Open Gardens 2011: Camley Street Natural Park (NW1 London)

Can’t believe I had never heard of this place.  A complete idyll in central London and an ideal place to introduce children to nature.

Camley Street Natural Park is a local nature reserve on the banks of the Regent’s Canal in the heart of London’s King’s Cross area. Created from derelict land that had been a dumping/storage area for coal reserves arriving on The Regent’s Canal, the garden opened in 1985.  The site has resisted development and offers plant sales, a visitor centre and woodland walks.  Who would have thought the picture to the left is moments from St Pancras.

The park offers a landscape inspired by nature: a mosaic of meadow, marsh woodland and open-water habitat. The habitats are intensively managed to maintain their diverse wildlife value and include many species of birds, bees, butterflies, amphibians and a rich variety of plants.

There’s also some rogue American terrapins that have entered from the Regent’s Canal (the garden pond flows directly in and out of the canal) after probably being released by their owners as unwanted pets.  They are in fact a bit of a problem because they eat anything, including bird eggs and chicks.  They’re also quite cunning so tricky to catch and return to other habitats where they can cause less harm to the native wildlife.

Yes, that is the Kings X and St Pancras site right next to the garden
Rogue America terrapin taking over and basking in the sun
The pond that flows directly in/out of The Regent's Canal
Yes, that is how close The Regent's Canal is

When visited: 11 June 2011

Website: http://www.wildlondon.org.uk

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