Bringing Nature Home – Reopening of a fantastic public space at Padnall Lake

10 Jan 2022

BeFirst re-opened Padnall Lake after months of hard work to improve Dagenham’s public realm. HTA’s multi-disciplinary team designed the masterplan, an excellent example of a landscape-led design to regenerate the public open space with outstanding visual and ecological qualities.

From its humble origins as an A12 rainwater overflow, to a wonderful space for the community to enjoy and a fantastic resource for biodiversity. The existing lake and surrounding area have undergone extensive refurbishment to enhance its natural features, all while preserving mature trees and the local context of the area.

Biodiversity is at the heart of this project. The new lakeside green space includes native wildflower meadows, aquatic and marginal planting, reed beds and fruit trees for both people and wildlife such as Moorhens, Coots, Canada Geese and Bearded Tits to explore.

There are new, natural play elements for children to traverse, providing a delightful contrast to the urban environment for residents. A picnic area and dipping platform provide improved access to the lake side.

The architecture has been designed to respond sympathetically to the local context inheriting its positive attributes while bringing new qualities of detailing to the area, creating a new sustainable Padnall Lake for the entire community.

The lake was handed back to the community at a really well attended event organised by J. Murphy & Sons Limited and Be First Regeneration Limited.

HTA Landscape Architect Christine Stannage says, “It is great to see both people and wildlife return to this popular lakeside park following the extensive improvements. Hugely improving the condition of the lake and its surrounding landscape.”