Bow Creek given a winter spruce by volunteers

Forget a spring clean - volunteers in Canning Town have given Bow Creek Ecology Park a winter spruce.

A group of 14 volunteers maintained hedges, ponds and scrub while clearing the area of litter.

The park, owned and managed by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, said thank you with a baked potato lunch cooked in a fire made by the unwanted cuttings.

Many of the volunteers have also found that giving back has given them a new lease of life.

Glen Turnball, 37, became interested in conservation after a visit to Bow Creek and volunteered to maintain the park for four months, encouraging him to enrol in a tree felling course.

Glen said: “I want to raise awareness of the Park and for people to enjoy it as I do. I’m like an extra pair of eyes and ears in making sure the site is free from litter and I check for any vandalism.

“I enjoy working on the schemes that Lee Valley Regional Park Authority organises such as the corporate volunteering days and I recently worked with hthe Peacock Gym in getting young people involved in volunteering.”

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Retired social worker Margaret Allen, 65, has volunteered since 2005.

She said: “It’s important to keep active and I enjoy being in the outdoors. I’ve been involved in all sorts of activities.

“I’ve planted new trees, painted railings and cleaned graffiti. I enjoyed working at different venues and, of course, I get to work with a nice bunch.”

Ranger Andrew Vaughan said: “The volunteers provide an essential service in this annual clear out as their contribution ensures the park, which has a prestigious Green Flag award, continues to attract wildlife such as dragonflies and flocks of waders including Redshank.”

To find out more about volunteering, email, call 01992 7809867/79 or visit