Ruskin Park: lesser known south London park

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by editor, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Me and Eme had a picnic there on Monday and it was lovely. The place is stuffed full of wild life too (and I don't mean scurrying crackheads and stab frenzy yoots either).

    Check out the photo feature here:

    Anyone else use the park?
  2. boohoo

    boohoo No.

    It's a nice little park - it use to have an albino squirrel!!
  3. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I saw some strange sorta red sorta grey squirrels. Are they some kind of mutant breed?
  4. Maggot

    Maggot The Cake of Liberty

    I used to live right by that park. Have had some great times there.

    Have they fixed the bandstand yet?

    The weird squirrels are actually squirrel/rat hybrids called Rattels.
  5. Shippou-Sensei

    Shippou-Sensei 4:1:2.5

    went to school by it.... twas nice... long time ago now
  6. Slow Hands

    Slow Hands Friend of Shalimar Wimble

    It could just be a cross-breed of red and grey squirrels, or a red squirrel that's hair was turning grey through stress or a grey squirrel that had suffered some kind of unlikely Pepe Le Peu-esque accident with red paint or lipstick?
    tim likes this.
  7. editor

    editor hiraethified

  8. Maggot

    Maggot The Cake of Liberty

    Ooops! I posted before reading your report.

    Hopefully I can redeem myself by pointing out that the Corkscrew Willow is the tree on the right of your photo of the pond. And those trees were associated with witchcraft in medieval times.
    mango5 likes this.
  9. guinnessdrinker

    guinnessdrinker political refugee R.I.P.

    It's definitely not a bad park to ramble along on a sunny day.
  10. ChrisSouth

    ChrisSouth Well-Known Member

    It's lovely. I live right by it. Us locals like to keep it lesser known, so we don't talk about it.
  11. netbob

    netbob Well-Known Member

  12. shakespearegirl

    shakespearegirl just worked out taglines

    I think it calls for a summer picnic..

    Its a really nice hidden gem of a park and the squirrels are so tame they will eat out of your hand.

    No crack squirrels in Ruskin Park, thats gentrification
  13. colacubes

    colacubes Well-Known Member

    *gets clarinet out* ;)
  14. dogmatique

    dogmatique merde alors

    Used to live there around the same time as Maggot. The albino squirrels are of local legend; they've been there for over 30 years by all accounts, and are known to those involved in natural science in the capital...

    My science is crap - patently by the following sentence, but it was explained to me that there is a regressive gene in the local squirrel community in Ruskin Park, which throws up albino offspring with much more regularity than in other squirrel populations, resulting in occasional birth of albino offspring in the whole community, rather than just a single family - and a continual presence of albino squirrels over a number of years due to inbreeding.

    There's plenty of argument to say that if these squirrels didn't live in a public park, there is little chance that the albino strain would have survived. - Other greys regularly attack the mutants in Ruskin Park - the poor chaps always looked more beat up than the rest, but due to human intervention in the food chain - regular feeding - they've survived.

    You can extrapolate any kind of information from that about squirrel migration, territory and longevity of communities, which has made the fluffy rats of Ruskin Park squirrels of such note.

    And without tabloid crack allegations!
    Maggot likes this.
  15. han

    han brixton hill hobbit

    Ruskin Park is luvverly isn't it! A hidden gem. :)

    Wow - albino squirrels....I must keep a look out next time.
  16. Choc

    Choc Well-Known Member


    i will head there myself very soon.

    i have to admit i think i was never inside whilst passing the park numerous amounts of time :0

    great report too!
  17. London_Calling

    London_Calling Pleasant and unpatronising

    oh I see, off to the right going up the hill after Kings. Had no idea.

    Other entrances other than on Denmark Hill, anyone ?

    Nice, thorough article, btw.
  18. ChrisSouth

    ChrisSouth Well-Known Member

    Re the pictures. The 'chimney' is all that remains of a sundial that was in the garden of a house on Denmark Hill. It commemorates Mendelssohn's visit to the area when he wrote, as has been pointed out, 'Spring Song'.

