Lee Valley Regional Park

Park Development Framework

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Fauna and flora

Where are we now?

The Park offers many opportunities for visitors to access nature; nature reserves and path networks provide access to a variety of habitats and species, while dedicated events promote the Park’s biodiversity resource to schools and the public.

Access to nature is at the heart of our improvement programme; an objective shared by other key providers of nature sites within the Park such as the Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, the London Wildlife Trust, and the RSPB.

Developing green links into the Park, for both people and wildlife, will be increasing importance as we aim to improve the physical connections between regional communities and the Park’s open spaces.

What do we want to achieve?

We believe there are three main areas of focus

1. Park wide access to nature

We want experience and interaction with nature to be an integral part of visiting the Park. Park wide access to nature can only be delivered through partnership; other landowners can play a key role to enable access to (and through) large areas of the Park, as well as help maintain and enhance biodiversity values.

There is space within the Park to balance the needs of both people and wildlife and ensure the public, especially children have an opportunity to engage and interact with nature and wildlife without causing it harm or disturbance.

2. Regionally significant biodiversity destinations

We want to enhance and develop a number of flagship ‘access to nature’ destinations within the Park. These will be designed, managed and marketed as high quality attractions/destinations that will be of a comparable standard to the best biodiversity-focused attractions regionally and nationally.

They will be located in and around sites of existing high biodiversity value and interest, with care taken to ensure increased access for visitors does not impact on biodiversity values. Each will feature a bespoke infrastructure and visitor facilities – in order to provide a distinctive and defining visitor experience.

3. Sites of special biodiversity interest

We want to develop a range of other ‘access to nature’ sites that will complement the regionally significant biodiversity destinations. These will include:

  • Areas of high biodiversity value with access to a less developed nature infrastructure.
  • Areas of specific habitat type and/or biodiversity interest.
  • Small-scale areas of habitat with high quality, intensively developed access to nature.

How will we deliver?

For the whole Park

We will

  • Prepare a strategy and action plan that will identify areas where improvements to the biodiversity values, or to the visitor infrastructure of the Park, will improve access to nature. Improving visitor access will be undertaken where it does not harm the biodiversity of the sites. This strategy and action plan will identify where partners can play a key role in delivery.
  • Work with partners to develop regionally significant biodiversity destinations. This will be achieved through the ongoing enhancement and integration of existing access at the following locations:
    • Rye Meads/Stanstead Abbotts/Amwell Nature Reserve Building on existing core visitor offer at Rye Meads Nature Reserve and Amwell Nature Reserve. Key partners include RSPB and Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.
    • River Lee Country Park Building on existing core visitor offer at Hayes Hill Farm and Fishers Green and developing a network of further infrastructure within River Lee Country Park with potential links to Royal Gunpowder Mills. Key partners include Royal Gunpowder Mills Trust.
    • Walthamstow Wetlands and WaterWorks Nature Reserve Building on the existing core visitor offer at the WaterWorks Centre and developing new visitor infrastructure within the Walthamstow Reservoir complex; with enhanced access and links between them. Key partners include Thames Water, Natural England and others.

On our estate

We will

  • Prepare a strategy and business case for the development of enhanced access to nature opportunities. We will also undertake a long term investment programme for implementation. This will include:-
    • Park wide access to nature throughout our estate.
    • Regionally significant biodiversity destination at River Lee Country Park.
    • Sites of special biodiversity interest at identified sites within our estate.
  • Proposed sites of special biodiversity interest include:
    • Glen Faba
    • Spitalbrook
    • Silvermeade
    • Bowyers Water
    • Cornmill Meadows
    • Rammey Marsh east
    • Gunpowder Park
    • Pickets Lock (Ponders End Lake)
    • Tottenham Marshes
    • Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
    • Leamouth (East India Dock Basin and Bow Creek Ecology Park)

Working with others

We will

  • Engage actively with other landowners and managers within the Park to develop a shared vision for access to nature.
  • Work with key partners to develop a strategy, business case, delivery and management approach that will implement the shared vision.
  • In all cases, additional funding and delivery partners would be required to ensure the vision is fulfilled.

Access to nature

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