An extension to the popular Wildlife Garden at West Ham Park has been officially opened.
The move will provide more refuge for wildlife and new space for educational activities for young Londoners.
The 720m2 garden was extended by an additional 1500m2 to meet an increase in demand from local school groups and provide more valuable habitats for wildlife including birds, invertebrates, hedgehogs, lichens and fungi.
Over 110 hours of work from 30 volunteers from banking giant HSBC, insurance company Lockton and London & Quadrant Housing Trust helped bring the project to life. The volunteers were coordinated by the City of London Corporation, which owns and manages the park, and sourced through the East London Business Alliance.
Two new areas of deadwood and a new path have been created in the garden which already features a pond, insect hotel, and ‘bug hunting’ area.
Graeme Smith, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s West Ham Park Committee, said: “Helping schoolchildren learn more about wildlife and increase their literacy skills by engaging with the environment is one of our key priorities at West Ham Park.
“It is also important to protect and attempt to increase the biodiversity and wildlife of this site.
“By re–purposing this part of the park, we will be better serving our local communities.”
The extension was officially opened at a ceremony attended by members of the West Ham Park Committee, Sheriff of London Neil Redcliffe, leaders of community groups and representatives from Newham Council.
West Ham Park is a Grade II listed site and is managed by the City of London Corporation. It is the largest open space within the Borough of Newham and is a designated Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation.
The City Corporation manages over 11,000 acres of green space across London and south east England, including Epping Forest, Hampstead Heath and Burnham Beeches, with many of its sites designated National nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest for their unique ecology and rare plant species.