26 February 2016
In South West London, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to Parks and “Breathing Spaces”. With areas like Wimbledon & Putney Commons, Richmond and Bushy Parks and the Thames Path on our doorsteps, it sometimes takes something special – like the Breathing London project – to take us out of our familiar areas to explore other parts of this great City. In fact I would go so far as to say that we often seem to go abroad more readily than crossing the City by train!
So it was with a sense of anticipation that I set out on Wednesday to join Havering Green Guru, Adrian, for a photo walk in his Borough, in particular in Bedford’s Park. And what a treat it was! Owned by the LB of Havering – and situated in Havering-atte-Bower – Bedford’s Park is managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust. The Visitor Centre, which is built on the site of a former mansion, commands views over much of East London. The Park offers landscaped parkland in the upper section, while the lower section is managed for wildlife. We walked on woodland paths and across fields from which, although it was a hazy day, we could see Canary Wharf in one direction and Ford’s wind turbines at Dagenham in the other. A fishing lake surrounded by bulrushes attracted one lone fisherman on the day we were there, but wildfowl and other walkers were enjoying the peace and tranquillity of this place – and a labrador was enjoying a swim!
After a “tea break” we decided to visit some contrasting areas and visited Raphael’s Park and Lodge Farm Park, situated between Romford and Gidea Park. These really are urban “Breathing Spaces”, very well looked after and providing facilities for all. The totem pole in Lodge Farm Park was a surprise!
Crossing the road to leave the Park, neither of these two formerley Bleeding – but now Breathing – Londoners could resist snapping this Lion, on the gate of a nearby house.
The London Borough of Havering is a very large Borough of which protected countryside makes up nearly half of it’s area (source: LB Havering website). Adrian will need some help snapping up all these wonderful public open spaces, so I hope you will come forward to join in some photowalks in this very diverse and interesting part of London.
If you’d like to get involved with Breathing London and/or would like to be put in touch with Adrian, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
We look forward to hearing from you.