Monday 18 December 2017

London Wildlife Trust - We're transforming the wild heart of Kings Cross

Kingfisher in snow © Vine House Farm --

Designs for new visitor and learning centre at Camley Street Natural Park
All change at Camley Street Natural Park
We are delighted to announce that London Wildlife Trust has received an award of more than £1million from Heritage Lottery Fund to transform one of our most treasured reserves, Camley Street Natural Park. The funding will allow us to create a new visitor and learning centre, with new habitats, outdoor spaces, and accessibility improvements around the reserve.
The new building will replace the existing visitor centre that is, after more than 30 years, no longer fit-for-purpose. It will include an education studio and café, while exterior features include wildlife-friendly spaces for nesting swifts and bats, plus new views of the Regent’s Canal.
The improvement work begins early next year, subject to final planning approval from Camden Council in January. Unfortunately, it does mean we will be closing Camley Street Natural Park to the public, starting on 23rd December. We expect to reopen it in spring 2019.
For more details on the upcoming transformation visit our website
Camley Street Natural Park
Join us for a special members-only talk with Mathew Frith, Director of Conservation, on the evening of Thursday 25th January 2018
Camley Street Natural Park has a long history. This small nature reserve, just ten minutes’ walk from King’s Cross and St Pancras, was created from scratch by visionary activists in the 1980s, but its roots were first shaped by London’s industrial growth from the 1820s. Kingfisher, reed warbler and dragonflies now thrive where slums, coal and gas once dominated, ringed by railway steel and the busy waters of the Regent’s Canal.
Mathew’s talk will take us on a journey of discovery, centred around the establishment of Camley Street Natural Park and its symbolic importance as a tranquil urban sanctuary for wildlife.
Thursday 25th January 6-9pm. Camley Street Natural Park. Refreshments will be available. 
There's only three days left of our new member, urban mini-meadow offer.
Take out a London Wildlife Trust membership, for you or a loved one before midnight 18th December and each one will come with a special, free seedball kit, ready to grow into an urban wildflower mini-meadow.
Created by conservation scientists, the seedballs make growing wildflowers from seed simple. Each seedball is its own mini-ecosystem, protecting the seeds from birds, ants and slugs, and giving them the nutrition they need to have a head start.
Winter goose © Jon Hawkins
Wrap up warm and make the most of London’s wild side this Christmas.
Winter can be a wonderful time to see and enjoy wildlife. With less leaves on the trees, woodland birds are easier to see and hear, and at our wetland reserves, flocks of over-wintering waterfowl dive, dabble and preen, while heron stalk the shallows and kingfisher add a welcome flash of colour.
A few of our staffed reserves close over the Christmas holidays, but most remain open every day of the year.
Walthamstow Wetlands closes for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but is otherwise open throughout the holiday, including on New Year’s Day. With easy access via the Victoria Line, and a visitor centre, café and toilets – it is well worth a
Check out all of our nature reserves here:
Holiday closures
  • Woodberry Wetlands closes Saturday 23rd December 2017, reopens Tuesday 2nd January 2018.
  • Centre for Wildlife Gardening closes Friday 22nd December, reopens Sunday 7th January 2018.
  • Camley Street Natural Park closes on Saturday 23rd December, reopens 2019.
Hedgehog rolling
Watch: Roll up, roll up! In our latest YouTube video, some rather unusual hedgehog behaviour has been recorded in north London. Watch the video.
Archway (credit James Cracknell)
Consultation: The London Plan is designed to shape London's growth. Check out the Mayor's plans & take part in shaping our city's future.
Jay (credit Phil Winter)
Read: In our latest Evening Standard column, jays, brightly coloured members of the crow family, stash as many as 5,000 acorns in a single season. Read more.
Hedgehog Discovery Day at Woodberry Wetlands
We've been having lots of fun at events over the past few weeks  and there's plenty more to come!
This Saturday you can learn more about London's hedgehogs at the Centre for Wildlife Gardening, where you can even make a hedgehog home for your own garden. 
We also have a special Boxing Day Open Day at the nearby New Cross Gate Cutting nature reserve, and we have family events at both Woodberry and Walthamstow Wetlands. 
And in the New Year, we are launching a new series of talks by wildlife experts at the Grade II listed Woodberry Wetlands Coal House.
Many of our family events and wildlife walks are free, although donations are always welcome. Visit our website for our full list of upcoming walks, talks and other events.
Image credits: Kingfisher © Vine House Farm, Erect Architecture, Penny Dixie, Jon Hawkins, Phil Winter and Hayley Bray Photography.