Russia Dock Woodland
A wooded park, created by the infilling of one of the area’s former docks, and a neighbouring ecological park, the two meeting at the central point of Stave Hill, a man made conical mound standing 30 feet tall, topped by a viewing platform that offers excellent views over the surrounding parkland and across large portions of the estate. The platform also has a brass sculpture of the what the docks area looked like before the infilling and the creation of the parkland, although oddly, the sculpture features Stave Hill itself. Local residents can’t seem to agree on when the hill was made – some say the 90s, some the 80s, and some say that the fact that it appears on the sculpture is proof it’s been here a lot longer than that – but it is clearly a man made hill.
The park supports a wide variety of wildlife – a wide variety of waterbirds, foxes, bats, hedgehogs and even a pair of tawny owls that range from here out across Southwark Park and the nearby area.
The King’s Stairs
While this parkland is technically a post-war extension of the nearby Southwark Park, it retains it’s own character, partly because it is a riverside space, and partly because it’s enclosed by buildings, including the nearby Angel pub, run by Yvette Cooper. In the summer, the patrons use the area like an oversize beer garden, and the pub has to employ extra staff to collect glasses over the area.
The community have taken to using the area as a focal point for events. The lamplight parades for The Horn Fair and The Lantern Parade finish here, and there’s usually a bonfire and few fireworks at both, while the Angel and a few local food vendors do a roaring trade.