Greening up St Leonard’s Priory park
WEN has partnered with Tower Hamlets City Council, Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, University College London, and the Bromley-by-Bow community, to work on a multi-phasal project to renew a long unused green site on the grounds of historic St. Leonard’s Priory in Bromley-by-Bow.
Through a calendar of community engagement events and sustained activity the aim is for the green space at St. Leonard’s Priory Park to be revitalized to address ecological, social, and cultural concerns that being beside a motorway and surrounded by historical burial grounds bring.
WEN has partnered with UCL’s Mapping for Change to better understand, improve and produce information about the environment around St Leonard’s Priory Park. Each month we change over readers, collecting data needed to understand the makeup of nitrogen dioxide in the neighbourhood. As a marker of road traffic and other fossil fuel combustion processes, to ultimately fight for change.
With the help of a local gardening group that regularly gathers at Bromley by Bow Centre and corporate volunteers brought in by our friends at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, we have seen dramatic change enliven the space. Box planters have been cleared and made ready for new plantings and crushed concrete paths around the park have been laid, making navigation of the site simple.
So what’s next?
A few of the ideas and options suggested by locals include having gravestones moved to the Park’s edges, allotments opened up for community use, playgrounds installed and new seating positioned to make time in the Park a more relaxing and comfortable.
WEN and St Leonard’s
Much like St Leonard, the namesake of the Priory Park, WEN stands to make connections between gendered health inequalities and environmental issues. We aim to empower women to become agents of change in their families, networks and society and to participate equally in an environmentally sustainable future. We know that local green spaces can bring positive health outcomes and aide community cohesion at the same time. The potential impacts of greening its site with local partners in ways that residents view as relevant gives us hope that meaningful and positive change can be brought to its community at large.