This Croydon park was not always as pretty as it appears today, previous incarnations have seen the land used as a sewage farm and refuse dump. Unfortunately the concrete channels constructed to direct the passage of the sewage would flood very easily because of the heavy soil that covered most of the area. Elsewhere on the site the armed forces set up a training ground. During World War II the remains of the homes that were bombed in Croydon were dumped here, hence the hill behind the sports arena which now serves as a viewing platform. Sewage and war time scuffles aside, the area was mostly unused from the 60s onwards, until the park was created in 1988. Today the park is popular with cyclists thanks to the designated lanes that run through it. Additionally there is a children’s playground and visitor’s centre, and the park is one of the most popular sites for bird watching in south London – over 100 different species have been recorded here. The rich wildlife that inhabits the site has meant it is now a Local Nature Reserve, the lake alone is home to toads, frogs, dragonflies and damselflies.