There are many different ways in which you can contribute to the care of the Parkland Walk. Of course the most obvious is to take part in conservation tasks but there are many other ways of contributing and we are always on the look out for anyone who can help us in some way. To see what sessions are in store, scroll down to 'Conservation dates coming up'.
The Friends would normally run a conservation session on the morning of the second Saturday of the month or occasionally on a Sunday afternoon but these have gone on hold due to Covid and we're only just beginning to re-establish them. The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) are a national volunteer organisation with a group based in Haringey and they carry out conservation activities across the borough on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They usually work on the Parkland Walk twice a month. Have a look at their website to see what they have lined up: https://www.tcv.org.uk/london/haringey/ The work generally involves litter clearing, tree and shrub trimming, edge maintenance, entrance clearance, planting and occasionally very specific tasks such as building ponds or custom habitats for bees, bugs and bats. No previous experience is needed and everyone is guided through the use of tools and the task. If there is an area that you think needs attention, please do get in touch. Providing it falls within the criteria outlined in the council's Management Plan for the Walk, we will try to give it our attention.
Become a litter marshal
This is in addition to larger organised litter picks. Our Litter Marshal scheme aims to tackle the build up of litter by ensuring regular litter removal. We provide a litter picking tool, gloves and bags. We also provide a set of guidelines which have been agreed with the two councils, Haringey and Islington, to ensure good practice and to avoid accidents. Marshals litter pick at whatever times suit them. This makes a huge difference to the experience of users and also helps people realise that the Friends and the local community play an important role in maintaining the Walk. As we provide equipment and resources for this we do ask for a minimum level of commitment of around one hour a week. If you get involved and decide at any point that you've had enough, just let us know and we'll take the kit back so we can pass it on.
The Wildlife Trail
Our Wildlife and Nature Trail off to the side of the path at the Highgate end of Parkland Walk South needs both regular maintenance and guardianship. We now meet every Wednesday mornings from 10.30 until 1.00, weather permitting, to control, maintain and improve the area, weed paths, tie back plants that have fallen across the path, anything that benefits this lovely area. If you would like to get involved as part of this specialised group, please drop by. We have a selection of tools available. The Trail also needs people who can commit to unlock and/or lock up the gate on a regular basis. Times vary according to the seasons. During the summer opening time is 9.00 to 6.30. Even if you only undertake one regular morning or evening, spreading the task across a number of people will make this less burdensome for all.
We aim to operate an annual survey of butterflies over half of the Parkland Walk every summer but are currently without anyone to perform a bird survey. In 2015 David Bevan carried out a flora survey and in 2016 we began setting night camera traps to monitor wildlife activity. All of these surveys provide useful information that we can use locally and information is shared with London and National Ecological Data gathering organisations. Much of this work can be carried out by amateurs. If you are interested in this type of activity we can put you in touch with some of our volunteers who will happily take you under their wing.
Community Involvement and education
We are currently looking for someone who would be interested in overseeing educational sessions. We would like to be able to offer short sessions for children so that they can explore and discover nature. Many children can be intimidated by creepy crawlies, but after a short fun introduction become enthralled by what nature has to offer.
The Parkland Walk is a gift for a talented creative writer. It was formally a railway, is a home to wildlife and we shouldn't forget the Spriggan and the heritage of folklore that is associated with trees and flowers. It's Thomas the Tank engine meets Wind in the Willows meets Stephen King. We would love to hear from anyone who could write a story that could be read to children on the Walk and any storyteller who would take children on a story walk.
We also like to organise guided walks. The committee are quite stretched at times and would welcome someone who could take on the role of events organiser. This could be as simple as just researching potential guides and putting together a schedule of 4 or 5 guided walks a year (we already have some names of local experts).
Charity status and fund raising
The Friends are a voluntary group not a charity. We would welcome the assistance of someone who works specifically in this area and also the area of fundraising to support our activities.
Website management and Mailchimp newsletters
One of our aims is to offer people an opportunity to come to a greater understanding of nature and wildlife. Part of this is achieved by developing a comprehensive resource of information via our website or through articles in our email newsletter. We are looking for someone with web knowledge who can edit, update and develop our website. It is built using Joomla!, an open source project that is straight forward for anyone who is familiar with website construction and html. Please contact us if you feel you could help us in this area.
Tree management is extremely important but also extremely expensive. Haringey Council is only able to deal with emergency tree works but there are areas where tree thinning is required to meet the guidelines in the Management Plan. This has to be done by licensed professionals. Are you a professional willing to give one day towards work on the Walk? We would like to hear from you so that we can create a directory of professionals so that we can consider tackling tasks that are outside the ability of amateurs.