I forgot that I was in London for a few moments.
Eyes squinting from the blinding sun, birdsong cascading through the air and the sight of the most charming and unexpectedly cute café that I’ve come across in (just about) Zone 2. The heat was rising in waves from the walkway, distorting the imposing tower blocks in the distance, and the toddler and I were glad for the balmy respite we found in the Woodberry Wetlands.
Woodberry Wetlands opened to the public for the first time in 200 years in May this year. Its history is one that reflects the social evolution of London and if you are interested, you can read about it HERE.
Any extra bit of green space that is accessible to the public gets my thumbs up and as much as I enjoyed our day out here and am looking forward to returning with Hiro (and a better camera. Using an iPhone while pushing a buggy is never as great as I wish it to be), something in the back of my mind distracts me from the placid beauty of the wetlands.
Woodberry Down….Woodberry Down……
Yeah. I remember. I remember THIS story.
That once notorious and run-down estate (so much so, that it was used as a stand-in location for Warsaw’s wartime ghettos in Schindler’s List) comes to mind and with it a rush of mixed emotions.
The Guardian reported that by 2031, around 2,000 council/former council homes will have been demolished and replaced with more than 5,500 units on the estate. Good, perhaps for London’s housing crisis yet I cannot help my inner voice screaming ‘SOCIAL CLEANSING!!’ We all know that London has gone beyond gentrifying traditionally low-income areas. Affordable homes developers promise are actually speculative investments for the wealthy and so not really homes at all. We need homes. The sad thing is that Woodberry Down’s residents were initially told that this regeneration was for them.
Like I said, I am looking forward to returning to the wetlands. This time, I will try to focus more on the achievements for nature…..I will try!
| Links For The Curious |
Woodberry Wetlands Website
Municipal Dreams’ writes about the Woodberry Down Estate.