Secret Eltham wetlands

Because neither of us get enough exercise nor spend enough proper time with each other, Michele and I decided to get off the bus early on the way to my parents’ house today; sounds pathetic I know. We alighted in Kidbrooke and, in a desperate attempt to get away from main roads, decided to walk through Sutcliffe Park. Now, in my youth, this was a very dull, flat, park that was only ever really used by local football teams on a Sunday or the occasional funfair. However, a few years ago it was redeveloped and from the road it just looks like they dug a few ditches and left it.
Today we discovered that the redevelopment was a lot more impressive; now Sutcliffe park is a beautiful oasis with the backdrop of urban shite known as “The Ferrier Estate”.
What the council has done is create a wetland environment complete with bridges, a lake, and reedy marshland; it looked just like a mini wetlands centre. We wandered through the idyllic pastures towards the edge of the lake where a few families with young children were feeding the ducks, geese and moorhens. It was beautiful!

One noticeable difference, beyond the landscaping, was the people. When I was a kid they would have been white, battered-faced, fishwife women with tearaway kids shouting “fuck” all the time. Now they were excited but well behaved kids, with fishwife mums all wearing hijabs. Everyone else there was Polish. I love it.

As it was late in the day we had to leave soon after, but on the way out of the park, right where the Quaggy enters, we saw a Heron! A Heron in Sutcliffe Park!
There was also some loony bloke spouting incoherent, growling, claptrap into a video camera with a passionate by slightly mad voice. Look out for him on future Al Quaeda martyrdom videos.


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