The Wildlife Trail
The Wildlife Trail is open between 9.00am and 6.30pm every day of the week during British Summer Time and closes at 4.30 during normal GMT. Opening is subject to the availability of volunteers and we apologise if you do find the gate locked. The site is closed at night as it is an environmentally sensitive area and also to ensure our neighbours aren't disturbed by any late night gatherings. School and youth groups are invited to have access to the site during weekdays by arrangement.
Because of the sensitivity of the site we politely ask that you do not bring dogs into the area and leave bicycles locked outside. Please keep to the paths, don’t pick wildflowers, throw objects into the pond or move any materials on the site. After all that, please DO have a good time!
An exciting new addition to the nature reserve
Unlike much of the Walk which is formed by steep embankments or cuttings, this area is on gently sloping ground to the side of the main path shortly after entering from Holmesdale Road. The ground was considered poor in terms of habitat when we first looked at it in 2015 and the Conservation Officer for Haringey recommended it would benefit from intervention. We thought this was a wonderful opportunity not just to improve on the immediate ecological value but also to design an area that was of educational value. There are very few easily accessible areas in the Borough where people can learn about nature and wildlife - something that is increasingly in our minds with the huge focus on climate change and species declines that we are facing at the moment.
A meandering path leads visitors around a series of habitat features, and signage provides simple introductions to various aspects of nature, flora and fauna and how we can all play a part to make the environment we occupy more friendly to the natural world. Visitors should find many simple ideas that can be adopted in their own gardens so we can all play a small part in bringing about a recovery in the natural world. Already the area has shown a spectacular response to the availability of light and the removal of ivy that was choking the ground. A large number of wildflowers are enjoying the conditions and with that we have seen large numbers of pollinating insects. The pond is the single most productive addition. All living things need water and our pond was quickly adopted by many varieties of invertebrates and amphibians. We even get regular visits by a pair of ducks.
The site is bounded by dead hedging and newly planted live hedging plants to encourage birds as well as security.
For the first two years we have largely left the area alone just to see what came up naturally. We are now in the process of bringing in some control to prevent dominant species from overwhelming the site. After all, we want people to have a positive experience and not leave with scratches and nettle rash.
We now now have a small group of volunteers who meet to look after the site and are beginning to see a point in the near future when we will be able to offer workshop projects for small groups of children. We already have a box of clay where children are encouraged to make 'Crazy Clay Creature' using sticks and leaves.
Improving The Parkland Walk
This is a unique setting on the Parkland Walk and one which expands on the experience for visitors. The Parkland Walk is a Green Flag Award site and this project goes towards meeting the following Green Flag judges' recommendations:
1) To meet targets already laid out in the Habitat action plan
2) Increase the amount of interpretation material explaining improvements and conservation policy
3) Address issues of dog fouling
4) Include more corporate volunteering days
5) Addressing the public perception that the Walk is unchanged/worse than it was 5 years ago
6) Build on the success of the Big Clean Day by involving the community
How can you be a part of this venture?
There are so many ways you can help. We now operate a regular Wednesday morning session on the Trail between 10.30 and 13.00. This is for individuals who want to make a regular commitment to this project and isn't suitable for large groups or one-off volunteering.
Having neighbours keeping an eye on the site and reporting damage to us, or the council as appropriate, is going to be important. You might become one of our 'gatekeepers' joining a rota to ensure the site is opened and closed at the right time or someone who can guide visitors around the trail. You don't need to know a huge amount about nature conservation to be able to explain what the Trail is about and we can help provide guides with the key information. We would like to offer children's sessions and are looking for volunteers to run those.
We received £12,000 funding from Tesco's Bags of Help Initiative towards this project.