Croydon Ducks - Beckenham Place Park - 2011

Latest update: 15th December 2011

External Links: Council Information  Park Map  Friends of Beckenham Place Park  Google Map

Beckenham Place Park is a 200 acre park including a public golf course, woodland, meadows, a pond and a river.   It is less than 
a mile north of Kelsey Park, but in the London Borough of Lewisham instead of Bromley.  The river Ravensbourne that leaves the
north of Kelsey Park flows up the western edge of Beckenham Place Park toward the Thames. There is a very active Friends of
Beckenham Place Park group that is trying to get Lewisham Council to improve the park, and which runs a visitor centre in the
Mansion near the car park on Sunday afternoons.  The is a Croydon Tramlink station at Beckenham Junction, just south of the
park, while Beckenham Hill and Ravensbourne rail stations are at opposite ends of the park.

There are entrances around the park, and a private road through the park to a car park, mainly for golfers. There is a railway line
 running through the middle and stations around it. The main vehicle entrance is from Beckenham Hill Road past a lodge at the
north west corner of the park, with the car park half way down the park next to various buildings. There is another car park in the
north east corner off Old Bromley Road, and road parking in Westgate Road at the south centre of the park, and Ravensbourne
Avenue at the south east corner next to Ravensbourne Rail Station and the river. The park is hilly, with the woodland the highest
point.

The park is split into three parts vertically, the east contains the golf course and a small pond, the centre is woodland with the railway
line separating it from open meadows and the river at the west.  There is only a single crossing over the railway line inside the park
near the northern end, otherwise you need to leave the park for roads at north or south to cross from east to west.

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The Mansion in the middle of Beckenham Place Park, next to the car park now the golf club house with a cafe and visitor centre.  
Currently surrounded by scaffolding for restoration work.

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View from the Mansion over the golf course, with woodlands on top of the hill in the distance and river beyond the hill.

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There are some formal gardens around the Stable Block or Homesteads, which were badly damaged by fire in Summer 2011. There are
tennis courts, a bowling green and playground.  All the summer planting has now gone.

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The pond in Beckenham Place Park is totally surrounded by a high fence, presumably to keep golf balls and golfers out.  There does not
appear to be any running water and it was solidly covered in duck weed.  But the fence probably keeps foxes out, so maybe there will be
ducklings next spring?

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Another view of the pond, the water is so far away from the fence, it's almost impossible to feed the ducks.

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But there are some Mallard ducks on the pond, hard to see under the tree canopy. 

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A shot from the other side of the pond, through the fence, can not get any closer.  The green duck weed on the water can be seen.

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Across the golf course, walking through the woodlands.  There are many paths, all looking very similar, and very few signs, and it's very
easy to get lost and walk in circles, as we did. 

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A better path through the woodlands, down towards Ravensbourne Rail Station

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Looking down from the hill with the woodlands to the railway line through the centre of the park, with the meadows beyond, and in the
distance another row of trees along the river.  It is a large park, with very long walks.

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The river Ravensbourne entering the park behind Ravensbourne  Avenue at the south east corner. 

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The river continuing through the park along side a narrow path.

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Looking from the river, across the meadows to the railway line, and then the woodlands on the top of the hill. . There is a cycle path
running along side the river for the length of the park. The golf course is on the other side of the hill.

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These photos were taken in November after a very dry autumn and the river level is very low, the dog could walk across it.  But it gets
deeper after heavy rain.

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The river continuing through the park.

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Finally, at the north end of the park the river reverts to a concrete channel.  And finally some Mallards can be seen just swimming
around the bend.  Hopefully there will be many more in the spring and maybe some nests and ducklings, although there is little protection
from foxes along the river, and no islands. t

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Closer shot of Mallards on the river.

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The river Ravensbourne leaving the north end of the park, towards the Thames.  This photo was taken from the only foot bridge over the river,
towards the car park off the Old Bromley Road. The bridge over the railway to the Woodlands is about 200 yards away.


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