26 Oct

Open spaces bring nature into the city

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Open spaces bring nature into the city

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London is famed for the quality of its green spaces, with 18% of the capital’s area given over to around 3,000 parks. As part of the capital’s first new town centre in 50 years, we are committed to extending that tradition here. The 12 acres of new open spaces we are creating within the development – in addition to the dozens of acres in the surrounding area – will boost biodiversity and give local people and visitors places to relax, play and connect with the natural world.

New Park and pavilion to bring nature closer to people

Image: Illustrative overview of the new park

Earlier this month we received unanimous planning approval from Southwark Council to create a new 3.5-acre park and pavilion next to the Printworks building. The park will include five character areas: a meadow, a dry garden planted with drought-resistant plants, an open lawn, a woodland area and a shaded area. These areas have been designed with input from local ecology groups to support wildlife in the area and create new habitats.

It will connect into 130+ acres of parks and woodlands nearby through a network of green pedestrian routes and public spaces running throughout the development. Through collaboration with the local community, we have sought to pay tribute to Canada Water’s industrial past by incorporating phrases from the old dock into benches and street furniture. Notably, we’ll look to reuse trusses from the Printworks building in the play area’s structures.

Restoring a nature-rich wetland at Canada Dock 

IMAGE: Illustrative view of the restored dock with boardwalk

Work continues to revitalise Canada Dock, where we are working with the London Wildlife Trust to boost biodiversity and provide a haven for local wildlife. Reed beds and a wet woodland will be established to provides nesting sites for birds and recreate a nature-rich environment with three distinct wetland habitats and over 1km of shallow edges.

People will be able to get up close to nature via a new 170m boardwalk, set at a height that won’t disturb the wildlife, and steps down to the dock’s southern edge. The works are scheduled to complete in summer 2024. Read more about the upcoming timings and plans for the dock here:

Urban birding finds wildlife all around us

IMAGE: Kwesia talks to London Wildlife Trust’s David Mooney

One person who knows how where to find nature in the urban environment is podcaster Kwesia, a.k.a City Girl in Nature. The various open spaces in Canada Water are teeming with wildlife if you know where to look, and Kwesia is the host of Get Birding, a podcast hosted at Canada Water.

Season 3 of the Get Birding podcast is available to hear now on all streaming platforms, with guests including novelist Jonathan Franzen, 6 Music DJ Nemone Metaxas and actor Alison Steadman, who shares how we can pick up fashion tips from the birds. Read more here.

The Paper Garden offers a chance to get your hands dirty

IMAGE: View of the Paper Garden in Canada Water

As well as the podcast, Kwesia works every week with the Paper Garden, a green community space run by environmental education charity Global Generation in partnership with British Land.  The space, which hosts workshops on gardening, storytelling, cooking and more, is open to the public on the first and third Saturday of each month. It offers an escape into within nature within the city, plus a chance to learn about sustainability while connecting with the community.

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