7 September 2009 - Girlguiding opens renovated maze in Crystal Palace Park
The historic maze at Crystal Palace Park has been
completely renovated and redesigned by Girlguiding to mark the
launch of the organisation's Centenary
celebrations. The project has been undertaken in partnership
with the London Borough of Bromley with support from the London
Development Agency, and the maze is open to the public.
There are important historical connections between the Girl
Guides and Crystal Palace Park, because it was at a Scouts' Rally
in the park on 5 September 1909 that a small group of
girls dared to attend and approach Lord Robert Baden-Powell,
requesting that he set up 'something for the girls'. Baden-Powell
founded the Girl Guides a few months later.
The renovated maze was opened by Chief Guide Liz Burnley in
front of 40 Brownies and Guides, and afterwards 6,000
more Girlguiding members arrived at the Park to enjoy an
afternoon of Centenary Launch celebration activities. All age
groups - Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section, as well as
their Leaders, had the opportunity to enjoy exploring the new maze
during the afternoon.
The maze opening was also attended by Bromley Head of Parks and
Open Spaces Patrick Phillips, and by representatives from the LDA,
project manager Jo Gibbons, and artists Leo Brook and Tiffany
Black. Earlier in the year the artists held workshops with local
Guide and Brownie groups as well as open sessions for members of
the local community to explore possible themes and features of the
maze, prior to a public consultation process.
The new maze is true to the layout of the original. With the
active involvement of the London Borough of Bromley there has been
an astounding transformation of the planting in the maze area where
the hornbeam bushes have been lowered and renewed and other native
British tree species introduced to give more body. The arc of
Lombardy poplars which formed a grand entrance to the maze has been
restored to its former splendour, with 24 new trees planted, while
encroaching rhododendron has been removed and grassy areas
New artworks have been introduced into the maze, transforming it
into a fun experience for all ages: an educational 'treasure hunt'
to be enjoyed by young and old. Ten granite monoliths have been
placed within the maze to be discovered, each one bearing an emblem
drawn from the world of nature and significant to the Guiding
movement, from snowdrops and daffodils to polar bears and
At the centre of the maze, a map depicting its layout is set on
the ground within a paved circle, and raised roundels reveal the
positions of the ten monoliths.
A new leaflet about the maze is available from the Park
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