The Friends of the Parkland Walk is an association formed in 1988 in order to challenge a government plan to build a dual carriageway along its route.
The threat was withdrawn following a vigorous and well-supported campaign and a sea change in transport thinking. For a while the Friends continued with conservation work in association with British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, now renamed The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), then became dormant. In 2004 the 50th anniversary of the last passenger train was celebrated with a festival on the Walk and the idea for re-invigorating the Friends started.
The FPW officially came alive again three years later in 2007 revising its position as a ‘critical friend’ with the aim of reinvigorating conversations and action around the care and maintenance of the nature reserve. It began by monitoring proposals to invest in the infrastructure of the Walk – access and paths. Since then, investment by Haringey Council in the nature reserve has stalled due to funding difficulties and a whole new list of issues have arisen which form an agenda of concern for the Friends.
The FPW remains affiliated to TCV who carry out regular conservation activities in the nature reserve in Haringey. Islington council organises its own volunteer activities through the Nature Conservation Officer at Gillespie Park.
General aims and activities
The Friends continue to monitor the condition of the nature reserve and its infrastructure, including any neighbouring developments that could threaten its vegetation and wildlife.
Encroachment is one of the biggest threats to the Walk. We engage with the relevant council departments to defend the Walk against developers and others taking land away from a public asset.
We continue to be involved in the development of plans to manage both Haringey and Islington areas of the Walk, including its ecology, the style of signs, entrances and other issues of clearance and maintenance of trees and other vegetation.
Our volunteers undertake litter collection and vegetation control, but we are aware that a balance needs to be struck between our involvement and the responsibilities of the local councils to fulfil their duty of care.