WEST: Naomi, Fulham Reach, Hammersmith

What part of London is home and how long have you lived there?

I have been living in Fulham Reach, Hammersmith since 2014 and have been in love with this part of London ever since. Prior to that, I was living in St Margarets which is in the borough of Richmond.

Naomi and Buddy in Barnes Cemetery

What is your favourite thing about where you live?

I love being so close to the river where the only constant is the change; not only the light but with the Thames being tidal, it can look so different at different times of the day.


I am surrounded by wildlife, it's so diverse and the views are spectacular, they never cease to amaze me.


Before I moved to Hammersmith I used to drive to work along Fulham Palace Road from St Margarets down to Charing Cross hospital. I always used to look out to Hammersmith and thought it was just a mass of concrete, huge roads and buildings with very little green.


I now realise that there are so many smaller roads that branch off this main artery leading to different areas to wander into and discover.


Getting a dog was another things that changed my outlook of my neighbourhood. Buddy really changed my life and the way I see the world.

I love being so close to the river where the only constant is the change

I have always been a lover of the outdoors but Buddy encouraged me to explore further afield and I have met so many people because of him, including getting to know my neighbours so much better. They all love him.

Thames towards Fulham with a lone swimmer

Buddy led me to find places like Bishops Park and Fulham Palace. When I first went there, it was in the middle of a renovation project which is now completed. It has really transformed the place and become a destination for locals. They also have summer concerts and it is home to a market garden. I love that they sell plants as although I don't have a garden, I surround myself with house plants.


Having the river running alongside my home provides such a different perspective and it feels as though I am a million miles away from any roads.


Other places I have stumbled upon has been the wonderful overgrown Barnes cemetery. It is so beautiful and looks like something out of a film. There is something so magical about it. It is overgrown, filled with yew and oak trees, cloaked in ivy. The ground is uneven with ancient tombstones sticking up out of the ground.

What would you want others to know about your area?

The Riverside Studios has recently reopened again this year after a 2 year long renovation.


Once an iron works, it was converted in 1933 into a film studio. In1975, it became an arts centre. I believe the arts are really important and the range of things one can see there is so diverse. What's lovely about the renovation is that it has opened up the Thames Path. Before, you had to be diverted off via the roads, but now you can now walk all the way through from Hammersmith Bridge to Fulham and beyond.


There are other benefits of having the studios right by the river as after an event, you can relax, go for a wonderful walk or stay and eat at some of the great restaurants; not just in the studios itself but also Sam's and Brasserie Blanc next door. Best of all, they are dog friendly, meaning I can take Buddy along with me.


Where is your favourite part of London for nature?

I adore Richmond Park. Having lived in St Margarets, it was a place I have frequented often but as it is vast, it varies so much depending on the season making every visit interesting.


The theme for me is diversity and exploration. That's very much part of me and this is reflected in Richmond Park. Wherever you are, the vista is vast and different. Seeing the whole of London but being in such a green space is so humbling.


Finally...

I grew up in a place called Abinger Hammer in North Hampshire and my family owned small holdings. Some of the animals were semi feral so I became used to looking after chickens, collecting eggs and even seeing the end result of them having been mauled by foxes. Whilst that doesn't sound like a nice memory, it taught me about the realities of animal interactions and how chickens needed to be protected and that foxes needed to eat.


Later on, we later moved to Battle in Hastings. We continued to have a smallholding but this time, we were close to the sea. I now realise that my love of the sea influenced my choice of home as I have always lived close to the Thames and feel very content.

Buddy enjoying high-tide at sunset by the Thames

Naomi lives close to several points on the Thames line and Royal loop on the #GreengroundMap.


Find the full Greenground Map here


For TFL, Hammersmith is in zone 2, on the piccadilly, district and circle line with good access to buses.

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