The Parkland Walk is much appreciated as a piece of ‘countryside’ in the heart of London and yet how many people know about the amazing wildlife they pass on their way to work, or when walking the dog?
People will naturally enough appreciate trees and the sound of birdsong. Take a walk in early spring and listen to the dawn chorus – it’s a remarkable sound. This free concert is all about territorial claims and sexual attraction and what music it is to our ears to hear it!
When the railway ceased to operate the cutting of vegetation on the embankments also stopped. Silver Birches and Sycamores became significant ‘pioneer’ species. The former are nearing the ends of their lives and sycamores are beginning to dominate and squeeze out other native species which are more beneficial to the ecology.
Ash and Hazel are quite common along the whole length of the walk. Ash dieback disease has been found and we expect this will greatly reduce the ash numbers over the years to come. Durmast and English Oak are common on the Southern half. Elder, hawthorn, rowan or mountain ash, field maple and viburnam are dotted about. Buddleia, a favourite of butterflies, which originates from China has found home here. It is often seen growing from the brickwork of the bridges and buttresses.
There's also plenty of bramble providing bounteous crops of blackberries.
There are areas of interesting grassland on some south facing slopes near Crouch Hill and Florence Road. In the past 40 or so many interesting species, including many birds, bats and other wildlife, have recolonised these areas.
Muntjac deer have been spotted, though that's a rare occurance these days. The walk is inhabited for the most part by birds and foxes. We have begun placing camera traps in the hope of finding hedgehogs but so far with no success.
Butterflies on the walk are prolific and you can readily see Red Admiral, Speckled Wood butterfly, Brimstone, Peacock, Orange tip and Skipper to name just a few.
Islington Council has a wildlife blog. If you spot any wildlife in your garden or as you travel around Islington why not let them know. The wildlife blog keeps you up to date with what the birds, pond life and other wildlife are doing as well as Islington staff telling you about the trees, plants and the habitats that exist in Islington.
To find out more please visit: www.islington.gov.uk/wildlifeblog