A group of wild swimming lovers and nature enthusiasts have come together to propose designs for a brand new park that would include the UK’s first public and naturally self-cleaning swimming pond. East London Waterworks Park would be built over a currently unused industrial site in Hackney with the aim of becoming a space run by the community for the community with environmentalism at its centre. Since the idea was raised in 2019, the team has lifted the project off the ground with their first successful crowdfunding campaign in 2021, and now they’re back to raise the remaining £500k needed to purchase the site.
The development plan would see East London Waterworks Park take over a former water depot, making use of its water cleaning systems, and return it to nature through rewilding and creating biodiverse habitats for local wildlife. The 5.68 ha (around the size of Lincoln’s Inn Fields) site’s main event will be the rainwater-filled swimming pond that’s self-cleaning by its reed beds and aquatic plants, but there’ll also be affordable community spaces and programs, including a forest school to teach children about nature. It sounds like this new park would be a huge win for London and a step towards more sustainable thinking in the city – if you want to help make it happen, you can make a pledge here.