Lee Valley hosts a slew of events for Love Parks Week

A host of events have been announced in Lee Valley Regional Park to celebrate Love Parks Week, the national campaign run by parks charity Greenspace.

Launching on 24 July and running until Sunday 1 August the park will host 18 events from jazz concerts to Horseball – a basketball like game played on horse back.

Each event takes place within the Park’s 10,000 acres, winding 26 miles along the banks of the River Lee in Hertfordshire, down through Essex and North London to East India Dock Basin on the River Thames.

A statement from the organising commitee said:  "Summer is a perfect time to kick start your way to good health, increase your energy levels and get fit. With the Park’s varied events programme it’s not just about sports; activities such as digital photography courses and outdoor theatre are perfect for those looking to relax in beautiful outdoor surroundings. There has been increasing evidence to suggest that parks and green spaces not only provide a place to exercise but also a psychological lift from the stresses and strains of everyday life*.

The first weekend of Love Parks Week coincides with the London 2012 Open Weekend (Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 July), the annual UK-wide countdown to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Lee Valley Regional Park is a key player in the London 2012 Games and will own and manage four Olympic venues in legacy, including the Lee Valley White Water Centre (just north of the M25 near Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire) and the VeloPark and Hockey and Tennis Centres in Olympic Park.

The programme includes:

My Garden in Summer

Saturday 24 July 13:00–15:00, Adult £5.40, Conc £3.80, booking essential, suitable for adults

A seasonal stroll through the beautiful Myddelton House Gardens in Enfield, close to London, taking in the diverse plant collections, beautiful carp lake, conservatory, rock garden and a number of historical artefacts.

Myddelton House Gardens, Bulls Cross, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 9HG

London 2012 Changing Places Volunteer Task

Sat 24 July 10:00 - 15:00, booking required

Get ahead of the game and be part of ‘Changing Places’, a London 2012 programme encouraging volunteers to get out and transform their local area. Help us to develop a cleaner and greener neighbourhood around Olympic Park.

Walthamstow Marshes, Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7QL

International Horseball Competition

Saturday 24 July - Sunday 25 July from 11:00, FREE

Horseball is a new and exciting equestrian sport, similar to basketball on horseback. Watch as British & French teams compete for the Lee Valley Cup. Spectators are welcome to watch, look around the Lee Valley Riding Centre and book a session to saddle up!

Lee Valley Riding Centre, Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7QL

Creating Images from Nature with Digital Photography

Sat 24 July - Sun 25 July 10:00 - 16:00, from £35, booking essential

A digital photographic course with David Cottridge, widely regarded as Britain's leading bird photographer. Day one looks at creating an image and day two processing the image.

WaterWorks Nature Reserve and Golf Centre, Lammas Road, off Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7NU

Ride the Park, Rivers and Olympic Venues

Sun 25 July 10:00, FREE

A guided circular bike ride of 35 miles through Lee Valley Regional Park. Starting from Cheshunt, we'll pass the Lee Valley White Water Centre, Tottenham Marshes, past Olympic Park and onto the Thames. Bring a picnic lunch or eat at a local café.

Meet at Pindar Car Park, Windmill Lane, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire EN8 9AJ

Summer Skate Spectacular

Monday 26 July 11:00-13:00 & 13:30-15:30, Adult £2, Child £1,

Skate the day away in specially priced holiday skate sessions at Lee Valley Ice Centre in Leyton, the regional centre of excellence for ice sports in the south of England. The Centre, opened by Torvill and Dean in 1984, also offers public sessions seven days a week for all ages and abilities.

Lee Valley Ice Centre, Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7QL

Star Track

Monday 26 July - Friday 30 July 10.30-14:30, from £44, booking essential

Calling all budding athletes! London’s award winning, state of the art Lee Valley Athletics Centre is hosting an exciting programme for children aged between eight and 12 years old. It involves trying out and learning a whole range of athletics skills. Star Track is extremely popular; book your places on 020 8344 7230.

Lee Valley Athletics Centre, Meridian Way, Edmonton, London N9 OAR

Wild about Wetlands Day

Tues 27 July 10:00 - 15:30, FREE

Take part in a host of free activities including pond dipping, dragonfly hunts, natural arts and crafts and a treasure trail.

