Cheney Row Park
Transforming a former landfill site through remediation and community co-design
Local authority investment, in part supported by Section 106 contributions from nearby housing growth, has turned a blighted space into a valuable asset for the local community. The new £1.2m park includes an events space, outdoor stage, playspace and 467 new trees.
In 2017 Waltham Forest Council appointed We Made That to develop plans to improve Cheney Row Park based on a feasibility study which identified a programme of inter-related physical projects complementing a new mixed-use development adjacent to the neglected space. Funding made available through s106 contributions from the development was used to deliver the transformation.
It was identified early on, through a multi-phased programme of engagement activities with the local community, that there was potential to support more activity in the park and for it to become an important neighbourhood asset. Located within the Lee Valley Regional Park, the project improves ecological interest and provides a healthy, safe and welcoming space for existing and new communities
The previously empty 3ha now has:
- A new events space for the community where a flexible range of events and activities can be accommodated. This comprises a series of platforms including a timber stage with amphitheatre seating where event-based functions, educational as well as sports activities can be hosted.
- A new play space containing a combination of bespoke and proprietary play kit designed for use by children of different ages and which encourages different types of play from more boisterous adventurous, active play to more reflective social, sensory and creative play.
- A BMX cycling track, accessible to all and currently used for regular sessions run by local cycling group COG.
- A new nature space, comprised of a range of soft landscape interventions to support existing biodiversity and create seasonal variety. This includes a new woodland area where 400 new native saplings have been planted, adding to a total of 467 new trees planted within the park.
- Improved entrances incorporating new planting, seating, wayfinding and signage and better accessibility to make the park a more welcoming and attractive place.
- New surfaced paths across the park providing legible and accessible connection between the new events and play space, BMX track and new entrances.
The launch day featured activities and performances, including live radio broadcast, chainsaw wood carving, making bug hotels and BMX displays. Two bands from Walthamstow Academy were the first to use the outdoor stage. Over 1,300 people from the local area and beyond attended the launch day.
We Made That worked closely with the Council regeneration and open spaces teams, as well as facilitating the emergent Friends of Group, across a two year period to bring the project to fruition. Environmental and social benefit was always at the fore in this process.
One of the lasting successes of the project has been the new Friends of Group, established through the public engagement process for the project, which will help ensure the continued activation of the park to sustain its future.
- London Borough of Waltham Forest
Pineapple Award 2021: Public Space (Winner)
Waltham Forest Design Awards 2021 (Shortlisted)
New London Awards 2020: Placemaking (Shortlisted)
We Made That, Stockdale, BSG Ecology, LEAP Environmental