Mile End Park is now officially a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. This is the highest grade of non-statutory wildlife site under the procedures adopted by the Mayor of London. The upgrade from a Site of Borough Importance has been endorsed by the London Wildlife Sites Board, which was set up by the Mayor to oversee London’s wildlife sites system.
The Board’s report concluded that Mile End Park meets the criteria for a Site of Metropolitan Importance due to:
- the size of the park and connectivity to other sites in what is a densely populated part of inner east London;
- the site being a good example and demonstration of how to design a large modern multi-functional park for biodiversity;
- the diversity of habitats and the ability for large numbers of people to experience them;
- the excellent access to nature, both through the recreational and educational opportunities the site provides in an informal, varied, undulating and attractive landscape.
This is a tremendous endorsement of the management and development of the park over the last 20 years or so. There is more on the history of the park’s development on the Council’s website.
Mile End Park becomes the third Site of Metropolitan Importance that is wholly within Tower Hamlets. The others are Mudchute and Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. In addition, parts of three large Metropolitan Sites lie in the borough: the River Thames, Lea Valley and London’s canals. Full details of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation in Tower Hamlets can be found here.