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…In Redbridge!


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Hainault Forest Country Park is in the early stages of a £6m restoration project which will see it undergo a programme of work focusing on four key areas – investment in biodiversity, landscape and buildings, works to re-focus the popular children’s zoo and to improve the range of activities on offer for visitors.

Nature walk

On 9 December 2017 a group joined Francis Castro, Senior Ranger and Project Manager at Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure, for a guided winter stroll around Hainault Forest. In beautiful winter sunshine, over the course of two hours, they learned about the flora and fauna, as well as the restoration plans.

In January 2017, the HLF announced support of £4.5m, including development funding of £218,800, for Hainault Forest Country Park’s “Hainault Ancient Forest – a Landscape for the Future” project. The Council will also contribute £1.25m to the project with a further £250,000 from Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure. This brings total investment to £6m. When the project is complete, it is envisaged that Hainault Forest Country Park will be enabled to become financially self-sufficient, and the current Council subsidy will end.

Tree walk

Covering a total of 800 acres, Hainault Forest includes 250 acres of greenbelt, ancient woodland and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is the last fragment of a medieval Royal hunting forest established by Henry I that included Hatfield and Epping.

The forest is also pivotal for local and regional wildlife. To date, 158 species of bird have been recorded in the forest including turtle doves, bullfinches, and three species of woodpecker. There are also more than 940 species of invertebrates such as butterflies and dragonflies, 79 of which are nationally scarce.

Friends of Wanstead Parklands member Richard Arnopp, who went on the walk, said –

“Hainault Forest is important both as a haven for wildlife and a much-needed recreational space for Redbridge’s growing population. It is also a historic landscape with ancient trees, including many pollards, which bear witness to its long management as wood-pasture”.

Richard continued –

“Francis Castro (Vision RCL), the London Borough of Redbridge and the HLF are to be congratulated for this initiative. We hope that the “Hainault Ancient Forest” project will guarantee the future of this special place for many years to come”.

Camelot Path Hainault Forest Country Park is managed by Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure on behalf of the London Borough of Redbridge.

 

 

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Celebrating Healthy Families in Redbridge in Loxford Park!

Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure and NELFT Healthy Eating Team hosted a celebration with families in Loxford Park on Monday 24 August. It was a celebration to mark a fantastic year for the MEND, Little Dudes and Active Stars weight management programme; becoming healthier through healthy eating and physical activity.

Despite an unfortunate forecast and a very wet morning, it was a pleasure to see so many families turn up to Loxford Park to celebrate being a healthy family in Redbridge. There was plenty of fun to be had and activities for all ages to enjoy, in particular the beach volleyball session and healthy food tasters! The turn out proved the determination of the healthy families, a bit of rain never hurt anyone!

Beach volleyball

There were a variety of stalls from providers for families to enjoy. Vision RCL Sport and Health Team had a stall with information of all the physical activity options the Sport and Health Team provide. They also had information on other activities in the borough provided by outside organisations. For updates from the Sport and Health Team, follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Everyone enjoyed the healthy snacks, activities and information about healthy food from NELFT healthy eating team. Also popular was the ISS education stall. ISS education came in full force with plenty of healthy ingredients for everyone to try out such as pea pate and a delightful spinach, banana, mango and pineapple smoothie – created on the smoothie bike! The smoothie bike attracted a lot of attention. Encouraging physical activity, the smoothie bike creates a smoothie from the energy produced riding and pedalling! Your efforts are rewarded with a delicious healthy drink afterwards!

Smoothie bike

Find out more information about what services NELFT Healthy Eating Team and ISS education provide.

Fit for Fun, School Nursing Team & Infant Feeding Team and the local Children’s Centres all had a stall providing information on the local services and activities they have to offer.

See what is going on at your local Children’s Centre in Redbridge and find more information of Free Fit for Fun exercise classes.

Sport & Health Team Tent in Loxford park

There are a number of Healthy Workshops throughout the year, so if you are looking for some support with healthy eating or increasing physical activity in your family, please do not hesitate to contact the Healthy Weight Teams today. View more information on Healthy Kids in Redbridge & Weight Management Support.

For more information on how to get involved in any of our healthy eating sessions contact: nem-tr.eatwell@nhs.net or for active stars contact the team on activestars@redbridge.gov.uk.

Post Author: Eleanor Wilkinson


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Go Tri Duathlon comes to Redbridge

Friday 24 April saw the first Go Tri Duathlon at Cricklefields Athletic Ground. Aimed at beginners new to the sport, participants had to run 1 mile, cycle 2 miles and finish with another mile run.

Local resident Andy took part and had the following to say:

Just wanted to say thanks for putting on the Duathlon on Friday evening. Me and a group of friends decided to ride over to Ilford Athletic Club and give it a go. One or two of us were a bit nervous about the cycling part, but the marshals were so friendly and supportive, those nerves soon disappeared! The race distance was perfect too. I think people will be surprised at how much fun they’d have if they came down and gave Duathlon a go. It’s a brilliant way of getting fitter and because it’s on an athletics track, we were never more than a few strides or pedals away from the others taking part, which meant there was support and cheers at every turn. What I really enjoyed most was, no matter who finished first or last, everybody stuck around to cheer and applaud each finisher over the line. We are all definitely coming back down to the next one at Cricklefields to see if we can better our last performance and to have some fun.

