Stave Hill Ecology Park has been developed in the former Surrey Commercial Docks in South London as part of the regeneration of the area by the LDDC. The Shed is the HQ of the Park and an ongoing and never-ending centre for conservation, education, and development. The work done here, by one person with teams of volunteers is truly amazing – you must visit during Open Garden Squares Weekend, when there are special activities, including ecologically appropriate installations by final year students from Camberwell College of Art.
The Docklands south of the Thames aren’t derelict! This historically important part of the Thames is home to some very imaginative conservation and regeneration projects – do venture south and east of the river and visit during Open Garden Squares Weekend. There are some fascinating sites south of the Thames, in the former Surrey Commercial Docks and near Tower Bridge and they will be open during this weekend, 17 & 18 June! Check the Guidebook (if you already have a ticket) or the website to be sure which gardens are open on your chosen day.
The Russia Docks Woodlands is part of the wonderful Nature Reserve which has been created on the site of the former Surrey Commercial Docks. It is alongside the Stave Hill Ecology Park and together they offer over 40 acres of peace and quiet, teeming with wildlife, across the water from Canary Wharf Business Centre and only 5 miles from Trafalgar Square.
The outline of Russia Docks can still be seen on the ground – the quayside, rails for the cranes, and bollards for tying up the ships.
The surrounding woods are quiet and peaceful, with easy paths for walking and wandering.
The Shed Ecology Centre and nearby Lavender Pond are both open during Open Garden Squares Weekend on 17 and 18 June – do visit, and then take the time to wander through these lovely woods, tracing the outline of the docks.
The Stave Hill Ecology Park (6 acres) and the adjoining Russia Docks Woodlands (36 acres) were created in the former Surrey Commercial Docks after the docks closed in the 1970s.
The Shed is the nerve centre of the Stave Hill Ecology Park – the headquarters of an extremely capable lady who could probably run the country but instead works in the beautiful woodlands and nature reserve which have been developed in the former Surrey Commercial Docks in South East London. The Shed and surrounding Park are just a five-minute walk away from Lavender Pond. I visited The Shed last year and posted full details about how to find it.
‘…Set within the main ecology park, the Compound is the site in miniature… The Compound is managed by The Conservation Volunteers [who] aim to create a space where visitors can find peace, inspiration and ideas to take away. The Compound is also a workspace and the base for the practical work carried out in the surrounding woodland and meadows. Here is where gabions, bird boxes and art works are created for the park…’.
Down the road from Lavender Pond another section of the old Surrey Commercial Docks has become woodlands and a nature reserve – the Stave Hill Ecology Park. It is a peaceful, quiet place to walk, or wander and in The Shed, the Visitor Centre, there are ideas galore about conservation, recycling, gardening – do visit!