Kennington Park, the largest in North Lambeth, plays a unique role in meeting local people’s needs for access to the natural environment and leisure facilities.
Originally a common, in 1848 Chartists held a mass rally there before delivering their charter of democratic reforms to Parliament. The common was subsequently enclosed and in 1854 Kennington Park opened to the public with an emphasis on quiet recreation.
Kennington Park also contains the Prince Consort Lodge. Built for the Great Exhibition of 1851 as a ‘model dwelling’, it now houses the charity ‘Trees for Cities’, and is the contact address for the Friends of Kennington Park.
The park’s Victorian areas are Grade II listed by English Heritage and the popular café is rare survival of Arts and Crafts ‘refreshment house’. There is also an ‘old English’ flower garden, and a ‘Green Link’ connecting the Victorian park to a newer extension.
Play in the park
A new open-access playground opened in July 2008. In partnership with Lambeth Council, The Friends of Kennington Park raised over £240,000 for a community–led project to improve the park’s play and nature focused facilities. With play equipment for the under 12s, it is in a natural setting with ample seating and picnic tables.
The park also features the Kennington Playproject, an Adventure Playground and One O’Clock Club, as well as the Charlie Chaplin Adventure Playground (for disabled children).
Adventure Playground/One O’Clock Club:Glen Billey 020 7735 7186.
Sport and Leisure
Sport is well represented with facilities for tennis, basketball, netball, skateboarding, a fitness trail, and all-weather floodlit ‘Astroturf’ for football and hockey. Kennington Community Cricket on the extension welcomes young people and local cricket clubs. A drop-in Tai Chi also takes place in the park every Thursday at 2pm.
Information and bookings for courts and pitches:
Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL)
tel: 0845 130 8998 (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm and Sat-Sun 9am-4pm).
Kennington United Cricket Club: Tony Moody – 020 7820 5720 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tai Chi: Michael Jacques email@example.com
Nature & Biodiversity
The next stage of the Friends’ “Play in the Park” project is developing a Nature Trail with community events and school workshops to highlight nature in the park and improve local children’s environmental awareness.
Dog walking in the park
Responsible dog walkers are welcomed, with two area specifically allocated for exercising dogs off the lead. There are also dog free areas like the children’s playground, sports facilities and formal gardens.
Friends of Kennington Park
Representing those who live around and use the park, the Friends contribute to the park’s management and development for present and future generations. We organise regular meetings, and activities, publish a newsletter ‘Parklife’, as well as booklets on different aspects of the park’s history and information leaflets for families and children.
Recent projects include:
Installing the Fitness Trail,
Commissioning a memorial to World War II civilians killed in a direct hit on an air raid shelter in the Park,
Developing a new children’s playground and wildlife area.
We are keen to encourage local involvement and support to improve the park. To join the mailing list and find out more, contact:
The Friends of Kennington Park, Prince Consort Lodge, Kennington Park, Kennington Park Place, London SE11 4AS (postal address only), or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking after Kennington Park
Lambeth Parks and Green Spaces manage Kennington Park. It is patrolled by Lambeth Park Rangers and the Oval Safer Neighbourhoods Team of the Lambeth Borough Police. They work in partnership with Lambeth Council and the Friends of Kennington Park to ensure the park is safe and welcoming.
Lambeth Parks Department can be contacted on 0207 926 9000 or email email@example.com.
Area Parks Manager: Lee Hills (tel. 020 7926 1000 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lambeth Park Rangers: Approach directly in the park, or telephone (020 7926 6200) or email email@example.com.
Police – Oval Safer Neighbourhoods Team: Telephone 020 8721 3592. (In emergencies dial 999).
Park opening times: The park opens by 7.30am each morning. It closes approximately 15 minutes before sunset. (Full details are provided on park notice boards)