Hundreds of local residents flocked to see the opening of a pocket park co-designed by students in the heart of one of east London’s redevelopments.

EverDove Park in the Gascoigne neighbourhood in Barking opened to the public following a launch on Saturday 28 May.

The meanwhile park was built by Willmott Dixon on behalf of Be First with local residents involved in a series of volunteer days to paint, plant and help to transform the park, following a series of design workshops involving Year 10 students from Greatfields School, Be First Engagement team and architects HTA. The park transforms the ‘castle’ play area that has been unsafe and fenced off for years, reinvigorating it for new use.

It was named following a vote due to the location of the park on Dovehouse Mead and a reference to dove houses kept nearby in Tudor times.

Sadia Ur-Rehman, Community Engagement Lead at Be First “Everdove Park truly is the result of fantastic community input and inspiration from young people. The name of the park not only truly reflects the history of the area but as the dove symbolises peace and the ‘ever’ refers to everyone, as the park is open to all. It reflects our commitment to inclusivity in making a better Gascoigne.”

Richard Paul, Headteacher at Greatfields School said: “We are so proud that our students have been involved in the design of this new park for the community. It has been a pleasure working with Be First and Willmott Dixon on this project, and we’re grateful to them for working so closely with the local community.”

Steve Kitchen, director at Willmott Dixon said: “It has been an exciting adventure working closely with the Greatfields School students and Be First to design and build this new outdoor space. The students have helped create an area with the aim of bringing a community of all ages together and this has been achieved in a truly collaborative and inclusive way. We’re delighted to be able to showcase the finished park to the local community and hope everyone enjoys it for many years to come!”