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Unused land transformed into greenspace for residents in Barking

A new park in Barking will provide much needed green space for local residents. 

London’s deputy mayor Shirley Rodrigues joined members from the walking and cycling charity Sustrans to open the park last week (June 24).

The park is located in Barking town centre and provides residents with new walking and cycling space and more green space.

Local residents have been central to the design process, Sustrans undertook extensive consultation and ran collaborative design workshops with residents. The walking and cycling charity also worked with Living Streets to undertake audits with Barking and Dagenham Disability Acess Group and walking audits with residents, school children and their families.

The following changes were popular among residents:

  • Removal of spiked metal fencing
  • Introduction a smooth tarmac path to make it easier to walk, wheel and cycle
  • Addition of new oak benches
  • Building natural play features for children to play on the way
  • Lighting for personal safety which is sensitive to local wildlife
  • New artwork commissions
  • Planting hundreds of new trees and bulbs.

people playing soccer on green grass field during daytime

This project has been made possible thanks to £440,000 from the Mayor of London’s Capital Green Grant and £350,000 provided by Barking and Dagenham regeneration experts Be First.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: ‘The pandemic has highlighted the importance of access to green space for the health and wellbeing of Londoners.

‘As Mayor, I am focused on creating more green spaces, delivering a green recovery and tackling the climate emergency. The Ripple Greenway project in Barking is a great example of what a well-designed, good quality greenspace can do for local communities, which is why I was delighted to support it with funding from my Green Capital grants. I will continue to work with boroughs and other landowners to ensure all Londoners have access to quality green spaces.”

London Sustrans director James Austin added: ‘The pandemic has shone a light on inequality in many communities. Access to good quality public green space near home is not always available to people in more deprived areas. We know that access to green space is important for both the physical and mental health of all Londoners.

‘There are lots of underused and neglected green spaces. And as our track record shows, we are ideally placed to deliver more projects like the Ripple Greenway.’

Photo by Ignacio Brosa

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