Public floating garden installed in Royal Docks

Floating garden at Royal Victoria Dock

The floating garden, which is about the size of a tennis court, at Royal Victoria Dock. - Credit: Kiron Ponnath and the Royal Docks Team

A 315sqm floating garden has been installed in the Royal Docks, creating a “hotspot of urban biodiversity” for the public.

The garden, located on the northern side of Royal Victoria Dock, provides access down to the water and a buoyant wetland habitat for around 4,000 aquatic plant species.

London’s deputy mayor for environment and energy Shirley Rodrigues said: “This new floating ‘pocket park’ will provide a home for a range of plants and insects in a former industrial part of the capital helping to ‘green the grey’.

Floating garden at Royal Victoria Dock

The floating garden being prepared for planting. - Credit: Kiron Ponnath and the Royal Docks Team

“It will also provide a new accessible green space for Londoners to enjoy, which has become an even more important part of city life since the pandemic.”

The garden platform, which is about the size of a tennis court, is built with non-toxic materials to support an ecosystem and habitat for birds, fish and pollinators and a place for relaxation and discovery.

The idea for the floating platform was developed through the consultation for the Royal Docks Public Realm Framework and Design Guides.

The Royal Docks Team says it supports people’s priorities to increase soft landscaping and provide access to the water.

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Mayor of Newham and Royal Docks Enterprise Zone Board co-chair Rokhsana Fiaz said: “As we witness the impact of climate change and its devastating consequences to our planet, the garden contributes to our wider agenda to support a range of environmental and biodiversity initiatives across the borough to enhance a variety of ecosystems which we desperately need to protect and save.

A boat towing a buoyant platform.

The buoyant garden platform, which is built with non-toxic materials, being delivered. - Credit: Kiron Ponnath and the Royal Docks Team

“The floating garden also provides a breath-taking opportunity for local residents and Londoners to enjoy the natural habitat in the Royal Docks, which in turn supports their wellbeing and health.”

The Royal Docks Team worked with Biomatrix, the Royal Docks Management Authority and the London Borough of Newham to develop the garden.

People planting on a floating garden platform

The installation of the garden included six planting sessions with members of the community. - Credit: Kiron Ponnath and the Royal Docks Team

As part of its installation, six planting sessions were arranged with people who live in the area and members of the team’s public spaces community working group.

These sessions explained how their participation would bring about a supported ecosystem of beneficial microorganisms, fish, bird, and plant life for future generations.

People standing in a floating garden on the Thames with the Crystal building in the background

The floating garden provides a habitat for birds, fish and pollinators and a place for people to relax. - Credit: Kiron Ponnath and the Royal Docks Team

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