A New Nature Trail for the Parkland Walk
The Friends of the Parkland Walk have had approval from the Conservation Officer at Haringey Council for the siting of a nature trail on the Parkland Walk Local Nature Reserve.
As a linear nature reserve, it is difficult to stop in the middle of the path without blocking the way for other users and we know this can be a cause of great angst. We are looking to develop that is currently of limited habitat value and create an area rich in wildflowers and varied habitats. This will be open to all, but will be of particular interest to those who want to explore the nature aspect of the Walk, especially school groups and ramblers.
We are in the process of assessing potential costs and seeking suitable funding opportunities. The area will require a level of clearing, landscaping and planting, and we would dearly like to see the community come together to make this their own project, be that be helping out on the ground or by making a gift towards the costs.
Recent survey of public interest
We recently had an online survey to get views from the public on both the nature trail and the Parkland WAlk as a whole. The most important features people wanted to see was a variety of habitats, lots of information, a pond and seating. We were also pleased to see that a number of people are enthusiastic enough to want to be involved in seeing the project through either through a bit of hard graft or financial gifts. If you were one of those people, thank you and we will be in touch.
One person had concerns that the project might actually be damaging to nature! There's no doubt that an area will change fairly dramatically, but we are absolutely focussed on ensuring that nature and wildlife are the beneficiaries of this project, as is the case with all the work we carry out. By the spring we will be able to present some well considered plans for close scrutiny and there will be ample time for modifications.
Survey results in full
You can view a breakdown of the survey here. Some very interesting 'loves' and 'hates'!
What steps next for the nature trail?
We are in the process of visiting other nature trails to get ideas. We've been very impressed by Camley Street Nature Reserve in Kings Cross which is run by The London Wildlife Trust where they have generated fabulous habitats and provide stacks of information, giving tips on how visitors can apply their new found knowledge to their own gardens and local green spaces. Watch this video to see what they do at Camley Street.
We are also in touch with local schools to see what kind of nature trail will work best for them. We believe that helping children understand nature is our best hope for safeguarding its future.
We want to hear your ideas
Conservation and nature quiz
How good is your knowledge on nature and conservation? Answers at the bottom.
Q1 The best way to help wildflowers is to improve the soil with good compost. True or false?
Q2 The UK has lost how much of its wildflower meadows in the last 100 years? Is it a) 48%, b) 73% or c) 97%
Q3 How long can an earthworm live? Is it a) Up to 2 years, b) Up to 8 years or c) Up to 14 years
Q4 Haringey is rich with parks and woodlands, but part of the Parkland Walk is in the borough of Islington which is not so blessed. How much of Islington is private gardens? Is it a) 5%, b)15%, or c) 25%
Q5 One of the best things you can do for wildlife is? a) Make a pond, b) Make an 'insect hotel' or c) Hang bird feeders
Q6 The most common species of bat in the UK is about the size of a tennis ball? True or false?
Conservation and nature answers
Q1 False: Wildflower meadows thrive best on nutrient-poor soil. Often people dump their garden waste onto the nature reserve thinking it is helping. In fact the opposite is true as wildflowers will not establish. All garden rubbish is best disposed of through green waste collection.
Q2 The UK has lost 97% of its meadows. This change is reflected in the Parkland Walk which was formerly almost entirely meadow. Meadow and low scrub provides rich and varied habitats for flora and fauna hence our projects to create more glades and open areas.
Q3 Q1 C, Earthworms can live up to 14 years and breed every 2 weeks. They are 1000 times stronger than humans (comparatively speaking). In the UK, the longest earthworms get to 30cm. In South Africa, it is a staggering 22 metres!
Q4 Q2 C again. It's 25%, making gardens a very important part of green space in Islington. All gardens play an important role in providing haven for nature's creatures - planting and gardening with wildlife in mind brings an extra dimension to your patch of nature.
Q5 A, A pond, or even a bucket of water sunk into the ground is one of the best things you can do for wildlife. Freshwater habitats hold more than 40% of the world's known species.
Q6 FALSE. The pipistrelle bat is about 4cms long, so it's nearer a ping pong ball and would fit in a matchbox.