Hounslow Council and its partners are transforming the borough’s parks through a series of regeneration masterplans. One of these to benefit from this programme is Watermans Park in Brentford.
The new-look Watermans has new play facilities, improved access and footpaths, outdoor meeting and recreational spaces and much more.
The Friends of Watermans Park has been an important partner in this transformation programme.
As park of Love Parks Week, Friends of Watermans Park, Philip Jones, takes us on a walk through Watermans.
Watermans Park was once described to me as a walk-through park. And it’s true that many people walk through on their way to, or way back from, somewhere else. But in just a couple of hundred metres alongside the Thames there’s so much to enjoy and reflect on. The tidal river provides ever-changing views and the Brentford Ait is home to magnificent trees – originally planted to obscure the view of the gas works (which were here long before the park) from Kew – and wildlife and in the 18th century to The Three Swans tavern once frequented by the future George IV.
There are still visible signs of the gas works in the park: pipes in the north wall, blocked entrances to tunnels under the road, timber piles and dolphins in the river some with iron caps with the motif GLCC BD 1930 (Gas Light & Coke Co) which will be saved for display in the park when new moorings are built.
And now after transformation over last winter many are not just walking through the park, they are visiting to enjoy the new play area (one mother told me that she didn’t know there were so many children in Brentford!), practice basketball skills, exercise in the outdoor gym, play table tennis, join a pilates class or just sit and enjoy the views and company.
The wildflowers this spring were spectacular. As the trees and bushes planted this year mature they will create interest and colour throughout the year. We really want to help create a vibrant park with lots of community events and on weekends this July the Friends held a series of open mics in the performance area. In 2023 we plan to create a community garden.
The next time you visit the park and walk through the entrance arch with its wind chimes crafted by school children you’ll be sure to enjoy this wonderful space by the river. If you would like to make it even better join the Friends at firstname.lastname@example.org.