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                                                   Photo of crowd gathering at AMH for Footpath Walk            Photo of walkers on footpath during Footpath WalkPhoto of walkers on footpath during Footpath Walk (with umbrellas)                                                    

Despite poor weather, around 200 local residents went on a walk through the Atkinson Morley site organised  by LUNG on 17th November

Photo of walkers striding across field during Footpath Walk

Many walkers were surprised by the extent of the 17 acre site and discovered for the first time the woods, meadow, playing fields and disused tennis courts that will be sold when the hospital closes this year.  Nick Smith, the Chairman of LUNG told walkers about the ambition to create a public park on the site and described the wealth of plants, trees and wildlife. Photo of walkers and nature notes during Footpath WalkNotes were distributed – Nature Notes, based on material discussed with local conservator Tony Drakeford,  and History Notes, kindly provided by local historian Richard Milward.

Additional activities were provided for the 50 or so families and children who explored the wilderness that lies behind the hospital. They followed a marked Badger Trail that wound its way through the woods, into the derelict playing fields, passing through disused tennis courts, down a footpath and eventually into the Scout Hut. On the way, they collected nuts and leaves and badger hairs; identified trees, birds and butterflies; did some bark rubbing and discovered hidden fox dens and badger setts. Prizes were awarded to everyone. 

Photo of Scout Leader reading wall map after Footpath WalkThe walk ended at the Scouts' headquarters in Cottenham Park Road.  Walkers and families were warmly welcomed by the 19th Wimbledon Scout Group who provided refreshments and a venue for Landscape Architecture students from Kingston University  to set up a ‘Plan it for Real’ workshop

Scheme boards illustrated and described the history and previous uses of the site, and participants were invited to engage with the students on a one-to-one basis to represent their views on draft maps.

Photo of Maggie Box (dressed as a Womble) with husband

Our thanks to Sally for organising the nature trail, to the shops who carried our posters and especially to Maggie who walked around all afternoon in a Womble suit.