St John’s Churchyard
St. John’s Churchyard is a few minutes’ walk away from Potters Fields Park across Tooley Street and is a quiet community park surrounded by housing. In 2017, the Trust took over its management from Southwark Council and started planning a major upgrade.
In 2019, restoration of the Grade II-listed railings along Fair Street was completed. In June 2020, the remaining works were finished, including an upgraded children’s play area, outdoor table tennis and boules facilities and new wildlife and wetlands beds.
St. John’s Churchyard offers a leafy retreat for its local community of residents, schools and businesses. Cherry and magnolia trees provide fragrant blooms in spring, while London planes and chestnuts provide ample dappled shade (perfect for picnics) in summer. New wildflower and wetlands beds have been planted with colourful wildlife-friendly species to attract a variety of nesting and foraging wildlife.
St. John’s Churchyard’s biodiversity is constantly changing. Since taking over the Park in 2017 the Trust has been planning a number of improvements to better support the existing biodiversity and encourage more species.
Works include the installation of two bug hotels and new wildlife-friendly planting.
St. John’s Churchyard has always served the changing needs of its community.
Originally a field for grazing horses (Horselydown), it was variously used as a fairground and a martial yard for local militia men, later becoming a burial ground. In more recent times, it has been an open green space for local people to enjoy.