By Daniel Hunter
The Mayor, Boris Johnson, has announced a £2 million fund for projects across the capital that will link and improve access to London’s green spaces and waterways.
Six projects across the capital will receive up to £420,000 each from the Big Green Fund. This builds on the work already underway to make London leafier, such as creating 100 pocket parks and planting an additional 10,000 street trees by spring 2015.
It follows on from the successful East London regeneration project that transformed the area around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2012 and which continues to provide a real legacy for surrounding communities.
Among the projects to have been awarded money from the Fund is an initiative linking Poulter Park in Sutton and Watermeads in Merton. With £390,000 from City Hall the Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust will open Watermeads nature reserve to the public, improve access to the River Wandle, and connect green spaces in neighbouring boroughs with 4km of new landscaped walking and cycling paths. The Trust will also offer training schemes for local people.
Other winning projects include Lea River Park in Tower Hamlets and Newham, and Lesnes to Crossness in Bexley. All six projects, which aim to better link existing green spaces, rivers and streams, across the capital, will be complete by spring 2015.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “It is absolutely essential that we continue to enhance London’s green spaces as we build more homes and buildings to accommodate our growing population and support our economy. With more greenery making areas more attractive to live, work and invest in, we can continue to compete not only as the greenest city in Europe, but as the best big city on Earth.”
Peter Wilkinson, Chief Executive of the Wandle Valley Trust, said: “Thanks to this money from the Mayor we will be creating new habitats for future reintroduction of Water Voles, welcoming the public into historic Watermeads Nature Reserve for the first time, establishing a new ‘easy access’ path along the river for walkers, cyclists and disabled people, and giving young people new skills through the Wandle Green Team. These are just some of the ‘big ticket’ items that will help put London's newest Regional Park in the Wandle Valley on the map.”
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