People sitting on the ground among the trees at Crabtree Fields public open space Fitzrovia.
Camden Council is seeking to build consensus on a redesign of Crabtree Fields. Photo: Fitzrovia News.

Camden Council parks department is holding a community workshop this month to explore “ideas and priorities for improvements” to Crabtree Fields public open space.

Since Camden parks department closed the children’s playground at Crabtree Fields in October 2021 it has been considering a wholesale refurbishment of the site. In the summer this year it held meetings with residents before announcing it would appoint landscape architects to redesign the park.

Public opinion differs greatly on how the park should look. Many favour improving greenery, biodiversity and wildflowers; some want a more formal garden neatly laid out; while a significant number of local residents desire a less shady and more sparsely planted total redesign of the park in the belief that it would stem the abuse and nuisance from some park users.

Almost everyone wants the council to spend more money to increase maintenance and rubbish removal from the park, and have more frequent warden and police patrols — something the council is reluctant to do because it says it doesn’t have the money.

But it has found the money to redesign the park.

Many people now fear it could end up looking like Whitfield Gardens and Alfred Place Gardens, which have very little in the way of greenery.

Crabtree Fields is a nesting site for a variety of small birds, and bats can be seen flying overhead after sunset. Its greenery and habitat addresses climate change and the biodiversity crisis.

In response to the initial views Camden has carried out further discussions with visitors to Crabtree Fields through an online survey and face-to-face events in the park.

“These interactions have highlighted the community‚Äôs key priorities for Crabtree Fields,” says Camden.

“We are now keen to further understand these priorities, and work towards building consensus across the community, to help improve Crabtree Fields.”

Crabtree Fields – Community Workshop Invitation. 6.30-8.30pm Wednesday 15 November 2023, at Fitzrovia Community Centre, 2 Foley Street, London W1W 6DL. This workshop will have limited space and participants are required to register in advance. For an invitation email: amy@something-collective.com