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A Creek, A Dock and Another Peninsula

Some open spaces across East London are so vast and varied that they are worth visiting over and over again. Others are quite small, a bit out of the way and it's worth planning a trip to include several of them.

Bow Creek Ecology Park is quite small and looks as though it can be found by heading down the tow path of the River Lea. But although the river flows into the creek alongside the peninsula the footpath ends before it can be reached.

The best way to arrive is by Docklands Light Railway where the driverless trains chug along and there are views of layers and layers of East End history.

From Bow Creek it is a short walk or another trip on the DLR to East India Dock. Then it is time to fly through the air across the Thames on the cable car to a much larger peninsula - Greenwich.

The Greenwich Peninsular, famous for its dome, was once marshland until the area was developed for use by heavy, polluting industries. Those factories are long gone and the whole area is undergoing another transformation into a vast housing scheme.

But one area has been marked out as an area that must be protected from development: Greenwich Peninsular Ecology Park. There are two lakes surrounded by marshland, a copse and a wildflower meadow - and a huge variety of species of plants, insects, amphibians and birds, each with a preference for a specific environment.

Strolling along the boardwalks through the reed beds, the water is clear and sparking clean. A borehole has been sunk deep underground through a layer of chalk to provide a constant source of pure water.

Clear water in the ecology park

Willows have been planted which miraculously reach down to the contaminants left by old industrial activity and render them harmless to people, creatures and the environment.

This section of the peninsular has been restored to its natural state and enhanced with landscaping and planting.

And overhead the strange sight of two geese zigzagging across the sky as though they are searching for something. We will never know what they were trying to find as they fly off and away across the River Thames.

Greenwich Peninsular Ecology Park

Start at Canning Town Station or East India Station and end at North Greenwich Station

Bow Creek and East India Dock are on the East London map


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