Just at the bottom of Parliament Hill by Hampstead Heath Station, there is a sliver of steep bank rolling down onto the railway line. Until ten years ago, was an all purpose dump. Bottles, cans, needles, old prams, abandoned supermarket trollies, broken umbrellas, plastic bags – the lot.
At that point a local estate agent, Jonathan Bergman, whose offices are just across the street from the station, decided that enough was enough. He recruited some local volunteer enthusiasts and together, they set about creating a World Peace Garden. A grand ambition for such a tiny piece of land.
I wrote about it on this blog in 2014 when the rubbish had finally been cleared (it took a couple of years), the overdose of sycamores had been felled, the first planting was going in…
and the first ponds had been dug.
Now, six years later, the garden is a riot of roses and jasmine – so much so that it is almost impossible to see into it – as, of course, it is closed by COVID right now.
You can just see the station platform through the lush growth…
…while roses and lilies are bursting thought the railings by the road side.
In normal times the garden is open every day between 10am and 5pm to passers by seeking a quiet five minutes, to schools (the kids love exploring up and down the tiny shady paths) and to other visitor groups. If you are in the area, stop, look, explore – and be impressed.
My daily blog now has an Instagram account! WalksonHampsteadHeath – the idea being to widen the circle of people who might enjoy a daily ramble across the heath. Please follow us and pass on the news!!
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