Ladywell Fields, originally Ladywell Recreation Ground is a public park in the London Borough of Lewisham created from three historic fields. The park, which consists of three adjoining fields, extends to 22 hectares (54 acres) and follows the course of the River Ravensbourne.
The River Ravensbourne is the major natural feature of the park's three fields, but previous work to reduce flooding had affected its aesthetic, recreational and environmental value. The park underwent enhancements in 2007/8 to the northern Field to divert the river into main area of the field creating a wonderful natural space where river dipping and paddling is popular in the Summer months.
Then in 2010/11, a major £2m project was funded by the London Development Agency and won ‘best new public space’ in the London Planning Awards 2011. Renovation, which was undertaken by BDP and East Architecture, included redesigned footpaths, river viewing platforms, an orchard and meadows. The river channel was modified to create a more naturalistic setting incorporating backwaters, wetlands and riverside tree planting – all designed to create more sustainable drainage and reduce flooding. This restoration also gave the park a new entrance, adventure playground and tennis courts.
The restoration of the Mayes Brook in Mayesbrook Park, in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, has created an ecological and community focal point within a broader environmental regeneration project. It was designed to produce the UK’s first climate change adaptation public park. The restoration of an urban river within a barren park landscape is also a good example of an approach that combines flood storage, biodiversity enhancement and adaptation to climate change within a city environment.