(Photo: Clif Osborne)
Railway Fields is a former goods yard that has been turned into a Local Nature Reserve. It was opened to the public 30 years ago by a group of local ecologists, and is now owned by Haringey Council and managed by The Conservation Volunteers, a national environmental charity.
The Reserve is small (around a hectare in size) but it is a fantastic example of urban biodiversity, situated off bustling Green Lanes, bordered by the New River and adjacent to the London Overground railway line. Over 200 species of wildflower, 70 species of bird and 21 species of butterfly have been recorded on site.
It is also the home of Haringey knotweed, discovered in 1987 by David Bevan, a rare and unlikely hybrid of Japanese knotweed and Russian vine, which until then had not been discovered growing in the wild.
For local people it is a peaceful green haven and a chance to experience local native wildlife. It offers a patchwork of habitats, including woodland, meadows and ponds. Local schools use it as an environmental education resource, and it is the base for TCV, who run conservation volunteering projects on site and in various green spaces in Haringey and North London.
The Friends of Railway Fields, a devoted group of local volunteers, also work with TCV, carrying out conservation work days and hosting events that engage the local community, such dawn-chorus bird walks, natural arts and crafts workshops, bat walks and summer fairs.
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