Mudchute Park and Farm is a large urban park and farm just south of Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. The name of the site is a testament to the engineering overspill when Millwall Dock was being constructed in the 1860s. Spoil from the excavation of the Dock, and silt from its channels and waterways were dumped on nearby land, using a conveyor system.
The end of this system, where the rich Thames mud was deposited, was literally a mud chute, and the area of fertile, hilly land thus created became known as "The Mudchute". This area quickly established itself as a wildlife habitat and adventuring location for local children. Over time this developed into a park and a small city farm, which proved popular with dock workers and their families. During the Second World War, the area was used to house a set of anti-aircraft guns to defend London and its docks against German bombing.
In 1974 the Greater London Council gave permission for the construction of a high-rise housing estate on the Mudchute, and the resulting backlash from the local population led to the 1977 creation of the Mudchute Association, a registered charity whose primary objective is "Management of the park and farm with special consideration for animals, wildlife, visitors, trainees & staff. To maintain the financial sustainability of the project and to respond to local needs and initiatives."
The park now covers 13 hectares (32 acres), and the local authority describes the farm as the largest urban farm in Europe.
The housing estates of Clipper Quay and Mill Quay are located nearby.
The Mudchute was the site for four Ack Ack Anti-aircraft guns. The 154 Battery of the 52 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery was stationed at the Mudchute until 26 March 1941. Then the 119 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment manned the site until 1945. The guns were fired by remote control using Radar to track the enemy aeroplanes. The Blitz started on 7 September 1940, and on 8 September the Guardroom, canteen and stores was destroyed by landmines, but there were no casualties. During the Blitz 430 people were killed on the Isle of Dogs.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mudchute.|
- "Mudchute Park Farm". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- "Map of Mudchute Park Farm". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- "Mudchute Park and Farm". Greenspace Information for Greater London. 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- "iGiGL data portal (map)". Greenspace Information for Greater London. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- "Wildlife". Mudchute Park & Farm. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Mudchute in WWII". Mudchute Park & Farm. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "About us". Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Charity Overview". Charity commission. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Mudchute Park and Farm". London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
- "Getting to Mudchute". Mudchute Park & Farm. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- Island History Trust, information panels, Mudchute, 17 March 2013