London’s first Floating Pocket Park opens to the public today at Merchant Square in Paddington.
The new 730 sq m floating park in Paddington Basin on the Grand Union Canal provides a striking green public space on the water with its own canal boat mooring.
Developer European Land and Property Limited commissioned acclaimed garden designer Tony Woods of Garden Club London to create the new park at the heart of Merchant Square, complementing the canal-side neighbourhood’s award-winning public realm, and strengthening its commitment to providing innovative ways for the local community to connect through the use of outdoor space.
Andrew Scrivener, chief executive at European Land, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to see the Floating Pocket Park completed and to have this wonderful new outdoor space at Merchant Square. The floating park is the first of its kind in London, providing green space for workers and residents and creating an oasis in the West End, offering all Londoners a way to actively reconnect with the canal.”
The Floating Pocket Park features an open lawn area, densely planted mixed raised borders and communal seating. The design allows people to walk over the water on a series of decked platforms and walkways.
Planting has been designed to sit comfortably with the more formal arrangements around the site and introduces softer textural herbaceous plants and grasses as ornamental centrepieces
The main areas of the garden are planted with a mix of wind tolerant grasses that will become animated in the breeze and nectar-rich flowers such as Allium and Salvia.
The garden boasts an independent wildlife island planted with native waterside plants including Great Burnet, Purple Loosestrife and Yellow Flag Iris to encourage birds and waterfowl to feed and nest.
The park forms part of the Greater London Authority’s ‘green infrastructure’ – an ongoing initiative to improve and connect streets, squares, parks, and canal and riverside spaces across London.
The project has also received endorsement from Westminster City Council and the Canal and River Trust.