Quintain's public relations company has been keen for Wembley Matters to publish details of the new park in the Wembley Regeneration area. Claims that it is the first 'new park' in Wembley Park are not quite true as we have the excellent Chalkhill Park in the locality, but on the other side of the railway line, which is maturing very nicely and really well used by the local community.
I responded that I would like to see the park for myself rather than base a story around the photographs and CGIs provided.
However, any green space is welcome amongst the concrete of the Wembley regeneration area. The southern section, south of Engineers Way, has a considerable amount of concrete and we are promised a 'more rugged design' for the northern section on the site of the current Yellow car park on the other side of the road. (See LINK)
Today when I visited it was chilly despite the sunshine and there were few people about so the area seemed rather dead but I imagine on a warm day children would be having a great time in the fountains. A nursery will be opening soon on the edge of the park and they will be making use of it as an outdoor play and nature investigation areas.
It was rather disconcerting to see so much water after I had led a walk on Saturday highlighting the danger of flooding in parts of the regeneration area!
Union Park features a revolutionary water run-off system, which carries rainwater from around the area, filters it, and then releases it into one of the southern section’s lakes. Water features have been an important component of Wembley Park since it was first laid out by Humphry Repton in the 1770s, with the Wealdstone Brook and Brent River framing the then-manor and now-neighbourhood.
The park features a quotation from Humphry Repton on the side of what resembles a shed but is perhaps a pumping station, that is not entirely legible:
'The character of a place will take its distinguishing marks from the unified consideration of its situation and the extent of territory surrounding'This gives the reader and visitor a yardstick with which to make up their mind about the park.
Quintain's press release said:
The first part of the park, which is open now, features amenities including a play park, paddling pools, outdoor gym equipment – which will be an extension of the super-gym right beside it – and a multi-use games area which will enable people to play a number of sports in view of the world-famous Wembley Stadium arch.
There is an adjacent cafe at the foot of one of the high rises which is welcome but given the continuous sound of water, which is likely to induce a sense of urgency in bladders, and the need for a place where wet children can change into dry clothes, a public lavatory might be useful.
The park is not yet finished so there may well be one planned.
If you would like to see the park for yourself go along Olympic Way from Wembley Park Station and turn left along Engineers Way. It is a short walk to the Yellow Car Park and Union Park South is opposite.
I would be interested in your comments on the park.
Philip Grant has left a comment below and asked me to publish these images by way of explanation.
Postcard showing the North Entrance Gardens at Wembley Park in 1924
Painting of the gardens at the east end of the Lake in 1924/25 (now the southern section of Union Park)