Community view: Enjoy park’s beauty this autumn

Graeme Smith, Chairman of the City of London Corporation�s West Ham Park Committee. Picture: City of

Graeme Smith, Chairman of the City of London Corporation�s West Ham Park Committee. Picture: City of London - Credit: City of London

As the trees start to transition in colour this autumn, the gardens at West Ham Park are beginning to look absolutely stunning.

West Ham Park is the biggest green space in Newham and has been owned and managed by the City of London Corporation since 1874 when it opened to the public.

Despite fierce competition across London, West Ham Park achieved “large park” gold and category winner in the London in Bloom Awards. The scheme celebrates and recognises the passion Londoners have for greening our capital city. A note of appreciation to all our staff, volunteers and friends’ groups behind the scenes and on the grounds whose dedication and hard work has led to this

I’d like to draw attention to one of the parks tree collections, the Liquidambar (also known as Sweet Gum). This is one of the finest trees for autumn colour and can be sometimes confused with maple due to its similar appearance, with its leaves making it a large tree with a broad pyramidal crown. It is at its utmost magnificence in autumn when its leaves burn crimson, purple and gold.

The park is proud to be one of only two sites in Britain to hold a national collection, recognised by Plant Heritage, housing 48 of 57 known species in and around our ornamental gardens. Plant Heritage was formed to ensure our incredible diversity of cultivated plants, whether for food, medicine, ornament or heritage, remains available for the enjoyment and use of generations to come.

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On the topic of falling leaves, we are holding our annual Leaf Pile event where the Friends of West Ham Park lead local families in gathering leaves into Newham’s biggest leaf pile. At the end, children are encouraged to jump in and enjoy the leaves. It will be held on Sunday, November 4 from noon and is something you certainly do not want to miss.

We also hold Autumn Saturdays Wild East trike sessions. These free workshops are delivered by our learning officer. They help connect families with nature and include fun workshops. They will be held from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday, October 20 and November 10, by the playground.

For updates on what’s going on sign up to our newsletters or follow us @WestHamParkE7 on Twitter and Instagram.

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