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Camley Street Natural Park Camden

Summary

Although Camley Street Nature Park only opened in 1985 it is a legacy of the pioneering conservation projects set up by the GLC's London Ecology Unit. Situated adjacent to the Regent's Canal, from Victorian times until 1960s the site was used as a coal depot, but then became derelict. Acquired by the GLC in 1981 for a lorry park, local people successfully lobbied against this with the London Wildlife Trust. As a result it became a community nature park, attracting a diverse range of wetland species of flora and fauna. It contains woodland, marshland, reed beds around a pond, wild flower meadow and garden area.

Basic Details

Site location:
12 Camley Street, King's Cross

Postcode:
NW1 0PW ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Public Open Land

Date(s):
1984/5

Designer(s):

Listed structures:
None

Borough:
Camden

Site ownership:
LB Camden, leased to London Wildlife Trust

Site management:
London Wildlife Trust

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
Daily 10am-5pm
Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend 11 times, most recently in 2016.

Special conditions:

Facilities:
Toilets, information centre

Events:
Educational programme plus arts and other events

Public transport:
Rail: King's Cross. Tube: King's Cross (Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Piccadilly, Circle, Victoria, Northern). Bus: 214.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/05/2009
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.wildlondon.org.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ299834

Size in hectares:
0.82

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
Yes

In Conservation Area:
Yes

Conservation Area name:
Regent's Canal

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Metropolitan Importance

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
Yes - King's Cross Area of Opportunity

Other LA designation:
Local Nature Reserve. King's Cross Area of Opportunity.

Camley Street Natural Park

Camley Street Natural Park, August 2002. Photo: S Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

Album

Fuller information

Although Camley Street Nature Park only opened in 1985 it is a legacy of the pioneering conservation projects set up by the GLC's London Ecology Unit and is an example of the success and importance of urban ecology for environmental and educational purposes in the heart of London. Situated adjacent to the Regent's Canal, from Victorian times the site was used as a coal depot until the 1960s, then left derelict it became a rubbish dump, and was then acquired by the GLC for a lorry/coach park in 1981. In 1982 local people lobbied against this with the London Wildlife Trust and as a result it became a community nature park, opened to the public in May 1985 by Ken Livingstone, then Leader of the GLC. Following abolition of the GLC it was transferred to LB Camden who lease it for a peppercorn rent to the London Wildlife Trust. It was designated a Local Nature Reserve and has become an extremely popular resource for visitors. The site has a diverse range of wetland species of flora and fauna and attracts c. 50 bird species, there are 2 areas of wild space with woodland, marshland, reed beds around the pond, wild flower meadow and garden area. In 1988 its future was threatened when the King's Cross railway lands were designated for redevelopment for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link which has resulted in some land lost in the south although an additional area is due to be given in the south east corner. Green Flag award: 2009.

Sources consulted:

Michael Waite, Daniel Keech, Meg Game, 'Nature Conservation in Camden', Ecology Handbook 24 (London Ecology Unit), 1993; B Smyth, 'A Green Guide to Urban Wildlife', Black, 1990; information on site.

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