Green Space On Your Doorstep
A recent survey of first-time buyers across England found that 61% felt access to nearby open space was now more important to them than before the pandemic, and this is even more pronounced in London, with 68% of Londoners now placing more importance on proximity to local parks.
Residents at Fresh Wharf in Barking are spoilt for choice when it comes to green spaces, with award-winning parks, rivers and nature reserves in walking distance. Those keen to get their fitness fix need look no further than nearby Barking Park, which offers a range of sporting activities. The second oldest park in the borough and covering nearly 30 hectares, Barking Park hosts Parkrun, a sociable 5k run every Saturday that can kickstarts your weekend. Alternatively, the park also contains football pitches, tennis, basketball and 5-a-side courts, a skate park and a large lake, with boat and pedalo hire. While for those seeking a more relaxing experience, the park offers a community orchard and wildlife areas, including beautiful wildflower meadows.
Barking Park also contains bicycle racks and cycle paths, which link into the cross-London cycleways network. Stretching from Greatfields Park all the way to Lancaster Gate in the centre of London, Cycleway 3 offers a safe, segregated, dedicated cycle path. Running past Canary Wharf, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park, the cycle route is a popular option for both commuting cyclists and those seeking a more active leisure journey into the capital.
Residents of Fresh Wharf don’t even need to go that far for natural spaces. Immediately opposite the development is the River Roding, which offers an oasis of calm waterside walks that extend all the way to the River Thames. Fresh Wharf too is adding to the extensive outdoor spaces already on its residents’ doorsteps with over 16,000 square metres of open green spaces, newly created pedestrian walkways and cycle paths. At the heart of these is the development’s central park, which is Fresh Wharf’s recreational hub and includes a large lawn with picnic and seating areas and play area.
For those seeking to fully absorb themselves in nature, located further afield in the borough is Beam Parklands Country Park, Dagenham’s newest park. Beam Parklands is a 53-hectare section of the floodplain of the River Beam (the river itself runs through the development), which has been transformed into a multi-award-winning wetland park.
Beam Parklands forms part of the ‘Dagenham Corridor’, a green chain that allows locals to walk for miles through uninterrupted open space, with sports pitches and fishing lakes, all the way to Romford, taking in Beam Valley Country Park, The Chase Nature Reserve and Eastbrookend Country Park. Rainham Marshes, a former shooting range now run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, is just to the east.