Andy, South Park Terrace, Ilford.

Duathlon

Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure will be hosting a series of 4 further events over the summer:
Fridays 19 June, 17 July, 21 August and 18 September. View Duathlon dates on our calender of events by selecting the summer months in the date section below the search box.
To book your place on the next Duathlon click here. Cost £5 if paid in advance/ £6 on the day. Registration opens at 6.30pm. The event is open to everyone aged 14 and over. Bikes must be in road worthy condition and a helmet worn.

Post Author: Craigie-Lee Paterson


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Reasons to Vote for ‘Riding the Roding’

The Friends of Wanstead Parklands strongly support the “Riding the Roding” project. This is not only for its direct aesthetic and ecological benefits but because it would complement plans for the regeneration of Wanstead Park, which are currently under development.

Redbridge and the Wanstead Park stakeholders have been working closely on both projects. In particular, the new riverside cycle path will improve local connectivity and restoration of the much-missed Coronation Bridge will make the historic landscape of Wanstead Park much more accessible to Ilford residents.

riding the roding

Vote for Riding the Roding now in the Big Green Poll

Visit the Redbridge-i website for more information

Author: Richard Arnopp, Friends of Wanstead Parklands


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A vote for ‘Riding the Roding’ is a vote for wildlife and nature!

Riding the Roding is one of the shortlisted projects for the Mayor’s Big Green Fund. Tim Harris, chair of the Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group, tells us why it needs your support.

As chair of the Wren Group, I’m really excited about Redbridge’s Riding the Roding project. It has wildlife and conservation at its heart, and I really hope it is successful in its bid for the Mayor’s Big Green Fund. Already we’ve got many supporters, particularly from local wildlife and conservation groups like ours.

We care passionately about the nature of the local area. That’s why we’re very excited by the habitat improvement proposals. They’ll undoubtedly improve biodiversity along the Roding Corridor. By ‘softening’ the river banks and introducing a more graceful water flow, it will also create a series of quiet pools.

Roding-Valley-River500px

Apart from looking more attractive, these areas of gentle water flow will encourage a richer variety of vegetation, as well as more breeding invertebrates (like damselflies and dragonflies), and more amphibians, fish and kingfishers. With otters also present not far upstream, surely it won’t be long before they reappear on this stretch of the river. We might even see water voles and water shrews. We’ll also be building bat boxes to help these summer visitors to thrive.

As this stretch of river is also near the popular Wanstead Park, the cycle route and wildlife together will help attract new visitors. I believe this project will be great for Redbridge. It will also be great for conservation and great for walkers and cyclists. Please give it your support.

Vote for Riding the Roding now in the Big Green Poll

Visit the Redbridge-i website for more information

Post Author: Tim Harris, Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group

 

 


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Improve cycling opportunities by voting for ‘Riding the Roding’

With many set to benefit from improvement works along the Roding Valley Way, it is no wonder that cyclist and local campaigner, Gill James is backing the Riding the Roding project in the Mayor’s Big Green Fund.

Redbridge Cycling Campaign sees the Riding the Roding Project as completing the most important cycle route in Redbridge. It finally offers the opportunity to cycle and walk off-road. It will link cycling residents of Ilford, Barking and Newham with Essex. It is ideal for families with children wishing for healthy exercise, being nearly all off-road and following a pleasant river route. It will offer people in a busy urban area safe access to a riverside environment. With sporting facilities such as Ashton Playing Fields and green areas such as Wanstead Park and Ray Park becoming easily accessible.

Local cyclists have been campaigning for many years to have the Roding Valley Way finished. The route is ideal for cycle commuters wishing to reach town centres such as Ilford and Woodford, which avoids busy and polluted roads. It is also the access point for those wishing to travel east towards the Redbridge Cycling Centre and West towards the City.

Therefore we urge you to vote so that everyone can benefit from the regeneration of this beautiful area.

Vote now at www.london.gov.uk/biggreenpoll and select ‘Riding the Roding’

Post Author: Gill James
Redbridge LCC (London Cycling Campaign)


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AthleFit-Channel the Athlete in You

The adult AthleFit sessions at Seven Kings High School on Monday evenings saw four of its attendees awarded sport water bottles for their great effort and attendance for 6 weeks.athlefit

The AthleFIT sessions are inclusive of every age,background and ability and are an exciting way to have fun and get fit at the same time. It is an athletics themed fitness session taken by a qualified instructor and is the perfect way to meet new people and experience tailored workouts with a bit of friendly rivalry if you so want.

Whether you’re looking for a fresh way to get some exercise or pulling on your trainers for the first time in years, AthleFit is for you!

There is now a new AthleFit class as well on a Tuesday afternoon, 2.30pm-3.30pm at Redbridge Town Hall, Ilford as well as the Monday evening session at Seven Kings High School 6pm-7pm. Both sessions are £3 each with no need to book.

View an Athlefit session in action from England Athletics!

For enquiries: natalie.pope@visionrcl.org.uk

Post Author: Natalie Pope