The former road, located alongside Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, was given to Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park in 1990s. Once home to a burnt out car, the Friends have sensitively re-wilded the road  by bashing the concrete to open up drainage to the ground beneath.

Rather than remove the road surface at great cost and environmental impact, it has been covered in soil, sand and chalk to create the ideal conditions for a diverse and rich habitat.

Teasels, briar rose, wild rocket and meadows provide food for wildlife and humans right on their doorstep. No air or road miles which increase air pollution, congestion and carbon emissions.

Most memorable taste sensations were juniper berries, freshly plucked from the tree. These are technically little pine cones. They mix aromatic pine with piquant peppercorn in a complex flavour delight worthy of any Michelin star restaurant. I was also impressed by allium triquetrum or three cornered leek which provides year round green vegetation.

Today I made a mushroom and wild rocket risotto with foraged, locally sourced food from a re-wilded road. A simple, delicious meal but with immense potential to transform our urban environment: Sustainable Urban Drainage, foraged food, thriving wildlife and a beautiful place to restore and re-connect with nature.

 

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