London, Mudchute Park and Farm, Mudchute Association

Mudchute Park and Farm is a rambling urban space just south of Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs. Today it is a nature reserve in the midst of London's densely populated borough of Tower Hamlets, but its name hints at a more troubled, less tranquil past.

The 12ha site was a dumping ground for overspill via conveyors and chutes when Millwall Dock was being built in the 1860s. During World War Two anti-aircraft guns loomed large to protect the docks from German bombing. Mudchute therefore has its origins anchored in various stages of history but it has always been at the heart of the local community.

Today Mudchute primarily exists to give the residents of the inner-London borough the chance to enjoy a natural open space. And that, according to farm and open space manager Nick Golson, is what they do, 365 days a year.

"The site is at the heart of the local community, and has been since the days when ack-ack guns protected the local docks," he explains. "Its facilities have provided locals with their first pony ride, their first glimpse of a grazing cow, their first pond dipping session and, in some cases, their first opportunity to climb a tree."

Management and staff keep the site accessible in all weathers with the facilities to support visits from schools and other community groups. Corporate visitors, including staff from the city's international banks, can often be seen getting down and dirty as they take part in corporate social responsibility initiatives including wildlife conservation work.

Staff are supported by an invaluable army of local volunteers and work-experience students, all of them helping to manage a popular local nature reserve that boasts a variety of habitats including a new wetland area.

Earlier this summer Mudchute Park and Farm hosted an al fresco banquet, where guests enjoyed champagne among the sheep to a balmy backdrop of blue sky and sun glinting off the towers of Canary Wharf.

Seasonal events and entertainment not only show off the site's flora and fauna but the strong and cohesive force of an urban landscape at bringing together a local community in good times and bad, war and peace, says Golson.





Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Tractors - Maintenance models

Tractors - Maintenance models

The tractors chosen by professionals across the sector reflect the best features, backup and support on offer, says Sally Drury.

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Choosing the right plant, correct planting procedure and best aftercare are the three basic rules for sucessful tree planting, Sally Drury explains.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs
Horticulture Week Custodian Awards 2017 - the winners!

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2017 winners.

Contracts & Tenders

Products & Kit Resources