Waltham Abbey Gardens, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 1XQ

Much Ado About Nothing - Outdoor Theatre

Wednesday 28 July 19:30, Adult £12, Conc £8, booking advised

Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents an outdoor production of Shakespeare's romantic comedy about a mischievous pair of lovers due to be married.

WaterWorks Nature Reserve and Golf Centre, Lammas Road, off Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7NU

Petunia's Pick of the Month - Birds of Prey

Wednesday 28 July 10:00-17:00, Adults £7, concessions £5.60, for all the family

Join Lee Valley Park Farms mascot, Petunia the Pig for her pick of the month – birds of prey. You can also meet all of the animals - from pigs to goats, llamas to lambs, giant rabbits to chinchillas.  Walk, or take a tractor drawn trailer to see cows being milked in the modern dairy farm. The whole family can play in the tractor barn, piglets' paradise, the pit and the soft play area Bundle Barn and there’s the new Bouncing Pillow to bounce on and a Spider Tower to climb.

Lee Valley Park Farms, Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 2EF

Great Minibeast Safari

Wednesday 28 July 11:00-15:00, FREE, for all the family

Bug hunting, pond dipping, quizzes and nature trails for all the family in this former iron works, now redeveloped to offer tranquillity in an urban landscape with flowers, insects and interconnecting ponds.

Bow Creek Ecology Park, Bidder Street, London E16 4ST

Wild Place, Your Space

Thursday 29 July 15:00-17.30, FREE, for all the family

Explore this stunning nature reserve set in the heart of east London at an exciting wildlife themed event for all the family. Activities will include treasure hunts and self guided tours of the site. There’s also an opportunity to discover the local River Lee’s connection to Viking England with the unveiling of a replica Viking canoe on site, based on an original excavated from Hackney's Springfield Park.

WaterWorks Nature Reserve and Golf Centre, Lammas Road, off Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7NU

Rivers, Heritage and Lakes Ride

Sat 31 July 10:00, FREE

Explore the Regional Park in a guided circular 25 mile bike ride. The route will take in the Lee Valley White Water Centre and follow the river north past the lakes of the Country

Park to Rye House and Stanstead Innings. Bring a picnic lunch or eat in a local café.

Meet at Pindar Car Park, Windmill Lane, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire EN8 9AJ

AUGUST

Lee Valley Aquathlon

Sunday 1 August from 10:00, £15 - £17, booking essential, Adults

Take part in the first ever Lee Valley Aquathlon – a 600m swim followed by a 6k run through the picturesque River Lee Country Park. Call the Information Service on 08456 770 600 to book.

Herts Young Mariners Base, Windmill Lane, Cheshunt, Herts EN8 9AJ

Jazz in the Garden

Sunday 1 August 18:00-20:00, Adult £7.50, Conc £6, booking advised

Enjoy a summer evening in the beautiful Myddelton House Gardens in Enfield, with BBC Jazz Singer of the Year Anthony Strong and his band. Why not bring a picnic, a rug and a bottle of wine! Close to London, the gardens offer a diverse plant collection, beautiful carp lake, conservatory, rock garden and a number of historical artefacts. The Gardens are also home to a prized collection of award-winning Bearded Iris.

Myddelton House Gardens, Bulls Cross, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 9HG

A Walk in the Park

Sunday 1 August 10:30 - 12:30, for all the family

This monthly walk in River Lee Country Park is a dog walkers’ special, so bring your four legged friends along!

Meet at Fishers Green Car Park, Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 2EF

Walthamstow Marshes Explorers Walk

Sunday 1 August 10:00 - 12:00, for all the family

Armed with sweep nets and beating sticks, discover the hidden plant and insect treasures of this Green Flag Award site, which includes Walthamstow Marsh Nature Reserve as well as Coppermill Fields and Leyton Marsh.

Meet in the Ice Centre Car Park, Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7QL

Visit www.leevalleypark.org.uk or call the Information Service on 08456 770 600

www.loveparksweek.org.uk


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