Placeholder Picture

The Great Eastern Parks Route

Great Eastern Park logo

The Shoreditch Forest Garden transformed into The Great Eastern Parks Route and is now partially complete.

The Bishopsgate Goodsyard Development is contractually bound to create a community park for the benefit of the public realm.

After listening to local opinion, it was decided to have a park that best suits the area, which will combat the toxic air we are presently breathing and help climate change and the park should be self‐sufficient and sustainable.

A forest garden would do just that, bringing revenue into the local area and interacting with the community. Suggestions of a plant nursery and/or a central London permaculture school has been mentioned.

It has taken time to realise that walking or cycling is a possibility in East London and that reality is now here.

You can now be at one with the environment whilst travelling from Shoreditch, The Bishopsgate Goodsyard, on top of a redundant rail viaduct, and through parks and gardens whilst enjoying the canals and rivers of this previously unexplored area of London.

The Great Eastern Parks Route was named after the once used Victorian rail line from the city going out to East Anglia. Part of the route can now be used, because it is there, but the remainder will take some years to create.

The catalyst for The Great Eastern Parks Route began when the developers of The Bishopsgate Goodsyard decided to create a forest garden, The Shoreditch Forest Garden, at the edge of the City.

Once created, The Shoreditch Forest Garden will provide a wonderful respite from the noise and pollution of the City of London. The aim of the route is to allow people of all ages and disabilities to enjoy travelling in a different way whilst learning about what is most important during the current climate emergency crisis.

Watch the video of the group who walked the part of the route which is now open. (April 2022)

The diagram below shows the commencement of the route from Shoreditch and how it approaches The Regents Canal and then proceeds to where the canal meets The River Thames at The Limehouse Basin. At last, London boroughs have seen the benefits of this nature adventure.

Great Eastern Park route

The Great Eastern Parks Route

Read the Brochure

CPRE asked Geoff Juden of the East London Garden Society to tell them more about the project and how it came about.

The East London Garden Society formulated the name ‘The Great Eastern Parks Route’ with another person who contributed to the venture and provided services and images.

The name belongs to the ‘The Great Eastern Parks Route group’ and this has been the case since 2017.

What it could finally look like

A Prelminary Site Analysis and Strategy produced by McGregor Coxall in conjunction with The East London Garden Society.

In conjunction with others, The East London Garden Society had put forward the idea of the largest Forest Garden in Europe on top of the redundant rail viaduct as part of the Bishopsgate Goodsyard Development and make it a public realm community park.

The reasoning behind this park being:

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, approved the plans for the developers, Hammersons & Ballymore, to develop The Bishopsgate Goodsyard in Shoreditch.

It took five years for The East London Garden Society to persuade the developers to create a forest garden on top of the redundant grade 2 listed arches within the development.

A forest garden is the oldest form of agriculture known. It is a park on the principle of a forest where people can interact with nature, thus bringing nature to a city area for all to enjoy. The Shoreditch Forest Garden will possibly be the largest of its kind in Europe.

Forest Garden Bee School


The Great Eastern Parks Route takes advantage of the parks/gardens through east London, commencing with The Shoreditch Forest Garden, arguably the largest in Europe, and would conclude at the East India Dock Basin, Limehouse Basin, Royal Docks and potentially The Bee School.

Millwall Park Viaduct study for rewilding & activating community infrastructures by EBBA Architects.

See The Bishopsgate Goodsyard for its history and more information about the Forest Garden proposal.

Reader Comments

13/2/2019 ‐ Inner city folk do not experience the wonders of nature. A forest garden on their doorstep would go a long way to opening their eyes to life beyond the city.

17/2/2020 ‐ Absolutely fabulous idea, and I totally support it. (AD)

15/3/2020 ‐ What a fantastic proposal. (M)

27/3/2020 ‐ I fully support the Great Eastern Parks Route proposal. (MP)

25/5/2020 ‐ Great use for this site. It has been lying idle for too long. A similar garden is in Paris near the Bastille.

Back to Top