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West Hackney Recreation Ground

West Hackney Recreation Ground on Evering Road and the associated spaces that surround St Paul’s church buildings are an important open space, both locally and within Hackney as a whole.  Recent years have seen the site decline and in partnership with local stakeholders, Groundwork London is involved in improving the site.  The long-term aim of this project is to revitalise a valuable local open space so that it meets the needs of the local community for the future.

Image : West Hackney Recreation Ground 

From October to December 2008, Groundwork London ran the first stage of a community consultation to:

  • increase awareness of the site and the overall project amongst residents, organisations and businesses in Stoke Newington Central
  • gain an understanding of people’s current views on the site as well as their aspirations for the future
  • feed information into the development of an overall master plan and funding strategy for the site

Activities included stakeholder workshops; drop-in sessions for the local community; stalls at local events; a local primary school workshop in partnership with the Commission for Architecture of the Built Environment and a questionnaire to over 4,500 households.  171 responses were received and more than 100 people came to the events and workshops. 

Additional activities have included ecology and topographical surveys as well as a conservation survey on architectural features.


For the purposes of clarity during the consultation, the overall site was split into two distinct areas for discussion:  The Recreation Ground and St Paul’s Church surroundings. 


What you said about the Recreation Ground:

Of the total responses received, 81% never visit the recreation ground!  Key reasons for not visiting both for adults and children were:

  •  a lack of awareness that the space existed 
  • poor maintenance 
  • a perception that the site was not a safe space to go and evidence of anti-social behaviour
  • few things to do on the site further compounded by an absence of play facilities.   

    Respondents were keen to keep a natural green space in a built up area and felt that the history of the site gave it distinct character which should be conserved.

The most popular ideas for the kind of space that the community needs were an area for play; an area to sit and relax and a garden area with attractive planting.


What you said about the surroundings of St Paul’s Church:

Most respondents were not users of this site, although most did know the space.   However, a third were not aware that it was open to the public. 


The most-liked part of the site was the trees, greenery and wildlife and the most disliked was the concrete car park.


Ideas for improvements included an improved garden/nature space with improved planting and a water feature; a more welcoming space, a desire to relocate the car park, improved lighting and information signage; a space for community use, with seating and a play area; and a walk through to connect it with the Recreation Ground. 


Respondents were also keen to ensure that improvements took into account the history of the site.


Click here to see the full consultation report. [PDF: 6.55 MB]




What’s next?

Groundwork London has held two further consultation events in Stoke Newington. The consultation is now closed and a report will be available shortly.





Click here to view the draft masterplan. [PDF: 4.92 MB]



For further information on West Hackney Recreation Ground, contact: Naomi Pietersen, Groundwork London, 020 8985 1755, .