London’s Pocket Parks: Railway Fields, N4

It is a former railway depot that’s now a nature reserve and has a plant that’s distinctive to the realm, albeit not one you’d need in your again backyard

That is the appropriately named Railway Fields, and is a densely wooded patch of wildlife sitting subsequent to the London Overground in Harringay, and nonetheless has bits of previous railway heritage lurking within the undergrowth to find.

The railway depot, formally the Harringay Park Inexperienced Lanes Items Deport was fairly modest, being not rather more than a few sidings, however it sat inside a a lot bigger plot of land that was owned by the railway. The railway, as we speak a part of the London Overground GOBLIN department, was constructed because the Tottenham and Hampstead Junction Railway and opened on twenty first July 1868, passing via Harringay with out stopping as the realm was nonetheless fairly unpopulated on the time.

The station subsequent to the depot, as we speak known as Harringay Inexperienced Lanes, opened on 1st June 1880, similtaneously the small depot opened on the other facet of the principle street. Plainly the railway firm that constructed it might have anticipated it to be expanded as that they had much more land than was wanted, however that by no means occurred.

OS Map 1872

OS Map 1895

As a depot although, it managed to outlive till it was lastly closed on third February 1964, and left fairly empty till it was purchased by an area group to transform right into a nature reserve.

There’s now a big set of gates on the entrance, and the cobbled (sett) path that leads from the street as much as the extent of the railway continues to be intact, giving a really atmospheric entry to the pocket half, and do search for the remnant of previous railway monitor that results in the nice’s depot solitary foremost siding.

Round a number of corners, there’s a big shed-like constructing for the character reserve volunteers to make use of, together with area for college kids’s visits, however for many of us, head into the character reserve alongside a slim winding path. A big pond to 1 facet, wanting very overgrown on my go to, however nature isn’t imagined to be that neat anyway. A number of indicators are dotted round mentioning the wildlife that may be discovered right here and you’ll both persist with the tree lined paths, or there’s a path that runs proper subsequent to the railway should you want that form of factor.

A lot of the positioning is wooded with open birch woodland operating alongside a part of the boundary with the railway. Denser woodland and scrub occupies a lot of the remainder of the positioning. Over 200 species of wildflowers have been recorded. This contains the distinctive Haringey Knotweed, found in 1987, and is a cross between the Japanese knotweed and the Russian vine.

There’s nonetheless one spot proper on the finish of the pocket park the place it runs up towards the New River and provides an excellent view of the railway — and a possible picture spot if a steam practice have been to go alongside someday.

Across the nook is one other little bit of railway heritage — the buffers from the solirary railway monitor that ran via the products depot, nonetheless right here because of doubtless being far an excessive amount of effort to take away.

On my go to, a big part has been sealed off attributable to wasps — which is one thing I had by no means seen earlier than till this 12 months, and that is the third time I’ve seen a plot of land sealed off with warnings about wasps this 12 months. Curious.

Looming over one nook of the character reserve is a tall brick chimney, and also you would possibly assume it’s to do with the railway depot, however no, it’s nothing in any respect to do with railways. In truth, it’s a surge pipe for the massive sewer that runs all the way in which down the hill and lies beneath the Harringay Passage. If there’s lots of water within the sewer, it could possibly overflow up the surge pipe, and a member of employees mentioned that on moist days you may clearly hear the water speeding underneath the chimney.

As a pocket park, it’s terrifically filled with wildlife, and should you’re visiting for that, a pleasent area to wander round, if just for possibly 10-20 minutes because it’s pretty compact.

The character reserve is repeatedly open Mon-Fri, and on occasional weekends. The weekend hours are a little bit of a thriller, because the signal on the door says open from 11am, however their web site says open from 10am. Fortuitously, as I had arrived at 9:45am, the 10am time was right on my go to, and was actually already open after I arrived.

Yow will discover the doorway to the character reserve on the other facet of the street from Harringay Inexperienced Lanes station, or a brief stroll from Harringay station.

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