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Camley Street Natural Park

Camley Street Natural Park is now temporarily closed to the public in order to prepare for the construction of a new visitor and learning centre. The nature reserve will reopen in early 2020.

Febrary 2019 update; preparing for construction

 


The old visitor centre and adjoining buildings were demolished in autumn 2018. Construction of the new visitor and learning centre is due to commence by April 2019.

 

During the construction period, much-needed habitat enhancement works will also take place, including desilting the ponds, enhancing the wildflower meadow and improving the wetland and reedbed areas. We will also improve access to the nature reserve. We aim to improve Camley Street Natural Park as a whole, for both wildlife and people.

 

Our staff and volunteers will carry out activities throughout this period of construction, contributing reserve management and habitat enhancement work.  There will be opportunities to see the progress on site through 'behind the scenes' tours and guided walks when the construction schedule allows us to do so safely.

 

For more information on the improvements being made, please see our press release London Wildlife Trust awarded £1million to transform the wild heart of King’s Cross.

 

About Camley Street Natural Park

A wild oasis nestled between two of London’s busiest railway stations and beside the Regent’s Canal, this reserve was created from a flower-rich wasteland and is now a haven for diverse wildlife.

Camley Street Natural Park is a unique urban nature reserve, surrounded by significant new development in a bustling part of central London - between King's Cross and St Pancras.

The woodland, grassland and wetland habitats including ponds, reedbed and marshy areas, provide a rich habitat for birds, butterflies, amphibians and plant life, while a visitor centre caters for the thousands who visit annually.

The reserve provides additional habitat along the Regent’s Canal, with enhancements being made to soften the canal banks through installation of wildlife islands and marginal aquatic plants to provide habitat for birds, fish, and aquatic invertebrates.

 

Species you can see at Camley Street Natural Park

Amphibians: Common frog

Birds: Reed warbler, kingfisher, moorhen, mallard, reed bunting

Invertebrates: Orb-weaver spider, stag beetle, honeybee

Mammals: Daubenton’s bat, soprano pipistrelle bat

Plants: Hairy buttercup, rare earthstar fungus

 

History of Camley Street Natural Park

The site was once a coal drop for the railways into nearby King’s Cross Railway station, which was demolished in 1967. Subsequently colonised by nature, it was bought by the former Greater London Council (GLC) in 1981 to be turned into a lorry park. Local people and the Trust ran a successful campaign to persuade the GLC to save the flower-rich wasteland from development, and create a nature reserve instead. Starting in 1983, GLC worked with the Trust to re-landscape the reserve and install a visitor centre to deliver environmental education; Camley Street Natural Park was opened by GLC leader Ken Livingstone in 1985. This innovative inner city oasis – a symbol of the urban nature conservation movement of the time - was declared a statutory Local Nature Reserve in 1986, and has subsequently been visited by people from around the world. 

 

Management of Camley Street Natural Park

As visitor numbers increase, care is taken to protect the reserve’s wild spaces and ensure nature is allowed to thrive through careful management of paths and habitats from trampling and disturbance.

 

Facilities at Camley Street Natural Park

When open in 2020 the fully accessible visitor centre will include an inspiring double-sized learning space, brand new volunteer facilities, a cafe serving a range of delicious food and drinks, new information boards explaining the history of the reserve and wildlife on site, toilets and nappy changing facilities. London Wildlife Trust will be delivering a fantastic programme of learning and engagement activities, there will also be self-guided activities for families to enjoy while exploring the reserve. Seating is dotted around the site, and there’s an outdoor eating area. A viewing point provides seating alongside the canal.

 

Camley Street Natural Park

 

How to get to Camley Street Natural Park

The entrance is a five-minute walk from King’s Cross and St Pancras railway stations. Walk north up Pancras Road and across Goods Way. The reserve is in front of you, and the entrance is further along Camley Street just before the railway bridge.

 

Opening times for Camley Street Natural Park

Camley Street Natural Park is currently closed to the public in order to prepare for the construction of a new visitor and learning centre. The reserve is then due to reopen fully in 2020.

 

Accessibility at Camley Street Natural Park

The entrance, area around the new visitor centre at the northern end of the nature reserve and main path down to the pond dipping platorm will have accessible surfaces, whilst other footpaths around the site are surfaced in woodchip. The visitor centre will be fully accessible and will include an accessible toilet. Two changing places toilets are located within a short distance from the nature reserve at: Camden Leisure, 5 St Pancras Square and King's Cross Station.

Steep steps with handrails at the southern end of the site lead to the viewpoint on the canal.

No visitor parking available but drop-offs can be made by arrangement. Camley Street has double yellow lines on both sides.

 

Status of Camley Street Natural Park

Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation; Local Nature Reserve

 

Get involved at Camley Street Natural Park

 

 

Camley Street Natural Park on social media

 

Camley Street is on Facebook Find Camley Street Natural Park on Facebook  

 

Camley Street is on TwitterFollow Camley Street Natural Park on Twitter

 

Nearby nature reserves

Woodberry Wetlands
3 miles - London Wildlife Trust
Walthamstow Wetlands
5 miles - London Wildlife Trust
Bellenden Road Nature Garden
5 miles - London Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
12 Camley Street
London
Greater London
N1C 4PW
Map reference
TQ 299 834
Great for...
a family day out
getting away from it all
spring flowers
Best time to visit
Apr - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Closed from 22nd December 2017 until spring 2020.
Facilities
Cafe
Visitor centre
Picnic facilities
Toilets
Size
0.83 hectares
Dogs
Guide dogs only
Grazing animals
No
Reserve manager
Karolina Leszczynska-Gogol
Tel: 020 3897 6150
klgogol@wildlondon.org.uk

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