|Lavender Pond Nature Park||Southwark|
Lavender Pond Nature Park was created in 1981 by LB Southwark in conjunction with the Trust for Urban Ecology and Landuse Consultants Ltd. It was once in the northern part of the Surrey Commercial Docks established in 1864, which finally closed in 1969. Nearby are remnants of the earlier industrial use, the Lavender Lock built in 1863 to serve a timber pond that belonged to the Surrey Docks, and the Pump House, built by Port of London Authority in 1928/9 over the channel through to the Thames. It was used to regulate the water in Lavender Pond and was converted to educational use in 1982 and from 1997 it was the Rotherhithe Heritage Museum (now closed). The site was designated a local nature reserve in 2005, becoming one of the oldest urban nature reserves in the country.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/01/2018
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The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
Photo: Candy Blackham
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Lavender Pond Nature Reserve was once was in the northern part of the Surrey Commercial Docks created in 1864 when the various companies owning Rotherhithe's C19th commercial docks amalgamated. Surrey Docks came to cover over 185 hectares, and was particularly important for imported timber. The Docks were finally closed in 1969; Lavender Pond Nature Park was created in 1982 by the Trust for Urban Ecology, when the landscape was naturalised with funding from LB Southwark and the London Docklands Development Corporation to provide a small wild-life pond. The park also has a wet meadow and woodland planted with native trees; a small tree nursery was established in 1985.
Nearby are the remains of Lavender Lock, built in 1863 to serve a timber pond that belonged to the Surrey Docks. The Pump House, built by Port of London Authority in 1928/9 over the channel through to the Thames, was used to regulate the water in Lavender Pond, keeping the timber damp to prevent cracking, and the wharves near the building were used by the timber trade. The Pump House was converted in 1981/2 for educational use and run by an educational trust with an emphasis on environmental education. From 1997 the basement was used as Rotherhithe Heritage Museum, which exhibited archaeological finds from the area ranging from prehistoric tools to C20th dockers' implements, the collection reflecting the work of the dockyards, wharves and associated industries that were an important part of Rotherhithe’s economy. The grain trade was prominent in the wharf near Church Stairs along with mills and biscuit makers.
By 2018 the site has become rather neglected and the Pump House and its museum are closed while there are various plans for its future use pending. Lavender Pond has reed beds on two sides, and the outlet is the broken Lavender Lock gate, leading past the Pump House. In the locked woodland section there is now another pond surrounded by a boardwalk with a pier leading out to Lavender Dock.
Elizabeth Williamson & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England: London Docklands', Penguin 1998 p266, 270; John Archer, Bob Britton, Robert Burley, Tony Hare, Ian Yarham, 'Nature Conservation in Southwark' Ecology Handbook 12, London Ecology Unit, 1989