In the spotlight
PUBLISHED: 17:14 07 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:09 05 October 2010
KEN Greenway, 32, is employed as a liaison manager at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (also known as Bow Cemetery), which opened in 1841. As the only member of staff Ken manages the day-to-day running of the park, which was closed for burials in 1966. He man
KEN Greenway, 32, is employed as a liaison manager at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (also known as Bow Cemetery), which opened in 1841.
As the only member of staff Ken manages the day-to-day running of the park, which was closed for burials in 1966.
He manages a team of volunteers who help with the general upkeep such as cutting, digging, planting and seeding, depending on the time of year.
Ken also gives environmental seminars and guided walks of the nature reserve.
Where are you from?
I live in South Woodham, Ferrers, near Chelmsford in Essex. I was born in Forest Gate, Newham, but when I was a year old we moved to Romford and our family lived there until I was 11. We then moved to South Woodham, where I have been ever since.
I live with my wife, two cats, and my border collie, Quinn. He travels into work with me on the tube.
What do you like about the East End?
I like my work here at the park. In a city like London people think there is no provision for wild life. But then you find gems like this where you can enjoy the countryside in the city. In Tower Hamlets, and in London as a whole, I enjoy discovering its unexpected green spaces.
I like Bethnal Green nature reserve at the back of Raynes Foundation School. It's a tiny space filled with wild flowers, woodland, meadows and wetland ponds. You can spot finches, red admiral butterflies, foxes and bumblebees. And it's all managed by local volunteers.
I also like how cosmopolitan life is. People from all over the world come here either temporarily or permanently.
It makes it colourful, there is always someone trying to fly their own flag and share their culture and what's special about where they come from.
What don't you like about the East End?
My biggest dislike is all the development of green spaces. The pressure of development in this borough is so severe and some of the densest.
The council nibble away at parks and green spaces, generally for housing.
It's the only borough not to have an ecologist. Biodiversity is only part of someone's job.
And many have a real sense of bio-phobia, people who have either grown up in the city or come here at a young age. Many of them tend to be detached from the outdoors and have this reluctance to get muddy and wildlife is unfamiliar to them.
I want people to engage with the outdoors. There are such beautiful places here on people's doorstep, equally beautiful to the countryside.
What do you do to relax?
Every day is relaxing for me here at the park. I'm lucky I get to work in a 30 acre nature reserve.
On top of that my dog, Quinn, and I do agility and obedience competitions.
I also spend a lot of time as a bat volunteer in the evenings. I'm a PR agent of the flying mammals. I do educational bat walks and volunteering events to help preserve the species.
What are you doing this weekend?
I'm having dinner at my wife's parents'. I'll also be writing up a grant application for nature conservation work at the cemetery.