Mill Hill Old Railway is a naturally colonised linear reserve off Lyndhurst Park. The reserve
Once part of the branch railway to Edgware from Highgate, which closed in 1964, this reserve was originally intended to be a ‘green walk’. However proposals by Barnet Council in the early 1980s to develop part of Lyndhurst Park led eventually to the Trust being engaged to manage the 1 km strip of land as a nature reserve.
The reserve has developed a vegetation typical of old railways, a mixture of recent woodland and scrub with grassy glades. Within the mosaic of gardens which back onto the reserve, this provides a good habitat for suburban birds, including sparrowhawk, green and great spotted woodpeckers, long-tailed tit, chiffchaff and blackcap. Butterflies, moths and other invertebrates such as orange-tip, small copper, and hoverflies are common. Importantly the reserve supports slow-worm.
Mill Hill Old Railway is owned by Barnet Council and managed by the Trust under a lease, and regular work parties are held. Negotiations are under way to strengthen links between the site and a local school, in order for the reserve to become a greater community asset
Habitats you'll see
Hedgerows, scrub, grassland
Species you might spot
Fox, lesser whitethroat, southern hawker dragonfly, 6-spot burnet moth. What's in my backyard?
Find out what species have been spotted on this reserve with the fantastic WIMBY tool, run by GiGL – Greenspace Information for Greater London. Visit us
Most of the site is only open for events and work parties, although the western end is within Lyndhurst Park and freely accessible.
The site lies between Dean Lane and Bunns Lane in Burnt Oak, HA8 9HQ.
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