For a number of people the graffiti on the Parkland Walk is something they enjoy, and it’s fair to say that it is a long established feature. The Friends however, who view the site first and foremost as a nature reserve, have a different view. If it was possible, we would love to see all graffiti removed. The paint is toxic not only to nature, but also to users especially if they pass while spraying is taking place.
The Islington section is the main focus, and to be fair, there is often some extremely good artwork. However, in other parts of the walk there is a very different ambiance. Tagging and offensive slogans blight fencing and even trees themselves are targeted. Once established in an area it attracts the very worst kind of environmental and aesthetic damage and is hard to control.
The Friends have tried to bring the two councils together to develop a strategy that embraces the excellence that is on view in Islington with an understanding across other parts of the Walk that nature should have pride of place. We suggested there might even be a graffiti festival weekend where artists of note would be invited to create artworks on selected areas. Neither council however has shown any interest in embracing a collaborative compromise where true artists work alongside and in support of conservation groups and nature.
Despite Haringey Council’s stated commitment to remove graffiti promptly, the Parks department steadfastly turns a blind eye and refuses to keep the nature reserve clean. As a result, previously unaffected sections such as Highgate and Muswell Hill, are now being progressively spoilt.