Ripple Nature Reserve covers about 10.1 hectares. Set among the industrial landscape of Barking Riverside and once a dumping area for pulverised fuel ash, it's a fascinating example of how nature can reclaim industrial wasteland. The reserve is a tapestry of birch woodland, scrub and grassland. 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 6 red data book species (those that are considered on the edge of extinction) of invertebrates. The development of the surrounding land has seen quite a few interesting animals disappear from the site; grey partridge and water vole, for example. Those species that are left are fairly typical of urban nature reserves though perhaps the number of rabbits and flocks of goldfinches are notable. The site is managed by the borough's Parks and Countryside Ranger Service.
The Ripple Nature Reserve does not have open access to wheelchairs. Access can however be arranged. Please contact the Ranger Service for further information.