Exclusive! The return of Evergreen Field

Wind back a couple of years and the future of the Evergreen Field – the piece of fenced off overgrown land in the middle of the High Street – was THE topic of conversation in Wanstead. Regular readers of this site may remember some of the controversies, which we will not go back over now.

But although things have been quiet it turns out (Wansteadium can reveal) that conversations have still been going on between the owner of the land and an informal working group of Wanstead people. Some of this group are professionals in the worlds of design, landscape and property, and council planners too are being kept informed of the discussions, which appear to be friendly and constructive.

evergreencoverBut there remain unanswered questions about what should happen with the land, which has stood empty for 50 years since two houses on the site were demolished. The working group is inviting Wansteadium readers to take part in the process which will help to form an “options paper” for Evergreen Field. It has no proposals yet – just some issues and ideas.

So readers are invited to read this draft PDF (which you can click here to download) and submit comments using the form below. Or, if you prefer, you can use the email address evergreen@wansteadium.com – emails to that address will not be published but will be passed on to the working group.

15 thoughts on “Exclusive! The return of Evergreen Field”

  1. I agree with the proposals to turn it into an adventure playground of some sort – perhaps with a natural theme (see also play area near velodrome at QEOP). Because there are so many schools within striking distance of Wanstead, there are a lot of families in the area with older children who do not get anything out of the existing playground (which itself could do with improving) who would benefit from this. It would be a more constructive place for older children to go rather than hang out outside the chip shop, and it would retain the land as mostly open space for use by the community. There is nothing like this nearby so would be a real asset to the area.

    1. A group of local parents have formed the Wanstead Playground Association and are in the middle of fundraising to replace some or all of the equipment. The council has no budget at all – they can only remove the broken play equipment because they don’t have the budget to repair it. Take a look at our website http://www.wansteadplayground.co.uk

  2. Redbridge don’t have any funds to maintain the current play area. There may be funds available from other sources to put in exercise equipment, but Redridge will struggle to maintain them.
    What if the residents of Wanstead bought the plot in £100(0) sections?

  3. The playground looks like a really good idea for all ages, maybe something that also includes a small cafe and skate park too. We have very little to offer children between 8-16, a dedicated space would be a good way to show that they are valued. Outdoor gyms could also benefit everybody’s health so is an overall winner. Perhaps the GP surgeries could get together to help fund it?

  4. This could be a great place for people to plant herbs, fruits and veg? People could buy small plots or it could be started up by the people who own the land and then there for people to buy from, acting like a natural fruit and veg stall! I definitely think it would attract lots of attention. Something a bit different too! #buylocal 😀

  5. Great, so we can finally talk about using a piece of land that has been empty for years and the first thing people want is something for children? They have the whole green to play in not to mention the acres of green space that is a matter of a few minutes walk from the high street.

    Please lets do something for adults for a change. An outdoor gym would be fantastic, but even just opening this up as more space would be preferable to another playground

  6. Bob has a point.

    We need to refurbish what we have for the kids and need something fresh and new on the green.

    Just take the fences down and cut the grass is what I would like to see first!

  7. Some quick maths.

    For the sake of example; let’s say the plot is roughly 50m x 100m and 5000m sq in all.

    Shift 5000 one square metre plots at £100 each would give a purse of £500,000; more than enough to purchase.

    Much more realistic probably though would be seeking a few hundred people providing say half the money and then looking for people to sponsor the £100 plots.

    The clever project would have an income stream but I think the funding would still be a big ask in Wanstead, and then you have to develop the site….

    The, not dissimilar, funding models used by the people that built the Tornado steam loco ( and who are now building another ) make interesting reading and the amounts in play there are way bigger.

  8. In fact I would like to see an Aldi or a Lidl there. Why should I have to drive miles to take advantage of the ‘British Produce’ they both have on offer at very good prices.

    #WansteadLidl #WansteadAldi

  9. Wanstead, like many parts of London, needs more affordable and eco friendly housing. Houses were on the site before and should be again. What TYPE of housing is the question. It’ll happen eventually as planning laws are changed to accommodate a growing population in the capital.

    It’s too close to traffic and fumes to grow vegetables. And as previously mentioned there’s plenty of space for kids to play on the green, away from cars and buses.

    Sadly i’ve had to move out of Wanstead due to the lack of affordable housing, which, in my opinion, is what the land should be used for. Otherwise Wanstead and it’s residents will simply become an old people’s colony.

  10. There is nothing in Wanstead for older children and teenagers. They need something. I’m for a ‘wooden waves’ skate park – it could be sponsored – which could be landscaped.

    If not, how about an open swimming pool?

  11. I’d like to see the space simply integrated into Christchurch Green. It would be the most straightforward and cheapest option, with fewest ongoing management issues. Buildings cost money to erect, maintain and secure. A bowling green would be very difficult given the gradient and, like a vegetable plot, would sadly be susceptible to vandalism. Wanstead doesn’t need any more cafes. A picnic area is unlikely to be used given the eating options nearby. The location is possibly too exposed for an outdoor gym. A performance space/amphitheatre is a lovely idea but would it be used given traffic noise? I’m not against the idea of a natural/adventure playground or skate park for older kids but this would also need maintenance and management, which is a cost that needs to be met somewhere.

  12. an outside gym on the green is a good idea, but not so close to the road
    Yes we need affordable housing, but not to be sold on for vast profit a few years later
    Take the fences down and make the green larger

    Move that totally unsuitable fir tree to the center of the new space, that far away from the houses it can grow as giant as it likes

  13. What about using the space for an outdoor arts and crafts market that encourages local folk to display their goods? The landowner would get rent off the stalls (assuming rent was reasonable), local people would be able to display their talents as they do during the art trail and other events and it would bring money and visitors to the area. A much smaller scale Camden/ flower/ portobello road type market perhaps?

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