All change at iconic Kings’ Cross nature reserve

Tuesday 11th September 2018

Demolition at Camley Street Natural Park © Penny DixieDemolition at Camley Street Natural Park © Penny Dixie

Demolition of the buildings at Camley Street Natural Park has begun, as London Wildlife Trust prepare for the creation of a new visitor centre and learning space, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.

As wildlife and nature have flourished, this small nature reserve has become increasingly popular... 

The buildings at Camley Street Natural Park have stood for 34 years, but were in very poor condition and unable to support the increasing visitor numbers that this iconic, urban nature reserve receives each year.

Before demolition, Trust experts checked to ensure no bats were roosting in the roof spaces, and an amphibian fence was erected by the reserve’s volunteer team, to ensure the reserve’s population of newts, frogs and toads were kept away from danger.

A special wildlife patrol spotted one crafty infiltrator shortly before work began, an adventurous toad who was quickly relocated back to the main pond, and out of harm’s way.

Camley Street Natural Park was saved from development by local people in the 1980s, supported by London Wildlife Trust and the Greater London Council.

The nature reserve opened to the public in 1985, and quickly became an important location for visiting schoolchildren and local residents. As wildlife and nature have flourished, this small nature reserve has become increasingly popular.

Located in a once neglected and rundown part of King’s Cross, Camley Street Natural Park is now at the heart of a thriving new neighbourhood, increasing the pressure on this urban oasis.

The new visitor centre will allow London Wildlife Trust to ensure visitor numbers do not impact negatively on the reserve’s wildlife, while giving more people the chance to enjoy wildlife and nature in the heart of the city.

The nature reserve will reopen in 2019. 

September update. All the buildings have gone, as well as the 1.5m solid concrete base we didn't expect to find underneath!


Banner image © Penny Dixie

Funding raised by The National Lottery and awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund