Plans unveiled for major plant-themed community space in Waltham Forest

Plans unveiled for major plant-themed community space in Waltham Forest
Plans unveiled for major plant-themed community space in Waltham Forest

Campaigners at East London Waterworks Park have announced new plans for a ‘learning petal’ as part of ongoing efforts to transform the former Thames Water car park into a community centre. It is an update on previous proposals which suggested the site could be turned into an open water swimming area.

The ‘learning petal’ would be a 230 square metre walled garden and a teaching space for children, and it is the latest proposal from the ELWP, a charity hoping to breathe new life into the marshland of the Lower Lea Valley.

Previous plans included converting the area into a wild swimming spot with a meadow, café and art studios to breathe new life into the semi-rural setting (or as rural as London gets). And let’s face it, who would say no to an alternative to a swim in Hackney Marshes just down the road?

Photo: Periscope

Sound too good to be true? Well, nothing is set in stone yet. The charity is currently battling plans from the Department for Education, which wants to earmark government land for a secure children’s unit. The government claims it is the only suitable location in Greater London for a project of this size.

The ‘learning petal’, which offers a more educational purpose to the East London Waterworks Park, strengthens the charity’s cause. As part of the announcement, the charity outlined classes that would be taught in the space, including gardening skills, planting, propagation and harvesting.

Photo: ELWP

The prospect of a swim along the east London meadow has captured the hearts of those keen to avoid the queues at Hampstead Heath’s famous ponds. Earlier in May, a campaign to save the country from the government’s plan attracted 10,000 signatures.

Waltham Forest Council will meet later this month to discuss the outcome of the petition. Fingers crossed that next summer we’ll be cooling off in a beautiful East London meadow, with the obligatory iced latte in hand.

More information about the plans for East London Waterworks Park can be found on the official website here.

Have you seen Londoners being asked to count all the pollinating insects in the city?

Plus: Canary Wharf’s open water swimming area has officially reopened.

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