David Bellamy came to Archbishop's Park this week to plant a rose bush to mark the launch of the Octavia Foundation, a new organisation devoted to preserving the memory of Octavia Hill.
Octavia Hill (1838-1912) was a leading Victorian social reformer whose diverse legacy included laying the foundations of social housing in this country and the world, co-founding the National Trust, developing the Army Cadet movement, establishing occupational therapy as a profession and support for the movement to create parks and green spaces in towns and cities. The Octavia Foundation will build on the ideas of Octavia Hill to support disadvantaged communities in London.
Left to right: Margaret Wolfit, president of the Octavia Hill Society, Sarah O'Connell, chair of the Friends of Archbishop's Park, Shaun Kiddell, Lambeth's head of parks, Cllr Clare Whelan and Professor David Bellamy
After the planting ceremony in the park, guests walked to Lambeth Palace for the launch of the foundation, which was attended by the Duke of Gloucester.
Archbishops Park is a 10 acre park laid out in 1900 following a long campaign by the Metropolitan Parks and Gardens Association. The owners of the park, the Church Commissioners, have recently granted a new 40 year lease to Lambeth Council to ensure that a new generation can benefit from access to green space and play and sports facilities.
Cllr Clare Whelan, Lambeth's executive member for environment, says: "The kind gift of Octavia Hill roses provides a good opportunity for us in Lambeth to look back and appreciate the legacy left to us by Octavia Hill and her contemporaries. And also to look forward to ensure we pass on a similar inheritance. Lambeth Council is committed to working with the community to improve Lambeth's many green spaces."
David Bellamy with the Cleanaway contractors who maintain Archbishop's Park