Country parks and nature reserves
We understand that the borough’s parks are vitally important for both physical and mental wellbeing. Therefore, our green spaces will remain open at this time.
However, the government’s social distancing guidelines now apply. This is a priority and not a choice. While you can currently still go for a walk or exercise outdoors, you must stay more than 2 metres (6 feet) from each other and not use children’s playgrounds or outdoor gym equipment.
We have taken the difficult decision to close Barking Park visitor centre and the Discovery Centre at Eastbrookend Country Park. Similarly, to support social distancing guidelines, Barking Park café, boating and Splash Park facilities are closed.
For the latest information on changes to our park facilities and services, including opening times and social distancing, please check our updates page:
Find country parks and nature reserves in the borough, see what facilities they have, what activities are on offer and how accessible they are for disabled users.
If you're not sure where your nearest country park and nature reserve is, type your postcode into Find my nearest to see what's in your area.
- Beam Parklands Country Park and Beam Valley
- The Chase Local Nature Reserve
- Eastbrookend Country Park
- Ripple Nature Reserve
- Scrattons Farm Eco-Park
- St Peter and St Paul’s Churchyard
- Looking after our nature reserves
- Council byelaws
- The Countryside Code and dog walking
Beam Parklands Country Park and Beam Valley
Visit The Land Trust website for information on the Country Park and Beam Valley, including location, opening times, activities, facilities, events and accessibility.
The Chase Local Nature Reserve
Visit The Chase Local Nature Reserve website for information on location, opening times, activities, facilities, events and accessibility.
Eastbrookend Country Park
Provides local people with the chance to experience the pleasures of the countryside on their doorstep.
Ripple Nature Reserve
Ripple Nature Reserve is currently closed to the public until further notice.
Ripple Nature Reserve covers about 10.1 hectares and is a tapestry of birch woodland, scrub and grassland.
Renwick Road, Barking IG11 0HH
Set among the industrial landscape of Barking Riverside and once a dumping area for pulverised fuel ash, the reserve is a fascinating example of how nature can reclaim industrial wasteland.
The dumping of fuel ash has created a soil that is very alkaline and therefore different to most soils in London (they are mostly acidic).
This means that many plant species that can tolerate the soils of The Ripple struggle to grow elsewhere locally.
Pyramidal and southern marsh orchids, grey club rush and wild basil are the most important of these.
The areas of meadow and scrub provide a suitable habitat for invertebrates that are considered to be on the edge of extinction.
The number of rabbits and flocks of goldfinches in the reserve are notable.
For information about accessibility, visit AccessAble.
Scrattons Farm Eco-Park
The eco park is an oasis where flora and fauna can flourish and local residents can go to relax and enjoy.
Shaw Avenue, Barking IG11 0UG
Grass and wildflowers are thriving and fish have returned to the dredged drainage ditches, which will also provide a haven for waterside plants, frogs and toads.
A diverse range of habitats has been created to encourage all kinds of wildlife and the park is managed to sustain these all year round.
For information about accessibility, visit AccessAble.
St Peter and St Paul’s Churchyard
St Peter and St Paul’s Churchyard is a unique green space within the borough. The Churchyard won a Green Flag Award in 2003.
The Churchyard, only a couple acres in size (8093.7 square metres), was closed to new burials in the 1990s, since when it has been managed as a nature reserve.
Church Lane, Dagenham RM10 9UL
The area surrounding the church is maintained very much as gardens where nature can thrive but the emphasis is on formality. Further away from the church the gardens give way to an area of meadow where gravestones are found resting amongst spring and summer flowers.
The long grass, bramble and trees provide the obvious habitats. The old walls and headstones are valuable for lichens and mosses and are not common in the borough.
The main importance of the churchyard is for invertebrates. In summer you can find the long grass full of butterflies and crickets and there are lots of flying insects. These insects provide food for bats.
For most recent years a kestrel has nested on the church tower. Woodpeckers regularly feed on the avenue of lime trees.
A family of foxes live in the churchyard and can often be seen in the early morning and late evening.
The churchyard is accessible by wheelchair.
Looking after our nature reserves
There are lots of ways that you can get involved in looking after our nature reserves.
If you would like to join in and help manage green spaces in the borough contact our volunteer team.
Park Watch Scheme
Park Watch is very similar to a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
You can help to:
- protect Barking Park from crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB)
- improve safety
- make our parks cleaner and more welcoming community green spaces
The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, like other councils, has wide powers to make bylaws in relation to a range of areas under its control. Generally, byelaws seek to uphold good order, government and public health.
Byelaws for parks and open spaces are made by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham under section 164 of the Public Health Act 1875, section 15 of the Open Spaces Act 1906 and/or sections 12 and 15 of the Open Spaces Act 1906 and Section 41 of the Countryside Act 1968.
Any person offending against the byelaws is liable to conviction and a fine not exceeding level 2 (Maximum £500) on the standard scale.
LBBD byelaws - Country parks and picnic sites (PDF, 75 KB)
The Countryside Code
When visiting the Dagenham Corridor please follow The Countryside Code:
- be safe, plan ahead and follow any signs
- leave gates and property as you find them
- protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
- keep dogs under close control
- consider other people
The Dagenham corridor is a great place for dogs, and responsible dog ownership is encouraged.
To ensure your dog is safe during your visit we ask that dogs are kept under close control at all times, or they are kept on a lead if they are likely to stray.
Please be aware that not all park users are comfortable with dogs.
Free dog-waste bags are provided at Eastbrookend Discovery Centre to help you clean up after your dog and keep the site clean and healthy for everyone to enjoy.
From time to time there may be a need for dogs to be on a lead in certain areas due to nesting birds, grazing horses or site works, so please follow any notices displayed.