Heathfield is located within the grounds of Heathfield Mansion House was built in late 18th century by Viscount Goshen . After several owners Mr. Riesco bought the estate in 1927 and set about landscaping the ornamental gardens and trees . He travelled extensively with his work but always brought back an exotic plant or tree for his wife. Hence the fine and unusual selection of different flora and fauna including rhododendron, azaleas and redwood trees.
You can enjoy all these varieties of flora and fauna in the extensive walks available around the gardens. There is also a more traditional walled rose garden to enjoy with a path flanked by trellised wooden arches.
Mr Riesco drew up a local covenant with Croydon council so that upon his death in 1963 the council took ownership of the land on the condition that it remained open for the public to enjoy.
The Croydon ecology centre is situated within the grounds of Heathfield House. The centre is located through the courtyard entrance of the orchard gate via the walled garden. Spot Newts and frogs in our ponds, rare fruit trees, sheep , and bee hives. Open to the public twice a month on the first and third sunday from 10.30AM until 5PM or dusk in the winter .Enjoy the shaded walks that are suitable for wheelchairs and push chairs
• Meet our friendly sheep Sam and Ben loved by children and useful eco-lawnmowers!
• Picnic benches in the orchards – relax and have fun with all the family
• Conservation volunteers are always welcome to help tend and develop the Centre.
• Follow us on Twitter @heathfieldec
• For further information on all activities please contact the Ecology warden Lorraine Chatfield 07919 652 723
Coombe wood and gardens is an ornamental park and it retained its Gold Award in small garden park category in London in Bloom competition.
The gardens are quite spectacular and are immediately visible when you entered the park. The vibrant floral displays are regularly changed as Croydon council nurseries are located along the same lane . This means in the depths of winter there are still vibrant displays that would; normally only be associated with the summer. The resident gardener Terence Meredith has been voted gardener of the year 2013 by the London in bloom team, which tells you everything you need to know about the quality of the gardens.
Also at the entrance is a pond containing a number of large goldfish and other varieties with a small waterfall at the back. The path around the back of the pond goes through the rockery and small bridges go over the stream. With the pond on your left you can enjoy more flowers on the right. If you walk through the arch of manicured hedges there are a number of rose beds with seating nearby . At the end is the Summer house enjoyed by young children.
Toward the rear of the garden are a number of wooded paths that are worth exploring. They seem to be graduated so the furthest paths are quite steep and unless you are used to walking should be approached with caution, particularly if wet.
After your adventures you can retire to the excellent Coach and Horses café, that not only stock ice creams and teas but also cook three course meals if you arrive early in the day or book in advance.. Be warned it is very popular even on a dull day .