Wormwood Scrubs Gets Makeover Ahead of Spring

Paths improved, accessibility increased and playground upgraded

Students from Old Oak Primary School cut the ribbon at Braybrook Street playground
Students from Old Oak Primary School cut the ribbon at Braybrook Street playground

April 18, 2023

Wormwood Scrubs has benefited from a series of improvements ahead of the Spring.

Nearly £200,000 has been spent recently on refurbishing rundown paths, improving accessibility and the installation of new play and exercise equipment.

These improvements have been made with the help of Wormwood Scrubs Charitable Trust and the Friends of Wormwood Scrubs who worked with the council.

The Scrubs’ three main entrances, along Old Oak Common Lane, Braybrook Street and Scrubs Lane, have also been redesigned and rebuilt to improve accessibility.

The original wood-chip walkways became muddy, boggy, and slippery when wet – inaccessible to wheelchairs and buggies.

They have been replaced with new durable and eco-friendly self-binding gravel footpaths, often used by organisations such as the National Trust. The new walkways help with drainage and are easy to maintain, keeping paths clear all year round.

Old Oak Common Lane’s walkway leads to a picnic area, complete with new accessible picnic benches.

Braybrook Street’s path takes you directly to the Scrubs’ outdoor gym and play area, where more accessible picnic tables have been added.

Scrubs Lane’s walkway brings you to the corner of the playing fields and a newly installed park bench.

The improvements also include an extension of the Braybrook Street playground, in the south-west of the Scrubs, by adding new equipment.

The playground design was co-produced with Old Oak Primary School pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6, who officially opened the park with a ribbon-cutting last month.

The children decided on a zip wire, trampoline, activity trail, climbing net, monkey bars, slide and climbing frame, as well as an accessible basket swing.

The money has come from grant funding obtained by Hammersmith & Fulham Council including £69,173 from HS2’s Community and Environment Fund. The walkway and community area works were funded with £110,000 from the OPDC Good Growth Fund.

Old Oak Primary School pupils stand on the new climbing frameOld Oak Primary School pupils stand on the new climbing frame

To support the Scrubs’ high biodiversity new foliage is going to be planted around the paths. The greenery will have native wildflowers and a high mix of grasses, including wild garlic and marsh marigold. Bulbs such as bluebells and snowdrops, will also be planted in the autumn, ready for a bright display next spring. Some of the planting is being carried out by volunteers working with H&F.

“Wormwood Scrubs is one of our borough’s greatest gems and our largest outdoor space,” said Cllr Alex Sanderson, H&F Cabinet Member for Children and Education, and Chair of the Wormwood Scrubs Charitable Trust.

“Everyone should be able to visit and enjoy it and, thanks to the new paths and accessible equipment, anyone who wants to can now escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy an hour or two in this area of incredible natural beauty.”

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