What’s this weekend’s free festival on the doorstep? Why, the Big Green Picnic, of course. A decidedly family affair, it takes place on Saturday at Castlehaven Park, a burger’s lob from Camden Lock Market.
Until recently, the park, formerly known as Hawley Road Open Space, never really fulfilled its potential. Bombed back in the Second World War, the site lay derelict for decades. Travellers took it over in the 1980s before they and their caravans were moved on after a High Court Case. The Open Space then opened in the early ’90s, but only really started to take off in 2003 after winning a Lottery grant, allowing an extension to its present size over the site of a factory on Hawley Road.
and now, over a decade later, it’s finally a beautiful park you can picnic in. “For two years Castlehaven Community Association have been working with local residents and businesses to transform it into one the community can be proud of,” says Fields Beneath cafe owner and Big Green Picnic sponsor Gavin Fernback.
“It’s now got a wildlife area, seasonal raised planters, an orchard, a pond, bee hotels and a fully managed five-a-side pitch. So this Saturday, from 12-4pm, we want to see everyone down there with their blankets and hampers, their kids and their dogs – there’ll be lots to do but the main point is for everyone to enjoy the park together.”
Just don’t forget that picnic blanket.