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The Bishopsgate Goods Yard (Forest Garden)


The Goods Yard runs from Shoreditch High Street, through to Brick Lane and another plan has been put forward for its redevelopment.

The original station closed to passenger traffic in 1875 but reopened six years later as Bishopsgate Goods Yard to provide a freight station serving the eastern ports of England. In 1964 it was damaged by a major fire and millions of pounds worth of goods were destroyed. The goods yard was rendered unusable and remained derelict over the next 40 years.

To lessen the effect of the buildings being created, it’s been suggested that a Forest Garden and permaculture school should be placed on top of the listed arches. The idea is to have the largest Forest Garden in Europe which would provide a ‘lung’ for the Shoreditch area.

The East London Garden Society has been pushing for the developer to include an iconic park and create a better environment for everyone and in which the community will have a voice. As of March 2019, they have been successful in persuading the developer to include a Forest Garden in their Planning Application. The pictures below show the present status and what it could look like.

We are also supporting most environmentalists concerned with urban parks that more trees should be planted. This is in line with National, as well as Local Government ideas.

Residents and others believe the best way to reduce pollution in the Shoreditch area would be a Forest Garden. This would be a community park involving the greater area of east London. Placing as much vegetation in the urban area, is conducive to lessening pollution, a Forest Garden is the oldest form of agriculture and is proven to achieve this.

Sign this Petition now to urge the Planning Authority to take note of what the local population wish and not install an inappropriate park that would not fulfil the above objective. Also see The Shoreditch Forest Garden Group’s alternative proposal.


Current status of Goods Yard

Public Realm Statement

Geoffrey Juden, Chairman of The East London Garden Society, has made the following statement with the aim to improve the public realm by forming a public park within the development of The Bishopsgate Goods Yard.

"The Bishopsgate Goods Yard is situated at the junction of three major roads into London - A10, A11, and A13, which in itself causes problems for the urban environment.

When completed, the development will improve the environment within the area. At present we are unable to quantify the damage to our atmosphere in The Shoreditch area, caused by the development.

The East London Garden Society has secured from the developers, Hammersons and Ballymore, the promise to create a forest environment as part of the development. Whether this is described as a forest environment or a forest garden is a matter of choice.

London as a whole has declared a climate emergency. However there had already been statements on the quality of air long before the emergency was announced, noting that a greener agenda for London should be pursued with all new developments.

A forest garden is not a new concept, it being the oldest form of agriculture known to man and is prevalent in other countries. A forest garden has low maintenance costs, has the ability to absorb carbon emissions, and to emit oxygen using various planting regimes. In addition, it is an all-encompassing system where we can all take part in a greener city, learning farming techniques.

Once created, the Shoreditch Forest Garden would be the largest of its kind in Europe, bringing to central London a new perception for the capital and a new path to follow.

The Shoreditch Forest Garden will be a catalyst for more nature within east London, culminating with walks from Bishopsgate to the London Borough of Newham and Royal Docks, plus walks to The Limehouse Basin. Everyone will be able to engage with nature via the rivers, canals, parks, and gardens along the route.

Bringing nature to the city is in line with the wishes of The Mayor of London, and with those of the three London boroughs which would be a part of the route - Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham."

Goodsyard future

What it could look like

Reader Comments

5/2/2019 ‐ This should go ahead. there are far too many hotels and apartments in the area already. This park is really needed. Developers are just too greedy and also they probably don’t even live in the area.

13/2/2019 ‐ A forest garden is a great idea.

28/2/2019 ‐ A forest garden would increase wildlife diversity. Moisture and shade would have a cooling effect. Provide leisure and educational opportunities. Be a place for volunteer activities. Act as a carbon sink. Have a positive effect on mental and physical health. It’s hard to think of anything more positive to do with this piece of land, so I hope your campaign is successful.

9/5/2021 - This is a great idea. I've lived in the area for 17 years and have witnessed the development of many new high rise accommodation blocks. Yes, we all need somewhere to live but we all need somewhere to walk and enjoy nature, even in a big city. (SR)