|A Fresh View Of The River For Residents|
As Strand End path gets the go ahead after local lobbying
Residents and visitors to Strand on the Green will soon be able to enjoy the river views as a result of the new path being built at Strand End.
The works, which started on site in early June after detailed negotiations with the Environment Agency, are the result of lobbying by the Strand on the Green Residents’ Association and local ward councillors to raise the level of the river wall and make the area more accessible and attractive.
Chiswick Riverside ward councillor Paul Lynch said,“A previous programme of repairs to the wall was extended to provide the elegant semi-circular viewing point where the riverside path meets Thames Road. Prior to this, it was a messy, multi-level collection of steps and railings. However, when it was completed, the miserable dark footpath, which was frequently flooded, looked even worse by comparison.”
The path was regularly covered with muck and rubbish from the high tides, and the overgrown foliage increased local people’s fears for personal safety.
Following lobbying by the ward councillors and local residents, the Council’s Chiswick Area Committee used development funds earmarked for the improvement of open spaces to upgrade the path to a walkway that ran level and close to the road where it would be properly lit, safe and clean, as befits a route to school and a popular pedestrian route which is part of the Thames Pathway.
The Strand on the Green Residents Association also suggested restoring the Victorian marble drinking fountain, which would add greatly to the area, and raised a considerable amount of money for the project.
Cllr Lynch continued, “It would never have happened without the moral and monetary support of the Residents Association, and their fund of good ideas, and their initiative.
“It is a fine gesture to help others to enjoy the beautiful area they live in. People are still coming up with good ideas: a cobbled patch to tell cyclists to dismount; a dog bin. All will help.”
“My sons used to walk to school at Strand, 20 years ago, and this part was a nuisance. Small boys get dirty enough on their own, without the help of a footpath, and the dog would usually grab something unspeakable to chew in the mess.”
The works have preserved the magnificent weeping willows that are such a feature of the spot, and the river wall is more natural, being constructed of gabions: baskets of stone with space between the rocks for earth to settle and plants to root. The ancient draw dock will also be seen to better advantage now that the path is at a higher level.
July 11, 2007