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How to connect green space and London parks

Juno Baker
By Juno Baker
28th March 2022

The Great Eastern Parks Route is one of the many grassroots projects that we at CPRE London support and we’re looking forward to their walking event on 16 April. We asked Geoff Juden of the East London Garden Society to tell us more about the project and how it came about.

What’s the Great Eastern Parks Route?

The Great Eastern Parks Route is a green link that connects various parks and gardens across East London.

It begins in Shoreditch, at the Bishopsgate Goodsyard, and crosses the disused railway viaduct to connect with Tower Hamlets and Newham, where the River Lea meets the Thames.

How did it come together?

It came out of negotiations with developers to include the Shoreditch Forest Garden in their plans for the Bishopsgate Goodsyard.

The plan is for the forest garden to sit on the railway arches in Bishopsgate and connect with Tower Hamlets and Newham, where the River Lea meets the Thames.

It will be the largest urban forest garden in Europe, connect the local community to nature and reduce air pollution. The park will be self-sufficient and sustainable, and provide much needed green space in an area of high density.

I was visiting the site when somebody said to me if you look to the left, you can see another railway viaduct goes further into east London. I said “Wow! Let me have a look at that!”

It evolved from there.

How did you get the team together?

Once you start something you find people come forward. It’s a gradual process. It kind of just happened. I kept on badgering people and badgering local groups and eventually they came on board.

It’s all about networking. You’re reaching out to people’s inner soul to a certain extent. Everybody has that, especially nowadays with the green agenda.

You’ve managed to get some interest from local councillors. Did you have a strategy?

On 9 March we walked with cabinet members from Hackney and Newham across part of the route. It took a long time to get those two cabinet members and two councils involved. The mayor of Tower Hamlets has seen the plan and says he supports it, but he hasn’t done anything.

It’s a long journey. But eventually the message gets through if you relate it to climate change and the benefit of bringing in more trees and gardens to the inner city.

What motivates you?

There’s always something to deal with. For instance, we saved the trees in Cavell Street Gardens with the locals. They didn’t want to see their trees go, so they linked with me to help them run campaigns.

It all comes down to one core point and that is greening the urban environment. Even now we have congestion charging but people are still dying of toxic air. We all have to do our bit.

Walking the route

A walk of the route will take place on 16 April 2022. It will start at Three Mills, travel through parks and waterways to the Limehouse Basin then on to Mile End and Hackney Marshes.

To register for the walk, contact Laura Collins by emailing

For more information about the project, visit the GEPR website

The Water at Three Mills, East London
The Water at Three Mills, East London Lubo Minar on Unsplash