Sunday, September 13, 2009

Camley Street Natural Park, London

Last year I wrote about the nature reserve at Camley Street next to St Pancras station for the New Statesman website:

Each year more than 50 schools visit its oasis at Camley Street, which is open to the public seven days a week. Into two acres beside the Regent’s Canal are packed ponds, wetlands, woodland and open grassed areas. Within them you will find kingfishers, reed warblers, reed buntings, rare fungi and a teeming variety of insect life. Geese, mallards, coots and herons make regular visits, while the cutting of the grass is subcontracted to the park’s resident rabbits Coco, Patch and Merlin.

Camley Street was created from a former coal yard. It opened in 1985 as a joint project between the Trust, the Greater London Council and Camden Borough Council when such partnerships were a novelty. Now the Trust runs more than 150 days of family activities here every year: its volunteers carry out maintenance work on the various habitats and lead guided walks and play schemes over weekends and school holidays.

As I said in that article, there are concerns about what the redevelopment of the King's Cross area will mean for Camley Street.

I was there again yesterday afternoon. Talking to the volunteers it seems that relations with the developers and Camden council are good, but that the increase in visitor numbers that will result from the redevelopment may lead to some areas being closed to the public and only being seen on guided tours.

So get down to Camley Street while you can still wander around it freely.

No comments: