West Hackney Recreation Ground is a one hectare site owned by St Paul's Church. The grounds began life as a 19th Century burial ground attached to St Paul's Church. The church opened in 1823 but was rebuilt in 1960 after being bombed in the Second World War. It's been an oasis for relaxation, recreation and events in Stoke Newington for years, including its weekly farmers' market, now a highlight of the local calendar.
The site received nearly £700,000 of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, following years of campaigning by local groups and residents. The works started in March 2014 and were managed jointly by the church and the Council's parks department. The West Hackney Parochial Charity, the Marathon Trust and the church also provided funding.
After months of renovation work, the Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe officially reopened the site on 6 September 2014, along with the Rt Rev Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney. The improvements included new pathways, restoration of original routes, new woodland and play features, conservation of the tombstones and headstones, and improvements to the front of the church.
The site is maintained in partnership with the church which has appointed a garden manager and volunteer co-ordinator who will provide activities for the local community, including an extensive planting programme across the site. If you'd like to know more about the volunteering opportunities, please contact Sam Silverlock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barbecues are not allowed in West Hackney Recreation Ground. The use of all barbecues in London Fields has also been suspended following safety advice to all London councils from the London Fire Brigade.
Council officers have the power to request that dogs are put on leads in West Hackney Recreation Ground if they are behaving aggressively, causing damage, or if their owner does not have appropriate control over them. More information on dogs in parks.
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