The Lower Regents Coalition in Tower Hamlets has been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme for the first time. The Regent’s Canal between Limehouse Basin and Mile End Road joins other green spaces awarded recognition as one of the UK’s very best.
The Lower Regent’s Canal is among a record-breaking 1,883 UK parks and green spaces that received a prestigious Green Flag Community Award – the mark of a quality park or green space. This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme, with more Green Flags awarded this year than last year. Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in the UK for people to enjoy, and hope that next year, we award even more flags.”
The Lower Regents Coalition maintains the section of the Regent’s Canal between Limehouse Basin and Mile End Road in Tower Hamlets. They adopted this stretch of the canal as part of Canal and River Trust’s ‘Adopt a Canal’ programme in June 2013.As well as regular litter-picks, the Coalition has created new wildlife habitats including reed beds and meadows.
Dave Bedford, Co-Chair of the Lower Regents Coalition said: “We are delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for the first time. It is a fantastic reward for all the hard work our volunteers have put in over the last several years. We are not a charity but rather a local volunteer group that runs clean-up and improvement events that are free, fun and open to everyone. Our section of the Regent’s Canal is well-loved and used by many across Tower Hamlets and beyond. We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining our section of the Regent’s to such a high standard.”
Molly Gadenz, Co-Chair of the Lower Regents Coalition said: “We are extremely fortunate to partner with some outstanding organisations to receive ongoing support. Without their aid we could not have achieved all that we have to date. Our partners (some of whom are in the photo on the left) include the Canal and River Trust, LB Tower Hamlets’ Biodiversity Officer, Moo Canoes, the Ragged School Museum, Thames21, Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Tower Hill Trust and Veolia Environmental Services.
“We run regular litter picks along the canal but have also taken our work to the next level with our ‘Greening the Regents’ programme. This involves securing grant funding to undertake larger enhancement projects on the canal. To date we have successfully secured over £20,000 in funding to carry out projects such as installing 100m of aquatic plantings in the canal and creating two 150m2 canal-side wildflower meadows.
“We will celebrate our Green Flag Community Award and our 5th anniversary as a group at our next monthly litter pick on 25th July. The event will run from 5.30 – 8pm at Moo Canoes, the kayak and canoe hire located in Limehouse Basin E14 7JZ.”
Header photo: Dave and Molly collecting the award (Ken Greenway)
Group photo by Dave Bedford