oasis in the heart of our city."
Dawson's Hill is a 6 acre north-facing hillside slope
(with a peak of 255 ") with areas of grassland,
scrub, and woodland.
Here you will find bats (on summer evenings), meadow
cranesbill flowers, ferns, wild garlic, bluebells, woodmice,
woodpeckers, and crickets to name but a few plants and
The site is protected, recognised, and designated as:
Metropolitan Open Land [MoL] (open land of importance
Borough Open Land [BOL] (of importance to Southwark);
and a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation [SINC]
Through the seasons
winter it is a favourite place for toboganning, in spring
you can find wild daffodils, wild garlic, Queen Anne's
lace, and bluebells in flower; on Summer evenings you
can hear crickets sing and watch bats fly over; and
by Autumn you can pick ripe blackberries, damsons, pears,
From the hilltop, you can see northwards across most
of London, and on a clear day, you can also watch southwards
over the Downs, towards parts of Surrey, Kent, and Sussex.
The hill is still regularly used for jogging, dog-walking,
by artists, as a playspace, to sit and relax, and to
watch the sunrise and set.
Thanks & respect:
Since starting-out, the Trust wishes to thank many people,
including the following (and many more):
Georgina Fisher, Constance Lamb, Irene Kimm, Jim Nightingale,
Goodrich Primary School, Dawson's Heights Tenants' and
Residents' Association, Dawn Eckhart, Mathew Frith,
Helen Firminger, Anna Dalton, Maureen Rankin, Nova Hogan,
Anna Dalton, Maureen Rankin, Brendan Connolly, Swadesh
Poorun, Jason Evers, Southwark Green Party, British
Trust for Conservation Volunteers, Andy Chatterton of
Southwark Council, Peter Meredith, Lizzie Meredith,
Nicky Fisher, Angie Fallon, Tom and Ben Donaldson, Harriet
Einsidel, Professor Martin Heath, David Geary, Steph
Lodge, Jim Lodge, Celia Cronin, David Kennedy, Cheiko
Allen, Nina Giebel, Liz Astall, Sarah Brady, and Bonnie
Royal for their help and support.
Dawson's Hill was the site of
an Iron-Age burial mound and a Roman Fort.
It has previously been known as Primrose Hill, Dulwich
Hill, and Ladlands.
In-between the First and Second World Wars, the hill
was the site of market gardens and orchards.
There is a path known as 'Donkey Alley' which leads
from onto the hill, and until the early 1990s horses
and donkeys were kept in a paddock on the hill. Local
riding schools and policehorses still exercise upon
The subsoil is heavy clay, and there was a brickworks
at the foot of the hill.
Dawson's Heights Estate (including Ladlands and Bredinghurst)
was completed in (c.)1972, by a renowned architect -
it was meant to be inspired by a great ship, or alternatively
an inca temple!
When the estate was built, for the first time in thousands
of years, the grassland was reseeded; however, since
the Trust's restoration in 1989 onwards, many of the
original wildflower seeds that lay dorman in the soil
for all those years have regenerated.
For a more indepth history, scroll down the
Primrose Primula vulgaris
Our logo - after 'Primrose Hill'