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View over the lake at Victoria Park. Image copyright Kenneth Yarham The restored lake in Victoria Park. Image copyright Jan Hewlett

Victoria Park

Tower Hamlets

Grade: Borough Grade I | Area: 86.81 ha

Access

Free public access (all/most of site)

Description

Victoria Park was one of the first parks in London created explicitly for general public use, following a public petition on Queen Victoria to relieve the squalor and pollution of the East End. The development of the park was a slow business and in 1845, exasperated by the delays the public simple began using it, although there was little there. On Good Friday 1846 25,000 people visited the park.It is a large, well-maintained park, and has been well restored by the Council since 1988. The park has a good number of trees, both native and exotic, and there are two large lakes. The perimeter is followed by a wide carriage road, and the Regent's and Hertford Union Canals follow the southern boundaries.Tower Hamlets Healthy Walkers project uses this site - a Walking the Way to Health (WHI) scheme; see link for details.

Wildlife

London plane are the most numerous trees in the park, lining the perimeter and forming avenues along the paths. There are a number of planted copses around the park.Grove Road divides the park asymmetrically. The lake in the larger eastern section has recently been restored to create a more natural edge and the water surrounds a wooded island. A former boating pond has a concrete edge, but is usually dry. Also in this section is a pleasant ornamental garden with rose beds, yew bushes, shrubs and a box hedge.The western section also has a lake with a central wooded island and an impressive fountain.The park supports many common birds, including great and blue tits, chaffinch, blackbird, robin and starling. Waterfowl such as Canada geese, coots, moorhens and mallards use the open water, and are an ever-popular attraction.

Facilities

Information; toilets; playgrounds; animalbird enclosure; car parking; cycle paths; cafe; sculptures/ monuments.

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