Yes, Brockwell Park is bigger and offers perhaps more scenic variety, but Ruskin Park is closer. Those of us who live in this quarter of Herne Hill are doubly blessed.
But Ruskin Park has one (so far) unique detail. The massive fallen branch of the Turkey Oak which looms at the bottom corner of the park near Finsen Road has been granted a new life by the Friends of Ruskin Park, who engaged the artist Morganico to work on it, producing a wealth of carved three-dimensional designs – a whale, squirrel, acorns, oak leaves and even a seat and a recess for your coffee cup (though of course we are not supposed to sit down anywhere in public parks at the moment). Children love it, everyone stops to admire it.
You can read a full article about this project, which also features the artist, in the next issue of Herne Hill magazine hopefully out next month. Covid permitting, those joining the Herne Hill Society now (a mere £10) will be sure of getting a copy delivered to them.
Meanwhile the Brockwell Park urban forest are not far behind.
They too have a great and ancient oak tree, albeit of a different species, which has also lost a significant branch. There are now plans to make that branch, too, come alive with carvings by the same artist – all subject to a host of necessary permissions and approvals of course. Undoubtedly some money is needed.
When complete, this new carved bench will be dedicated to all those we have lost during the pandemic & work towards improving mental health for the local community and all visitors to the park.
There is now a funding campaign to help this project along, which can be seen at GoFundMe.