Marsh LaneLeyton Open Spaces

Sports and Play for Olympic Fringe Parks

KLA are working strategically in the Lea Valley and one area includes the cluster of projects of Hackney Marsh, Marsh Lane, Abbotts Park and Dagenham Brook. The main objective of this project was to re-ruralise this urban fringe area and reassert its presence in the Lea Valley, supporting a natural landscape that additionally supports sport and recognises its role as a place of escapism.

A radical overhaul of the existing sports facilities effectively creates new high quality football and a multisports areas. The design integrates playfull landscape elements within a vision for a renewed sense of ecology and the landscape of the surrounding flood plain of the River Lea. An existing slope has a challenging adventurous play area. With different skill levels this has been designed to cater for all ages up to adult to allow cross generational play. The sculptural forms of the timber climbing spheres and metal rope posts create a focal point within the park. Ecology was integral to the design of the adventure play – providing the space for children to explore the natural environment.

Water run off has been significantly reduced through the introduction of swales and SUDS channels within the car park area. We increased ecology and biodiversity on site by turning mown grass areas into wildflower areas or long grass, introducing native plant hedges and increasing numbers of trees in the park.

A long inviting avenue of trees with banks of wildflowers runs from east to west, with new rural gates and hedgerows that give the place a sense of escapism from city life. The design has lifted Marsh Lane from being an unloved municipal sports ground to a series of fields for everyone to enjoy.

Waltham Forest, London


London Borough of Waltham Forest






Polly Brannan



Marsh Lane

Sports and Play for Olympic Fringe Parks

Kinnear Landscape Architects
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