London’s Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, and Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, officially opened the newly designed Ripple Greenway linear park on Thursday 24 June 2021.
The 1.3km park provides a beautiful new walking and cycling route for thousands of local people and a much-needed green space for residents.
The park links the existing community with Barking town centre and the fast-growing Barking Riverside area. This includes new housing, the new Riverside School campus and Barking Riverside Overground Station to be opened in 2022.
The Ripple Greenway now has natural “Play on the Way” features: wooden climbing logs; mini wooden bridges and a group swing. These are designed for children to have fun on their journey to school or when they are in the park.
There is an exercise equipment trail for anyone wanting to keep fit as well as picnic tables and benches. The smooth tarmac path is lined with oak benches which makes it easier to walk, wheel and cycle to work, school or just for fun.
This ambitious transformation of the Ripple Greenway was made possible with £440,000 from the Mayor of London’s Capital Green Grant and £350,000 provided by Barking and Dagenham regeneration experts Be First.
Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Public Realm at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham said:“I’m delighted to see that residents have designed such a beautiful, accessible art-trail, with play on the way, on this increasingly important green artery which connects the growing communities at Barking and Barking Riverside. I commend everyone involved for making it such a success.”
Local residents’ groups have been central to the design process which has given new life to this previously underused area that was overgrown and not easily accessible.
The following changes were popular among residents:
• Removal of spiked metal fencing
• Introduction a smooth tarmac path to make it easier to walk, wheel and cycle
• Addition of new oak benches
• Building natural play features for children to play on the way
• Lighting for personal safety which is sensitive to local wildlife
• New artwork commissions
• Planting hundreds of new trees and bulbs.