Waterlow Park is enjoyed by many visitors, both local and from afar, who come for a wide range of reasons from dog walking, to sporting activities, walking and enjoying the views or perhaps to visit historic Lauderdale House and its cafe, or Lux; a major European centre for moving image artists.

Another reason groups of people may come to the park in summer is to have a barbecue, as it is one of the few public places in London where this is allowed. Waterlow Park was even given the ‘top slot’ in a Time Out ranking a year or so back for BBQs. The growing popularity of the park as a BBQ venue led to problems with groups of people scattered all over the park, so for a couple of years it was impossible to get away from the accompanying smoke and smells that BBQs generate.

To deal with what had become a problem the Waterlow Park Trust approved the zoning of BBQs in 2019, restricting them to two areas to the south of the middle pond and away from the main meadow, Lauderdale House and the tennis courts. This meant that during last summer it was in principal possible to visit and enjoy the park without having to dodge the smoke in the same way as before. There were some teething difficulties introducing the new regime, but by and large it seems to have worked as the weeks went by.

The Waterlow Park Trust have just set up a Working Party to look at issues surrounding BBQs and make recommendations for the 2020 season and now want to hear your feedback. Do you feel that the new zoned approach is working? What has been your experience in 2019 compared to previous years? Can you think how things might be further improved for park visitors? What if there were a fixed communal BBQ structure to reduce the number of people bringing their own? Any ideas and comments would be appreciated. Please give your feedback as soon as possible by visiting the contact page on the Waterlow Park Trust website.