    And if you read Vera Brittain's 'Testament of Youth', Ruskin Park is frequently mentioned.

    The revitalised bandstand is now used quite often. The Salvation Army have been doing outdoor concerts.

    In terms of entrances, no, just the one, and it's very, very tiny and won't accommodate that many people. So don't all rush.
  19. corporate whore

    corporate whore oh, thought you were dead

    My local park, it's lovely. The squirrels are unnaturally friendly, they'll come right up to you to take food or just have a sniff of your shoes.. :)
  20. Structaural

    Structaural in Chatsubo

    Used to be my local park, spent many teenage hours there with my dog. Is the library still there on Herne Hill Road?

    Great park - really well looked after, haven't been there for years - nice to see the bandstand all jazzed up... I've still got a bunch of photos of squirrels jumping from tree to tree that I took in about 1985.
  21. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Cheers for the update - I'll add it to my piece.

    Re: this squirrel stuff. I thought it was all a wind up at first, but if someone would like to pen a definitive paragraph about the strange case of the albino squirrels, I'll add it to the piece.
  22. Structaural

    Structaural in Chatsubo

    There's about 6 entrances no?
  23. editor

    editor hiraethified

    There's at least four I know of, but maybe he meant entrances to the bandstand?
  24. Structaural

    Structaural in Chatsubo

    I think he was attempting to dissuade anyone from invading his local lovely park ;)
  25. Jenerys

    Jenerys Stormborn

    Ssssshhhhh and darnnit ed, that parks one of my secret places. And somewhere I run around quite often of an early evening.

    Will actually be there tomorrow for one of my taper runs :)
  26. Maggot

    Maggot The Cake of Liberty

    There's 2 on Denmark Hill, One on Northwood Road, One on Herne Hill Rd and at least one on Ferndene road.

    From the top of the park you get a good view of the London Skyline, London Eye, Big Ben etc.
  27. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    Both the inscription on the sundial about Mendelssohn, and the plaque to Captain Wilson on the shelter had already disappeared by 1979 when Marie Draper wrote her book on Lambeth's Open Spaces. Are the Friends planning to get them restored?

    [QUOTE='Myatt's Fields, Denmark Hill and Herne Hill: Denmark Hill and Herne Hill', Survey of London: volume 26: Lambeth: Southern area (1956), pp. 146-54.]
    Link to Survey of London pages
    “In the house of which this shelter is a remainder lived 1799–1814 Captain James Wilson, who was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne 1760 and after an adventurous life at sea during which he was present at the Battles of Lexington and Bunker‘s Hill and was confined nearly two years in the Black Hole at Seringapatam, served the London Missionary Society 1796–98 as Honorary Commander of the ‘Duff’, the first British Missionary Ship of modern times”.[/QUOTE]


    Unfortunately, when I was at Seringapatnam last year, I didn't get to see the so called "black hole" of Hyder Ali's prison (or any of the rest of the ruins of the fort) as my Mysore taxi driver was too anxious to get me to some brother-in- law's textile shop. :mad: But having been paddled about in a small boat in the rivers in those parts and encountered the (now much depleted in numbers) alligators close up, I think he showed some pluck.

    Edited to add: found another Victorian source that says he didn't know about the alligators - even so I think they ought to put back a plaque to Captain Wilson, even if they feel a need to play down the missionary angle.
  28. Skim

    Skim has retired

    Ruskin Park's my garden. And the paddling pool opens soon... yeah! :cool:
  29. Skim

    Skim has retired

    What about a Ruskin Park picnic sometime? There's a really nice spot up in the northeast corner by the fake Roman ruin thingy.
  30. Biddlybee

    Biddlybee making knots with sticks

    Tis my local park. cycle through it every day... I'd be up for a picnic sometime soon :)

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