James Leal Centre

The James Leal Centre (formally known as Ray Lodge) can be found in Ray Park, off Snakes Lane East, Woodford Green. View Ray Park on the map.

The centre is a state of the art, eco building, which was officially opened in December 2009. Located next to one of Redbridge’s premier children’s play areas, outdoor gym, tennis and basketball courts, it is also a good place to start or end your walk or cycle along the River Roding ‘Roding Valley Way’.

Members of the public can visit the Centre to use the following facilities:

  • on site café with indoor and outdoor seating
  • on site toilets include a baby changing facility
  • interactive computers about wildlife, parks and open spaces
  • occasional exhibitions

The whole of the Centre has been designed to allow access for wheelchairs and buggies.


Venue hire

The Kingfisher Room can be hired out for a presentation, meeting, function or children's birthday party. This may include the use of the tables and chairs, interactive whiteboard and flip charts. Food can also be provided.

Party and external company bookings are through the James Leal Café operator. Please contact them on 020 8505 7138 to discuss your requirements.


The James Leal Café

A friendly local meeting place, choose from a selection of hot and cold fresh foods, beverages and Artisan coffee from our new menu whilst your little ones enjoy our soft play area for toddlers.

The café is open every day from 10am to 5pm during the Spring and Summer months, and at slightly reduced hours throughout Winter and Autumn.

Also available to hire for children's birthday parties, for more information please call 020 8505 7138.


The Outdoor Classroom

School teachers can arrange a visit to the Centre for educational purpose. The Nature Conservation Team has an outdoor education programme aimed at key stage 1 and 2.

The Claybury education pack

This educational resource is packed full of imaginative stories; woodland tree, plant and animal information; and creative and easy to follow wildlife-themed activities. Each pack includes a story CD for students to listen to. Every school in Redbridge is entitled to a copy. View more information on the Claybury education pack (PDF 718 KB).

Ranger activity packs

The Borough’s nature conservation ranger team leads on various outdoor educational activities in and around the centre. There are 5 different themes, all with a focus on wildlife and the natural environment and all designed to link in with the national curriculum.

  • after the Storm
  • meadows and mini-beasts
  • tree explorer
  • pond dipping
  • science zone

Book a school visit

The ranger team also leads school trips to other parks and open spaces in the Borough, including Hainault Lodge Nature Reserve and Valentines Park. If you have a particular site or topic in mind, please get in contact as we are flexible.

To book the Outdoor Classroom or another Nature Conservation School Trip, please see our booking forms:

You can also contact us for a one to one discussion on 020 8559 2316 or email us at nature.conservation@visionrcl.org.uk.

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