Hackney ,

Park could be renamed after botanist who created first 'man-made' hybrid flower


A Hackney park could be renamed after one of the godfathers of modern botany if residents give the proposed change the go-ahead.

The Council would like to rename Hackney Road Recreation Ground, off Hackney Road, after Thomas Fairchild, a 17th century horticulturist whose experiments helped establish that plants have a sex.

Fairchild, who lived in Hoxton and who is laid to rest on the site of the recreation ground - the former burial ground of the nearby St Leonard’s Church - was also the first person to create the world’s first ‘man-made’ flower when he successfully created an artificial hybrid.

He wrote extensively of his findings, and published a book in 1722, called The City Gardener, which identified the trees, plants, shrubs, and flowers that would thrive best in London.

The Council is also exploring the idea of holding a regular market in the park in order to boost the numbers of people using it.

Ideas, now open to consultation with the public, include street food, vintage wares, farm produce, and handmade items.


Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council
I think it’s right to honour one of Hackney most prominent forward-thinkers at a time when we’re looking to broaden the horizons of the park.

Tell us how you currently use the park and what changes, if any, you want to see made, to help us create a green space that’s better for all.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council

You can view the full consultation and have your say here. Or you can pick up and drop-off hardcopies of the survey at Cafe 12, 57 Hackney Road, and at Shoreditch Library, 80 Hoxton Street.

The renaming of the site is supported by the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association, St Leonard’s Church and the park user group.The consultation closes on Friday, 5 February.