Open spaces – improvements for local communities

In recent years the fundamental importance of open spaces with regard to the well-being of individuals in urban areas, has been increasingly recognised

A fine example of this can be seen with Marsh Lane in Leyton, as part of on-going improvement works funded by the Olympics with the use of Drapers Field during the 2012 Games. The works carried out on this site highlights how improvements to open spaces can benefit the local communities.

A wildflower meadow provides a perfect habitat corridor for wildlife
The meadow looks established and fits in perfectly to the surrounding landscape

New landscaping and planting of the site has enhanced the look and the feel of the area, with better-quality signage and way-finding, superior pedestrian and cycle routes as well as improved lighting, resulting in a more user-friendly green space, which additionally helps to ensure the site is safe for residents.

The improvements will make it easy for residents to walk from Leyton straight through Marsh Lane to the Olympic Park.

The majority of works is due to be completed in late August 2012 with the space being relaunched on 29th August with a new name: Leyton Jubilee Park. The sport pitches are expected to be available for use from September 2013 at the latest.

Access through the park – green and pleasant
Wildflower meadows increase biodiversity

The three main site entrances are being developed which will improve the sites prominence in the local area. In order to disperse the different activities across the site to alleviate pressure on any one particular area, three distinct character areas are being created:

Ecology Field: The upper plateau has been enhanced with wildflower planting which will immediately improve the existing habitat mainly by increasing the biodiversity of the area. This space will be retained as the more peaceful area of the site.

Sports Field: In order to create a strong relationship between the formal sports area and pavilion, a new pavilion will be located at the Seymour Road entrance. The pavilion will be overlooking the new playing pitches. Additionally nine new junior and mini football pitches, along with a new basketball court will also be introduced.

Play Field: To encourage informal play, spaces for more casual ‘play,’ will be mown into the existing grassland south of Marsh Lane. The area will also lend itself to providing a suitable picnic area. For young children up to the age of seven, a play facility will be introduced set on earth ripples adjacent to the playing field. To accommodate older children a new adventurous play area will be developed on the existing bank of the upper plateau.

These improvements are a major step forward in the acknowledgement that the provision of open green spaces is vital in modern-day living. They go a long way in providing the opportunity for everyone to achieve a healthy lifestyle, whilst enhancing the overall surrounding environment.

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