Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 – Green Lewisham

The view of London from One Tree Hill in Lewisham

The view over the City of London from One Tree Hill in Lewisham

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 10 – 16 May, and this year the theme is Nature.

Nature is central to our wellbeing. Whether it’s growing plants, exercising outdoors or being around animals, spending time in green space or bringing nature into our everyday lives can benefit both our mental and physical health.

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re giving you the lowdown on some wonderful walks and green spaces to visit in the three boroughs BLG Mind operates in: Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich.

Green Lewisham

It may be an inner London borough, but green space still accounts for 675 acres, or more than seven per cent, of the inner London borough of Lewisham.

Lewisham’s parks and green spaces range from the flagship Beckenham Place Park – one of the capital’s largest council owned parks, with its extensive grounds, ball court, football pitches, tennis court, sensory garden and lake – to numerous allotments tucked away between local streets. 

Walks in Lewisham

Lewisham Three Peaks Walk

The Lewisham Three Peaks Walk is a circular, 8.04km (5 mile) walk, mainly through parkland, which offers breathtaking views across London from three hills in Lewisham: Hilly Fields, Blythe Hill Fields and One Tree Hill.

Highlights include a stone circle on Hilly Fields Park, which was erected for the Millennium celebrations in 2000 and where rumour has it naked revellers gather during the summer solstice; panoramic views over Canary Wharf, the City, Kent and Surrey; and the iconic oak tree which gives its name to Honor Oak Park area, and which Elizabeth I apparently once picnicked under, on the summit of One Tree Hill.

Get the route

You can download the Three Peaks Walk route for free in a variety of formats from Plot a Route.

The walk can also be downloaded from Go Jauntly, the free community-based walking and nature connection app. Go Jauntly also offers a guide to its five favourite Brockley and Lewisham walks.

For more tips on what to look out for on the Three Peaks walk, check out the website of Lewisham-based journalist and editor Chris Wheal.

Other Lewisham walks

Lewisham Council has a number of downloadable linear walks, all of which end up on the historic and windswept reaches of Blackheath.  These self-guided walks offer a wealth of fascinating and curious local history, for example: did you know Deptford was once famous for growing asparagus?

Lewisham Council WalksRoutes include:

For dozens more free-to-download walks around Lewisham, as well as Bromley and Greenwich, check out the London Footprints website, where you’ll find the Deptford Riverside walk; the Green Deptford walk, and a circular walk around New Cross among many more.

Accessible walks

As Lewisham’s green spaces are mainly urban parks with concreted paths, smooth terrain and, in many cases, step-free access, it’s a great place for people with accessibility issues to enjoy the great outdoors.

AccessAble, which offers free guides to accessible public places, recommends a number of the borough’s parks, including:

Lewisham green spaces

For an A-Z list of all the parks and green spaces in Lewisham, including locations and facilities, head to the Parks section of the Lewisham Council website.

If you’re interested in getting hands-on in Lewisham’s great outdoors, you can view volunteering opportunities at natureconservationlewisham.co.uk.

BLG Mind & partners mental health services in Lewisham

Younger and older man in garden

Lewisham Peer Support

Our Lewisham Peer Support service offers weekly Walk & Talks with trained leaders. The walks are adapted to meet the needs of individuals, allowing people to enjoy the local environment at their own pace. Lewisham Peer Support courses are for local residents referred by a GP or other professional, or self-referred.

Find out more.

Sydenham Garden

BLG Mind partner Sydenham Garden is a unique wellbeing centre utilising its gardens, nature reserve and activity rooms to help people in their recovery from mental and physical ill-health. Part of Lewisham Community Wellbeing, the centre aims to improve wellbeing through therapeutic horticultural activity and training. Based between Forest Hill and Sydenham in SE23, Sydenham Garden offers two beautiful garden sites a short walk from each other.

Find out more.

Enter our Nature Photography Celebration

A foxDo you have a photograph you’ve taken of a favourite view in Lewisham? Perhaps you have a shot of local flora and fauna you’d like to share? Or maybe you’ve got a great snap of something a bit closer to home, such as your favourite houseplant or pet.

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, we’d love you to see your photographs of the natural world. Email them to communications@blgmind.org.uk or, if you prefer to post your images on social media, tag us at @blgmind and/or use the hashtag #BLGMindWMHD to help us locate them. We’ll feature as many of your photographs as possible in our Mental Health Awareness Week Nature Photography Celebration.

Go the extra mile for BLG Mind

If you’re planning to get out and about in nature during Mental Health Awareness Week or beyond, please consider fundraising at the same time for us.

No matter where you walk, you could raise awareness for local people affected by mental health problems or dementia.

You could:

  • Walk some or all of our 13km (8 mile) BLG Mind Three Boroughs Walk, which encompasses the three boroughs we serve: Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich.

OR

OR

  • Pick your own walk, anywhere you like.

Any donation you can give, large or small, will help us carry on giving vital support to those who desperately need it.

Change a life today. Donate now online, by post, text or bank transfer.