in helping to refine the concept and implement the project please do get in touch.

I’m delighted to share that as a first step in the process the Forest Hill Society have agreed to support a funding proposal to the Perry Vale Ward Assembly.


They do look nice but they also look like they obscure the pavement a fair bit. Is that just down to artistic license?


Love it


There is no way Lewisham Council would allow this to obstruct the pavement. I believe the photo montage is just to give a taste of what it might look like.

It is a very wide pavement in places (particularly near the phone box). It would be much easier to walk down than sections of London Road (with a badly positioned bus stop).


Thank you for making this reality, is looking great :+1:


The original design scheme for that area did have planters or trees (fading memory - I know) present.

They did not materialise and this omission passed without comment or explanation.

With a little careful thought as to layout, this idea could be brought to fruition without the creation of blockages.


That’s why I really like it because it doesn’t cause any blockages and plenty of space on the wide pavement to pass, the original design looked like it might take up to much space but it turned out just right


It just has been. Planters with trees now in situ.


Saw that and commended the team who did the work in a post on Saturday - with pix.

Am I wrong - I believe @Joe is proposing further works in the same location ?


Looking at his original post I don’t get that impression. He mentions expanding the scheme to other parts of FH. The mockups in the OP are crude first thoughts and never a final plan. I think the current approach is sensible: adding more planting gradually (for whatever reason, and I’m assuming some of it is about funds) allows the scheme to develop sympathetically and for those responsible for maintenance to gauge the level of effort needed.


Error on my part I read @Joe’s post as if it was posted today - did not spot that it was @Insight’s post that brought it back to the top of my list.

Fundamental too - I should have checked the date.

Apologies for the bit of time wasting.


There is still space for more planting if the community supported it. At present the three groups of planters have loads of space and there is still room to park a car on the pavement without blocking it completely (I know because I stopped there to unload 600 litres of compost from the back of my car).

I think we could easily double the number of tubs without causing any obstruction. But I also know that, if these barrels work in Perry Vale, then there are other locations in the town centre where they could appear. Personally I would put them between WHSmith and William Hill preventing skip lorries and post office vans taking over the pavement and footpath (but that is not realistic at present).

Total cost of the nine barrels with plants is likely to be over £1,000. This has been paid partly from Forest Hill Society funds and with a couple of grants to make up a good chunk of the cost.


Thanks to everyone on here, on Facebook and in person for the positive feedback on the planters that were installed on Saturday. I’m pleased that they’ve been welcomed with so much enthusiasm.

A huge thank you to the Forest Hill Society, which as Michael states funded them and whose members led the installation. We were also assisted by the 11th Forest Hill scout troop, who did a brilliant job filling the barrels with soil and plants.

Lots of people have already told me that they think Perry Vale could do with some more of these planters. So we’re going to look into the possibilities for funding them, including possibly asking for donations.

The FHS environment committee are also working up a campaign to get people to nominate other parts of Forest Hill that could do with a face lift. This could include the installation of planters like this but wouldn’t be limited to this.

Early suggestions on here welcome!


I love the new planters, and I’m lucky to be living opposite some. I love that people take time to contribute these wonderful things to our communal spaces. I just wish everyone respected these efforts. I think we missed a trick with the plant selection…

…I was just woken up by two drunk boorish blokes screaming with laughter as they dropped their trousers behind the planters and each posed for photos with their paltry offerings on show. They rounded off by peeing on the plants (then they spotted me and stood screaming abuse beneath my window for 15 minutes, demanding I tell them my flat number. How dare I be woken up by their howls of hilarity!)

So in hindsight, maybe some extra-prickly cacti might be a good addition to the foliage next time. For the benefit of the pr*cks.


Hi @Joe! From myself (Ben) and Alex here in store thank you for all your hard work over the long period of organising and implementing the pavement park and of course lets not forget @Michael, the Forest Hill Society and the 11th FH Scout Troop too who got stuck in and brought locals like @armadillo on board too. The walk home is certainly a more eye catching and pleasant stroll though it may only be a short one and I can’t wait to see how the plants and trees will develop over time.

As many have said and something I can see you’re aware of, the length of Perry Vale could do with a bit of extra green and I’m not talking about more coloured bins though they could do with a bit of work, but anything that can be done to break up the pavement here with lush trees, flowers and potted plants.

It’s been suggested before in talks on the forum about pedestrianising the street and from that a market/ fair similar to Dartmouth Road that only took place a couple of months ago now could help with funding plus a great way to drum (purple plant potter pun intended) together the necessary funding and support.

Ben - Clapton Craft Forest Hill


Sorry to hear that. If anybody wants to help with the watering please empty water bottles rather than taking the piss.

The other problem is that some of the plants have been removed - either to take home or to throw at people/bins. Sadly these things happen but if anybody spots a gap in the planting feel free to donate any plants you no longer want in your garden (not knotweed). There is nothing more fun than secret acts of anti-vandalism :sunflower:


How often would the plants need watering @Michael - once a week, once or twice every two? Certainly if this weather keeps up then more than usual right? I’m always in the area with time to spare before opening up the store so I’d be happy to do my part for the :seedling: and Perry Vale.


Thanks for the positive feedback in response to the planters @Fran_Payne . I’m very sorry about your horrible encounter though.


Hi @ClaptonCraft, Ben and Alex. Thanks for the positive feedback.

Agree on the need for more and wider improvements to and around Perry Vale.

There are limits to where street trees can be planted, but we’ve identified a stretch of Perry Vale where that would be possible. There’s no Council funding for street trees but if the community can raise £250 per tree the Council will purchase mature trees and plant them out to the required specifications. So if there was interest we could pursue street trees.

The planters on Perry Vale are a bit of a test but given the positive reaction we’ve received, we’re interested in identifying other places throughout the town centre where they could be installed.

We’re also exploring launching a campaign to crowd source from the local community ideas for other street based improvements. These could be more planting, rehabilitating neglected parks, public art, cycle parking, pedestrianization etc.

There’s lots of inspiration in Small Chamge Big Impact which was published by the Mayor and TFL and is available at: http://content.tfl.gov.uk/small-change-big-impact.pdf

Love the idea of a Perry Vale market.

Will drop by the shop to talk to you about all this.

Thanks again.


Hi @weetman.benjamin. We’ve done everything we can to reduce the demand for water including using water retainers in the barrels and choosing plants that don’t require lots of it. Our good friends at the @AllInnOne are committed to watering them and have already generously been doing so. If you pass and think they could do with a drink, especially during very hot weather, please feel free to help. Or message me on here and I’ll marshal someone.