The Lee (Lea) Valley Regional Park is London's biggest open space. It stretches 42 kilometres / 26 miles along the River Lea, from Ware in Hertfordshire, through Essex, to the River Thames at East India Dock Basin. It is designated, uniquely, as a Regional Park for the enjoyment of the citizens of Greater London, Essex and Hertfordshire.
The Regional Park was first proposed in Professor Abercrombie’s Greater London Plan published in 1945, and took legal form through the Lee Valley Regional Park Act of 1967. Despite its relatively short existence, the Park’s history has passed through several distinct phases, which are explained in "The Lee Valley Park - a historical perspective". This article aslo explains the pivotal role of Hackney council, and its former leader Lou Sherman, in bringing the Park into being.
By far the greater part of Hackney’s open space lies within the Park, including Springfield Park, Millfields, Hackney Marshes, and the extensive open spaces at Eastway (including Bully Fen) which have now been subsumed into the site for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Lea Valley Park historical perspective
Links to documents relating to the Lower Lea Valley.
Map of the Southern Lea Valley, 1991 from "A charter for the Lea Valley", published by the original Lea Valley Federation.
Map of Southern Lea Valley
The Park History link contains a number of historical publication about the Lower Lea Valley
Visit the Lee Valley Regional Park website for full details of their facilities and activities.
Last Updated: Tue 21-Feb-2012