Idyllic wildlife garden and award-winning visitor centre in quiet residential street
Centre for Wildlife Gardening in Peckham, south London, is the perfect place to learn and relax in a welcoming outdoor environment. It is a favourite spot for local families, school children, gardeners and wildlife watchers; having grown beyond recognition since the Trust created it in the late 1980s from an old council depot.
The centre’s demonstration wildlife garden has a range of mini-habitats including four ponds, chalk bank, wildflower meadow, woodland copse, herb garden, stag beetle sanctuaries, insect hotels, and raised beds demonstrating permaculture.
The site has been a Green Flag Community Award winner for several years.
Species you can see at Centre for Wildlife Gardening
History of Centre for Wildlife Gardening
This small patch of land in Marsden Road that is now a pretty green wildlife haven was until the 1980s a depot for Southwark Council's road vehicles. The brownfield site, surrounded by Victorian terrace housing, had lain derelict for a number of years and was covered in rubble when London Wildlife Trust persuaded the council in 1989 to lease it to the Trust for use as a community tree nursery to supply stock for nature reserves. However, project leaders Jill Goddard and Dawn Eckhart developed the site into much more than that. It became an educational and communal resource, and with the addition of its stunning visitor centre in 1991, became a popular green oasis - remaining so today.
Facilities at Centre for Wildlife Gardening
A ramp leads from the garden to the visitor centre, which houses a classroom, accessible toilets, and information for visitors. Outside, there is a picnic area.
How to get to Centre for Wildlife Gardening
The entrance is on Marsden Road, through large wrought iron gates. East Dulwich Railway Station is a five-minute walk away, Peckham Rye Railway Station is a 15-minute walk away. Buses 40, 176, 185, 484 and P13 stop nearby.
Opening times for Centre for Wildlife Gardening
The site opens when staffed; usually Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 10.30am until 4.30pm.
Accessibility at Centre for Wildlife Gardening
There are paved pathways around the garden and a ramp to the visitor centre, which has accessible toilets. The site is flat with gentle slopes and occasional small steps. Seating is found throughout. Free street parking is available near the entrance.
Status of Centre for Wildlife Gardening
Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation
Get involved at Centre for Wildlife Gardening
- Volunteer with Centre for Wildlife Gardening's team
- Record species you've spotted at Centre for Wildlife Gardening
- Take part in Centre for Wildlife Gardening's events
- Book a school trip to Centre for Wildlife Gardening
Family learning at Centre for Wildlife Gardening
Without family support, a child's formal education is an uphill struggle. There is evidence that family learning can overcome difficulties associated with a disadvantaged background for both parents and children. The Trust is now working with Southwark Adult Learning Service as a delivery partner for family learning. The sessions offered are often a second chance for parents, carers and grandparents to return to learning, creating a host of fresh opportunities and to pursue learning together. Free taster sessions and short courses are offered throughout the year.