Opinion: West Ham Park’s Graeme Doshi-Smith is celebrating National Park City

Graeme Smith, City of London Corporations West Ham Park Committee will continue to watch the park w

Graeme Smith, City of London Corporations West Ham Park Committee will continue to watch the park when he leaves. - Credit: City of London

West Ham Park has a rich and diverse cultural history spanning back over 400 years. In 2004, English Heritage awarded the site Grade II status on their Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

This July, there are hundreds of events across the capital to mark London becoming the world's first National Park City.

The festival has free events over nine days in celebration of London's green spaces, wildlife habitats, green rooftops and waterways. They aim to get all Londoners enjoying the outdoors, highlighting the importance, beauty and breadth of London's green and blue spaces.

In the spirit of the National Park City, West Ham Park will be having its own mini opening ceremony on Sunday, July 21 when the recently renovated Jubilee Vegetable Garden will be officially opened at 2pm. There's lots going on in the garden. New raised beds give more space to grow a variety of vegetables, fruit and herbs.

There's a new tool shed and a new water standpipe to ensure there's enough water for the thirsty young plants.

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The garden is a haven for wildlife and is run by volunteers who are keen to recruit members to help. Tools and equipment are supplied, so come along on Tuesdays at 2pm to 4pm or on the first Saturday every month from 10am to 12pm.

After three years on the West Ham Park Committee, the time has come for me to move on. During my term as chairman, I've enjoyed working with a great team of staff and volunteers.

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West Ham Park has been owned and managed by the City of London Corporation since 1874 when it was opened to the public.

I think we're all very lucky that our forebears were so enlightened and supportive to maintain and improve what we have.

I'm optimistically looking forward to what might be achieved in the future and shall watch with interest as the nursery site and playground plans progress.

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