Take on the BLG Mind Three Boroughs Walk to Support Mental Health
When: Mental Health Awareness Week, 10 – 16 May 2021.
How: this is not an organised walk; it can be completed in your own time and pace, and you can walk whenever you want with whoever you want. The main aim is to get out and about during Mental Health Awareness Week and raise awareness and, hopefully, funds for local people experiencing mental health problems.
Fundraising pledge: No donation is too small, but raise over £100 and we’ll send you a BLG Mind T-shirt.
The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is Nature. Why not get out and about in the great outdoors and support not just your own mental wellbeing but others’ too by walking to raise awareness and funds for mental health issues.
Although Covid means we can’t all walk together in person, we can walk together in spirit to raise awareness for everyone affected by mental health issues, and raise funds to help BLG Mind make sure no one in our community has to face mental health problems alone.
Whether you want to walk for your own mental health, in memory of a loved one or because you want to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable local people, join us to walk in support of mental health.
The BLG Mind Three Boroughs Walk
Specially devised for Mental Health Awareness Week, highlights of this 21km (13 mile) circular walk through the green spaces and streets of Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich include fields of donkeys in urban Eltham and the idyllic Hawkwood Estate.
A. Jubilee Country Park
This 62-acre park consisting of meadows and semi-ancient woodland set among the suburbs of Bickley and Petts Wood in Bromley is a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. Look out for the large population of the wonderfully named, relatively rare native corky-fruited water-dropwort.
B. Chislehurst and West Kent cricket ground
Cricket has been played on Chislehurst Common for 193 seasons consecutively, except during the Second World War when the outfield was used by the army. The first game played there was a Grand Match between Kent and Marylebone Cricket Club and took place in July 1822 in front of more than 5,000 people (Kent won by 149 runs). The illustrious cricketer W.G. Grace regularly took part in fixtures at the club during the late 19th century.
C. Prickend Pond
Prickend Pond in Chislehurst is not a natural pond but was instead created by historical gravel extraction. The pond is a central feature of the landscape of Chislehurst town centre, and a wonderful place to sit and relax while taking in the flora and fauna, which may include Egyptian geese, herons, cormorants, carp and rudd.
D. Elmstead Wood
Elmstead Wood in Bromley was first recorded in 1320 as Elmsted, ‘the place where elm trees grow’, and became Elmystediswood in 1392. Sadly, there are no longer any elms left; the wood now consists mainly of oak, beech and sweet chestnut trees, including one oak tree thought to be over 200 years old. Elmstead Pit, opposite Elmstead Woods railway station, is a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest where important fossils from the Eocene epoch 50 million years ago have been found. Sadly, it’s not open to the public.
E. The River Quaggy
Often simply called Quaggy, this 17-kilometres (11 mile) river runs through Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham. At its source, near Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) in Locksbottom, it is known as the Kyd Brook. The Quaggy joins the River Ravensbourne near Lewisham railway station. Once culverted for long stretches, various action groups, led by the Quaggy Waterways Action Group, are currently working hard to restore it to its former glory above ground.
F. Vista: panoramic views of the City of London.
G. Eltham Palace
Eltham Palace began life as a medieval palace, before, in Tudor times, becoming the childhood home of Henry VIII. In 1933 it was leased from the Crown Estate by millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, who turned it into a luxurious Art Deco mansion. They also modified and improved the 19-acres of grounds, which include a medieval bridge across the moat, the oldest bridge still in use in London. Visitors to the grounds will also come across a field of donkeys, once used to give rides to children on nearby Blackheath. The gardens are currently open daily, and the house opens on 17 May. Pre-booking is required – visit English Heritage website to book.
H. British Summer Time memorial
William Willett was a prominent Edwardian builder who lived in Chislehurst. A keen supporter of outdoor activities, he noticed that during the summer people were still sleeping when the sun had risen. Willett began to think about changing the nation’s clocks, and published his idea in a pamphlet called ‘A Waste of Daylight’. Although Willett died before his ideas were adopted, it was his pamphlet that paved the way for British Summer Time.
Additional fascinating fact: William Willett is the great-great grandfather of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.