The Inner City Turns Green; Urban Jungle: Bow Creek Ecology Park, Left, Is One of 11 Public Open Spaces in London to Win a Green Flag Award. It Was Once an Industrial Site. Also Honoured Was Trinity Square Gardens, Top Right, and Weavers Fields

Article excerpt

Byline: ELIZABETH HOPKIRK

A PARK created on industrial wasteland in inner London is today named as one of the best in Britain.

Bow Creek Ecology Park is sited on a tight bend on the River Lea near Canning Town, with a Docklands Light Railway line running through the centre.

The site has been transformed into a wildlife haven and educational garden with reedbeds, ponds and meadows filled with butterflies, dragonflies and kingfishers.

Today it was awarded a Green Flag along with 150 other public open spaces in the capital recognising it as one of the best in the country.

The number of London winners has risen 34 per cent this year, representing about a fifth of the 743 awards handed out nationwide.

The list, drawn up by the Civic Trust, includes neighbourhood greens, nature reserves and cemeteries as well as the royal parks and Epping Forest.

One winner was Chestnuts Park in Tottenham, which has had a [pounds sterling]500,000 makeover and now includes a wildflower meadow, relaid paths and a refurbished playground.

Among new entries on the list are Barra Hall Park in Hayes, which was a magnet for vandals and yobs until residents cleaned it up, and the 13th-century Well Hall Pleasaunce in Eltham, restored to its former glory with the help of a National Lottery grant.

Other winners include Trinity Square Gardens in Tower Hill and Weavers Fields in Bethnal Green.

The Green Flag honours parks which are welcoming, well-maintained, safe and have high horticultural and environmental standards. But a crucial aspect looked for by the judges is community involvement. …