Boris hails "small urban oases" as pocket parks come to fruition

London mayor Boris Johnson has spoken on his scheme for 100 pocket parks in London.

Breakers Yard
Breakers Yard

Johnson joined local volunteers to apply the finishing touches to one of his pocket parks at a former car breaker’s yard in Hackney.

The new park is part of the Mayor’s £2m programme to enable local communities and volunteers to rejuvenate and transform small patches of uncultivated and overlooked land.

The National Trust’s Breaker’s Yard has received £40,000 from the Mayor and has been renovated with the help of the National Trust and local volunteers after being designed by landscaper Daniel Lobb. The former scrapheap site, next to the National Trust’s Tudor manor Sutton House, now has an edible garden, art installations and tyre planters.

The Breaker’s Yard will be among the first 20 pocket parks to be completed, with 100 expected to be open by April 2015.

Johnson said: "Breaking the mould of traditional parks and gardens, this former car breaker’s yard demonstrates how, with a little vision and creativity, a ‘pocket park’ can be created in some of the most unusual and challenging spaces.

Here, and in all our ‘pocket parks’, committed local volunteers have rolled up their sleeves to create something truly unique for the whole community to enjoy. Whether here in Hackney, or at the other 99 sites across the capital, these small urban oases are helping to brighten up our city and make it an even better place to live, work and invest."

Among other pocket parks, Angel Community Garden in Edmonton was a disused industrial space and is now being transformed into a community garden for growing food, playing and working with the help of £45,000 from the Mayor.

In Hammersmith, £40,000 is helping to develop Cathnor Park into a local flood defence with improved irrigation, while improving the space for local residents. A ‘green gym’ is being created on Bromley College Green with £17,000 from City Hall.  And in Streatham, the Mayor has helped create The Mitcham Lane Baptist Church’s garden of discover with £9,300 from the Mayor.

Christopher Cleeve, National Trust project manager, said: "With the generous backing of the Mayor of London’s Pocket Park fund the National Trust and thousands of local people have been able to create a new and playful outdoor space in the heart of east London where once there was dereliction."

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