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 run a conservation session on the morning of the second Saturday of the month or occasionally on a Sunday afternoon. 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. Dates for conservation sessions are displayed on our Home page and at the foot of this page. 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 we will guide everyone through use of tools and what the task is and why we are doing it. If there is a project that you would like to be considered for a work party 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.
Our Litter Marshall scheme aims to tackle the build up of litter by ensuring regular litter picks outside of our big organised events. We provide a litter picking tool, gloves, bags and a Friends of Parkland Walk tabard and also a set of good practice guidelines with contact details for when the task is too large or outside the boundaries we set for health and safety of volunteers. Marshals litter pick at whatever times suit them - some take advantage of the walk home after dropping the kids off at school. 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 invest in the equipment for this we do ask for a level of commitment of around one hour once 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 with much appreciation for doing a stint.
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 this website. It is built using the Joomla! and open source project but is still straight forward for anyone who is familiar with website construction and management. Information on volunteer dates needs to be updated monthly and there is room for developing more content. Please contact us if you feel you could help us in this area as our current Webmaster will be moving out of the area in the near future and wants to hand the site on when he goes.
The Wildlife and Nature Trail - guardians
Our Wildlife and Nature Trail off to the side of the path in Highgate needs both regular maintenance and guardianship. To ensure the site remains in good condition we would like to create a group who would be prepared to check on the plot on a regular basis, remove litter, weed paths, tie back plants that have fallen across the path, stock up bird feeders etc and report any concerns to us. This site is a great asset to the community but needs special support. An organised group of local people with a desire to nurture the site is key to its future.
We operate an annual survey of butterflies over half of the Parkland Walk every summer. Until 2016 one of our members carried out an informal 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 aspect we can put you in touch with some of our volunteers who will happily take you under their wing and help you get up to speed.
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 just a voluntary group and do not have charitable status. We are considering the possible advantages of becoming a charity and would welcome the assistance of someone who works specifically in this area and the area of fundraising.
Tree management is extremely important but also extremely expensive. The 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.
Conservation Days and Litter Picks
Sunday 11th August, 12.00 - 14.00, The Wildlife Trail at the Highgate end. MAP
Various tasks to keep the trail in tip top condition with some cutting back on parts of our meadow.
Tuesday 13th August, 10.00 - 15.00 Grassy embankment Stroud Green MAP
First cut of the meadow before the bramble bashing starts
Thursday 15th August, 10.00 - 15.00 Highgate Northwood Road MAP
Clearing entrances and working towards Finsbury Park removing unwanted species such as Sycamore, Holm oak and Cherry laurel.
Saturday or Sunday 7th or 8th September
Session yet to be decided.
Tuesday 10th September, 10.00 - 15.00 Grassy embankment Stroud Green MAP
Bramble bashing on the meadow
Thursday 12th September, 10.00 - 15.00 Muswell Hill MAP
Clearing vegetation and building beetle loggeries.
All Islington Nature Conservation Team's events for the autumn can be found in their Winter Volunteer Newsletter