In March 2010 the Friends of Chislehurst and Walden Recreation Grounds, supported by Bromley Council, was formally set up.  A group of local volunteers, they were keen to improve facilities and maintenance of the park which was looking rather neglected and tired in places. The first activity of the Friends was to help the scouts to secure planning permission for the build of their headquarters in the corner of Chislehurst Recreation Ground at that time occupied by a very tired playground, tucked a little out of sight and unwelcoming.  To secure this, the Friends worked with Bromley Council and with the Chislehurst Society (who made a substantial donation) to design and build a new children's playground in the area previously mostly left as uncut grass.  On 30th May 2011 the playground was formally opened by the May Queen of Chislehurst.  

The Friends subsequently raised grant funding and donations to install a circular tree seat around a mature oak in the middle of the playground, and to add to the range of play facilities by including more equipment suitable for younger children.

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During January 2011, a new looped path with a bridge access was created in a corner of Chislehurst Rec.

24th September 2011 - FOCRG hosted the first ever Chislehurst Rocks, a free music festival and family fun day in Chislehurst Rec as part of the Chislehurst Festival organised by The Chislehurst Society. The event has gone on to be an annual event, now held in Walden Recreation Grounds.

On 9 April 2012, having secured grant funding, FOCRG added a popular fitness trail to the playground, kindly funded by Community Spaces.

2013 saw the first of drainage works to Chislehurst Rec.  In the process, a significant number of bottles manufactured by the long since closed Chislehurst Mineral Water Company of Park Road were uncovered. 

In July 2013, Will Lee created a much loved masterpiece in Whytes Wood.  Taking his chainsaw to an oak close to the Red Hill School boundary that had been felled following a lightning strike many years before, he transformed the enormous trunk over 1 1/2 days into the Boating Bears.  

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After a few delays, 2014 saw the completion of the build of the scout hq with a grand opening in July.

In 2016:

  • February - Will Lee returned to the Rec to create a fairy castle and bear, owl and other tree carvings in the main playground.
  • Significant works were undertaken to further improve the drainage of Chislehurst Recreation Ground following a very wet Winter and Spring that had left the ground often under water or boggy.
  • In September 2016, the Friends had a launch party for a new wheelchair accessible roundabout in the playground attended by students from Marjorie McClure School, Chislehurst. This all-ability roundabout was kindly funded by the People's Postcode lottery, Chislehurst Playing Fields Association and the Chislehurst Society.
  • The Friends submitted an application to Bromley Council for both recreation grounds and woodlands to be designated Local Green Space and were pleased to see this designation confirmed in the draft Local Plan published at the end of 2016.

Sources consulted:

  • Chislehurst Lawn Tennis Club
  • FC Elmstead
  • plus FOCRG's own records.