AS WE celebrate the Mayor of London's cash injection for the Brent River Park, let us remember how this splendid park came into being.

It was the result of a concerted campaign by the Brent River and Canal Society (BRCS) to create an area of peaceful natural beauty where wildlife is protected, dereliction cleared away and a continuous route for walkers established along the Ealing stretch of the river.

To make all this happen in 1973, the year my late husband Luke launched the campaign, would require connecting up numerous parcels of existing open space, like playing fields, golf courses and hospital and railway land, which were being managed - and fenced off from one another - by different public owners.

There was, for example, no access to the river by the side of Ealing Hospital and no footpath under the viaduct to link Brent Meadow to Churchfields.

BRCS commissioned an integrated landscape design for the whole area, with paths, rustic fencing, uniform sign-posting and tree-planting. Ealing Council eventually adopted the proposals and, in co-operation with the society, started to implement and improve them.

At the height of its campaign the BRCS had 1,500 members, most of them actively involved in some way, whether working parties, surveys, walks and presentations or just attending the society's lively public meetings and social events.

It is surely no coincidence that the north west region's park that attracted top votes is also the one that was brought into being by the collaborative efforts of its local community.