London's largest green space celebrates bright past and future in Bruce Castle Museum display

By Culture24 Staff | 25 May 2011
A photo of parklands
Myddleton House and Gardens in Enfield is one of the leafy attractions encompassed by the Lee Valley Regional Park
© Christine Matthews,
Exhibition: A 2020 Vision for the Lee Valley, Bruce Castle Museum, London, June 1-19 2011

In 1967, planners launched a project to turn Lee Valley Regional Park into a major natural attraction and sports venue.

Their vision was an ambitious one – the 26-mile park, stretching from Ware in Hertfordshire to East India Dock Basin on the Thames, had suffered neglect and damage during the Second World War and beyond. Transforming it into its current guise as a beacon of regeneration dotted with heritage sites, nature reserves, green spaces and top-class sporting facilities has been some achievement.

Four million visitors head there each year, and the grounds will play an important part in the 2012 Olympics by providing water and athletics centre for the games as part of a bold blueprint for the site.

“It is an exciting time,” says Derrick Ashley, the Chairman of the authority governing the park.

“Our exhibition showcases the development plans we have for the Valley and sets out our 2020 vision to transform the Park into a world class visitor destination.”

They include forging a sustainable, community-based legacy in the aftermath of the Olympics for a site described by local Minister Bob Neill as a “national treasure”. For London’s largest outdoor green sprawl, the future looks bright.

  • Open Wednesday-Sunday 1pm-5pm. Admission free.
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