Pictures: Nick Knowles helps turn Cody Dock green
PUBLISHED: 17:05 10 April 2015 | UPDATED: 17:05 10 April 2015
An abandoned dockyard isn't the first place you'd think to go to for a flower-filled walk.
But a new project by the Royal Horticultural Society is aiming to turn grey areas into green ones.
Launched this morning at Cody Dock, the Greener Streets: Better Lives campaign aims to transform 6,000 spaces around the country in the next three years.
Television presenter Nick Knowles, who is also an ambassador for the society, was among the volunteers creating a flower-filled riverside walk along the Lea.
Some of them, such as Lindie White, had been at the site since early in the morning.
The 64-year-old from Kew arrived at 7.30am and helped with moving the boxes into position before adding compost and flowers.
Around 30 raised beds will be used to grow food and flowers along the public footpath.
Andrea Van-Sittart, head of communities at the RHS, said that Cody Dock was chosen as the launch site because it “epitomises what we’re trying to do.”
She said: “It’s an inner-city area with the skyscrapers behind it that’s being regenerated.
“We want people to get together and improve other areas like this.”
Garden designer Adam Frost consulted the team working on the dock’s transformation to ensure the plants and landscaping were suitable to the area’s needs.
He urged green-fingered people to get involved with transforming the borough even more.
He said: “Projects can range from planting along public walls, and revitalising bald roundabouts or neglected verges with nasturtium seeds, to using planters and raised beds to brighten up a concrete corner, or creating a community garden with friends.
“While the proposition is simple, the possibilities are huge.”
In its heyday, Cody Dock was home to a number of factories employing 50,000 people.
An ongoing redevelopment project will see it become a creative area housing studios and a dry dock area for servicing boats.
Simon Myers, who leads the Gasworks Dock Partnership working on the Cody Dock transformation, said: “Newham boasts more waterways than Venice, but is unknown to most Londoners.
“Since we began the project, the site has gone from being a dumping ground for 10ft-high piles of industrial waste, to a green, living haven.
“It is now about to become a tranquil riverside destination for thousands of visitors.”