If you like scenic views, then Hilly Fields is well worth a visit.
It is 175ft above sea level and offers stunning views over London. However, the real story is how it came to be a public park. As the Brockley area became increasingly built up during the latter stages of the 19th Century, open spaces and farmland were being sold off rapidly. Hilly Fields was in line for development, but thanks to protests by local residents and a group of key individuals the park was left alone.
Octavia Hill, one of the three founders of the national trust was crucial in campaigning for the park's welfare. The story goes that on a visit to a Deptford tenant, she noticed a vase with some freshly picked flowers. After enquiring about their origin, she discovered they were picked from Hilly Fields. This prompted a visit the very same day and resulted in her being instrumental in raising money to save Hilly Fields from being developed. After a long struggle the park was purchased and formally opened to the public on the 16th May 1896.
The park is rich in flora and there are an abundance of trees including blackthorn and elder and other common plants fond of damp woods such as bramble, nettles, cleavers and stinking iris. You will find many common wild flowers too. Keep an eye out for butterflies on your travels, they seem particularly at home in this park. A nature reserve was established in 1992 to help preserve all forms of wildlife.
The park has plenty of facilities too, there's a cafe, bowling green, tennis courts, play area and toilets. The enclosed picnic area is an excellent spot for a visit during the warmer months. Visitors cannot fail to spot the twelve large granite stones that were erected in the park to mark the millennium.