Sunday Afternoon at the Park

This post is written by Suburban Dad.

Although this linky is called ‘Country Kids’ I’m hoping it’s ok to blog about last weekend’s suburban experience, as after all, we almost live in the country. Near our house is the rump of a park, nearly 10 hectares in area but only one-tenth of its original size. The park has lakes, ponds and canals that were laid out in the early 18th century and filled by diverting tributaries of the river Wandle. Nowadays, with much of the Wandle being diverted into local sewers, the canals are dry, and have been for many years – that is, until the wettest January for 250 years filled them up with fast running water, more than I can remember in my lifetime.

wandle 1

On Sunday afternoon it was beginning to get dark and only half our children wanted to go to the park, so we had the choice to fight it out with the rest of them, or take half the children to the park. I set off with Monkey and Tiddler, and parked up next to the new river running through the neighbourhood. They were interested. For about 500 yards, the six-feet-deep grassy depression they normally run up and down in was coursing with water. We walked up it, all the way to the Italianate grotto at the top of the canal, then headed over to climb up the climbing frame and get a good view of the unexpected waterscape.

wandle 2

Monkey went halfway down the slope of the former lake now used as an amphitheatre for local festivals, and the bed had filled up to a depth of ten feet. When we got home Monkey and Tiddler reported the exciting water find to Owl and Rabbit, and now they all want to go and see it. So, we are hoping the rain will abate and spare the country, but are also aware that, once dry, the local park may never look so beautiful to us again, even if we end up taking grandchildren there.

wandle 3


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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