Beam Parklands

Region: South East

This multi-awarding winning wetland park gives people a precious slice of countryside on their doorstep. The delightfully crafted landscape includes a community orchard, areas for natural play and a variety of natural habitats where nature can thrive.

Visitors to this blossoming parkland can expect to see a variety of wildlife throughout the year including Water vole, Great crested newt, Reed bunting, Snipe and Emperor dragonfly.

Flood protection

A primary role of Beam Parklands is flood protection. The park provides safe storage of 450,000m3 of water – equivalent of around 180 Olympic swimming pools – that in turn protects neighbouring homes, businesses and areas identified for current and future employment. There will be times, a couple of days each year, when parts of the site are underwater. However, the paths and bridges have been designed to withstand flooding and the habitats that have been created are representative of environments that experience regular flooding.

Award-winning green space

Most importantly, Beam Parklands is a place for people to enjoy and a landscape where wildlife can flourish. This was recognised when the park won the 2011 CIWEM Living Wetlands Award and the Brownfield Award for ‘Best Use of Land’.

Location

Beam Parklands, Barking, Dagenham, London, Greater London, RM10 9EH

Site size: 45 hectares

Visitor Information

Opening Hours

Daily till dusk

Car Parking

No

Toilets

No
(click here to find the nearest public toilets)

Café

No

Entrance cost

Free

Accessibility

Walking trails part surfaced most routes suitable for wheel chairs

Footpaths

No

Dogs

Under close control

Things to do

History trail, sculpture trail, natural play areas, outdoor classrooms and walking trails.

Conservation, Wildlife, Flora, Fauna

Beam Parklands is a place for people to enjoy and a landscape where wildlife can flourish. This was recognised when the park won the 2011 CIWEM Living Wetlands Award and the Brownfield Award for 'Best Use of Land'.

Other Links

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Beam Parklands Contact


The site contact for our Beam Parklands space is Loretta Hoy

This space is managed in partnership with London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

History

Beam Parklands is located in east London in the floodplain of the River Beam, a tributary of the River Thames which also forms the boundary between the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham and Havering. The site is located amidst the industrial and residential legacy of the Ford works, in one of the most deprived parts of the country.

The area provides a wealth of diverse habitats, having remained largely untouched and unmanaged throughout the 20th Century as a result of a smallpox isolation hospital being located at its centre.

In recent years, the site has also functioned as a flood storage reservoir, protecting homes, schools and businesses in the area including Barking power station which provides approximately a third of London’s electricity.

The site had been badly neglected for many years and became a magnet for anti-social behaviour before the Land Trust took it on and opened it up to the public in 2011.

Development

The Land Trust and partners have turned this 53-hectare functional flood prevention area into an innovative multi award-winning space that provides significant community benefits and is helping regenerate a deprived area.

The site’s primary function is flood defence. However, the wider area, amongst some of the most deprived in the country, lacks quality public open space. Therefore alongside the Environment Agency’s flood defence improvement works the Trust secured funding from a number of sources to enhance the space and to sustainably manage it as an attractive multi-functional community asset.

The Land Trust secured funding from a number of sources. This included the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to deliver the capital scheme. The match funding, that is crucial to drawing down ERDF money, was provided through the Environment Agency activity to provide increased flood storage and riverside enhancements.

Money for long term maintenance will be provided by an endowment that has been secured from the Homes and Communities Agency’s Parklands allocation for the East London GreenGrid. The Parklands endowment will ensure the long management of the site for community benefit. This will ensure that the benefits of the project are sustainable.

The Veolia Cleanaway Trust also provided £250,000 to improve access to the Parklands.

Land Trust Contact

To contact the Land Trust about this site or how we could help manage your space please email our Estates Manager Simon Pile or call 07747 455980

Download Beam Parklands Case Study Download The Hidden Value of our Green Spaces 2017

Awards

This site has received the following awards:

  • CIWEM Living Wetlands Award – July 2011

  • Each year, CIWEM’s diverse range of awards honour projects and people making outstanding contributions to environmental management, whilst the Young Members’ Award gives us a glimpse into the future of the profession.

    Beam Parklands was recognised as a multi-functional project that demonstrates the sustainable use of wetland habitats by CIWEM’s Living Wetlands Award in July 2011.

  • Brownfield Briefing Award, Best Use of Brownfield Land – October 2011

  • Beam Parklands in Dagenham has been recognised as the country’s top Brownfield site with a prestigious Brownfield Briefing award for the ‘Best Use of Landfill Or Brownfield Land’ in October 2011.

    The judges at the Brownfield Briefing Awards recognised that the benefits delivered by Beam Parklands show clearly that the best use of Brownfield land does not necessarily mean development. What makes this wetland park special is that its primary function is as a flood defence and as such the land protects 570 residential properties, two primary schools, three social clubs and 63 industrial and commercial properties on its doorstep and downstream. However when it’s not flooded, which is the vast majority of the year, it is now a multifunctional open space that the community can use and where nature can thrive.

    The Brownfield Briefing Awards have become the flagship event for the brownfield community, and is one of the highest industry accolades that a company can receive. The annual awards recognise technical and conceptual excellence in projects that have been underway over the past 12 months.

    The awards are judged by an expert panel from numerous specialities, and new categories are added each year to reflect trends and developments in the industry.

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