Wilderness St, Ilford
Ilford is a diverse and growing neighbourhood of London. Access to green and public spaces in the heart of Ilford however, is greatly compromised. According to the English Indices of Multiple Deprivation, it features amongst the 10% most deprived areas for access to high quality local living environment.
Wilderness Street is a temporary living urban landscape which was installed in Oakfield Road in Ilford in 2022, launching the town centre as a cultural destination at London's north-eastern fringe.
Before large-scale urbanisation started from the C19, the Ilford, Barkingside and Hainault area was characterised by forests, fields and meadows. Our design strategy seeks to temporarily revive these lost landscapes. We have selected Uphall Camp Beacon, the former Royal Forest of Hainault and the Essex Grazing Marshes as blueprints for plant species and landscape character to be replicated by our proposal for Oakfield Road.
The project advocates for the preservation of ancient natural landscapes and their role in maintaining biodiversity and supporting well-being.
The legacy strategy will see all planting including trees and shrubs given away to community organisations and Ilford residents at the end of the project. Enticing local people to adopt the plants will see elements of the ancient Essex landscape re-instated in public places in Ilford, in peoples gardens, front gardens, planters and allotments.