Lee Valley Regional Park

Park Development Framework

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Landscape

Where are we now?

The existing landscape of the Park is a complex terrain of diverse character. From the urban, post industrial landscape of the Lower Lee Valley to the remnant flood plains of Hackney and Tottenham Marshes, from the intricate water and woodland landscapes of the River Lee Country Park to the expansive rural areas to the north and east; the Park is very much defined by its landscape, whether from within its boundaries, or from the neighbouring terrain.


A Landscape Assessment and Strategic Landscape Vision was prepared for the Park in the late 1990’s, and this study informed the policies and proposals embodied in the Lee Valley Regional Park Plan (2000) and continues to be the basis for enhancing the landscape of the Park.


Recreational activities such as walking, cycling, running and play are possible throughout the Park, while specialist sports facilities such as ice skating, canoeing, horse riding and athletics are also available. Throughout the year a programme of community based events take place, from the 10km fun-run, to the elite sporting events provided at LVAC.

What do we want to achieve?

  • To provide a great landscape: a place that looks, smells, sounds and feels special to be in. We believe that the landscape of the Park plays a vital role in delivering a high quality visitor experience.
  • To understand and support the Park’s ecological habitats.
  • To offer a landscape that supports sporting and recreational opportunities, as well as social and cultural activities, today and for the future.

We believe there are two distinct aspects to the future development and management of landscape in the Park: -

1. An integrated landscape

We want the landscape to help define the Park as an entity and place. We want visitors to recognise when they are in the Park and to know that it provides a varied, quality landscape that extends from Ware to the Thames.


We believe that there are some key landscape elements that, with careful development and management, can be used to provide a sense of integration throughout the Park: water and waterways, ecology and habitats of the river valley, the rich industrial heritage, and the contrast between the ‘natural’ landscape of the Park and its urban boundary. We also believe that the future development and management of the Park infrastructure can help integrate the landscape: through the design of signage, furniture, visitor facilities and pathways, although care will be needed not to over manage and loose the sense of wildness found in some of the Park’s landscape.

2. Celebrating local distinctiveness

We want to ensure that the distinctive local landscape characters that contribute so much to the unique qualities of the Park are celebrated and strengthened. We believe this can be achieved through the careful integration of the Park wide landscape elements with the local landscape qualities. We want to enhance the local landscape character while mitigating detracting elements, and developing the unifying Park wide landscape elements sensitively and respectfully.

How will we deliver?

For the whole Park

We will

  • Undertake a Landscape Assessment and develop a Strategic Landscape Vision, incorporating an Historic Environmental Characterisation study for the Park. This work will provide a coordinated framework that will allow us to
    • Identify which landscape elements can be used to build a unified Park landscape.
    • Identify areas of distinctive character within the wider Park.
    • Identify existing landscape strengths to be protected, and those to be mitigated.
    • Identify visual and physical areas that have inadequate access.
    • Recognise the importance of the landscape experience within and beyond the Park boundaries, including
      • Park landscape as experienced from within the Park.
      • Park landscape as experienced from outside the Park (e.g. views into the Park).
      • The landscape beyond the Park as experienced from within the Park (e.g. landscape character adjacent to Park boundaries and more distant views beyond the Park).
    • Provide guidance for future development and management of the Park landscape.
  • Continue to implement the landscape policies and proposals set out in the Lee Valley Regional Park Plan (2000), until a new Strategic Landscape Vision is published.
  • Prepare comprehensive design guidelines for those key landscape elements that can create a unified Park wide character. These will include guidance on signage, furniture, visitor infrastructure, as well as grounds’ management and maintenance.

On our estate

We will

  • Undertake a long-term investment to implement the Strategic Landscape Vision for the Park.
  • Integrate the delivery of the Strategic Landscape Vision across site management, facility business and future development plans.
  • Acquire land where existing or proposed uses compromise the Landscape Vision for the Park, and which cannot be mitigated by other means.

Working with others

We will

  • Work with other landowners and managers within the Park to:
    • Assist in the delivery of the Strategic Landscape Vision.
    • Encourage adoption of our design guidance to unify the Park wide landscape elements.
  • Deliver other landscape enhancement initiatives e.g. the Upper Lee Valley Landscape Strategy.
  • Make sure that any developments within or adjacent to the Park are contributing positively to the strategic Landscape Vision (through planning consultant roles and proactive partnership working).

Landscape

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