Extended lease of life for Cemetery Park

Westwood, TH Cemetery Park, image by Anthony Stripp

Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park is a nature reserve and a unique place for relaxation remembrance and field study.

  • Free walking tours from February to April

A charitable group, which runs and manages Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park – the borough’s unique 31-acre nature reserve and heritage site – has been granted a new 30 year lease by the council at a nominal rent.

Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (FoTHCP) protect and care for the site in Mile End and host a range of activities giving residents, community groups, schools and visitors unique access and participation to the park’s open space and woodland.

The new lease, agreed by the council’s Cabinet last month, follows a decision by FoTHCP in 2018 to transform a former caretaker’s premises in the park into a mini cinema, workshop and exhibition space and generate income to support its work and the reserve.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “In a borough that has a rapidly growing population and dense urban development all open space is valuable. Our decision to extend the lease of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park at a small cost will help secure the site’s long term future as a community asset.”

Kenneth Greenway, Cemetery Park Manager, FoTHCP, said: “Being granted a lease sees many years of hard work with council officers finally come to fruition. A lease will enable us to access larger grants from such funders as the National Lottery to secure a better financial future for us and the Cemetery Park. 

“The granting of a lease is a perfect illustration that the council has trust in our abilities to develop and care for the historic green heart of Tower Hamlets. We’re grateful to the council for granting us a lease and we’re so excited to be the ones taking forward this new exiting chapter for us and the Cemetery Park.”

From February until April, the FoTHCP and Graham Barker, a walking guide, will deliver a series of 10 free walks in Tower Hamlets.

Titled ‘Finding Your Feet: Discover the East End Step by Step’, the walks will explore Mile End, Stepney, Limehouse and other Tower Hamlets neighbourhoods with a focus on the area’s history and natural features. There is a free café stop included in each walk!

Tower Hamlets residents, especially those who are less active are being encouraged to sign up.

For more information or to sign up, contact michelle.lindson@fothcp.org or call 020 8983 1277.

Posted on Monday 13th January 2020