30 September 2013

Parkland Walk – railway to pathway

More images from my recent Parkland Walk stroll.
I remember discovering Parkland Walk by accident when I moved to the Holloway area in 1988 and walndered up the hill to Crouch End. I investigated further and it was like uncovering something that no-one else knew about. My neighbours seemed to be oblivious to it when I questioned them for more info.  It reminded me of when I used to go on bike rides when I was a 10 and think that I was the only person who was aware of all those little alleys that join up the roads in Hornchurch, or the empty wartime (hospital?) buildings near the swimming pool. (Any info re this most welcome.)
Whenever I went to Parkland Walk with my sister in the early 90s we felt it was our own secret place, especially if we accessed from the little path at the top of Hillrise Rd that ran around the edge of an unloved old sports club.
Back then the trail was a bit unkept as it had been neglected for decades and we'd hardly see anyone along the whole length of the path except a few kids practicing their skateboarding skills in the half pipe at the youth centre near Crouch Hill.
A team of intrepid volunteers has managed over the years to tidy up the tangled undergrowth, remove the dead wood and really make Parkland Walk a pleasant place to pass a few hours – as they say, 'a piece of countryside in the heart of London'. Shame on me for not joining in.
There are well-maintained paths, not only along the old track, but also the little ones that lead you up and down into the trees and shrubs. Attractive stairways have been made from old railway sleepers, and information boards explain the flora and fauna. I was impressed to read about acid grassland having never even heard of it before that day (see centre images). This type of grass lives on low-nutrient acidic soils, so it's well-named!
Elements of the old Stroud Green station platforms and buildings at Stapleton Hall Rd are still in place. I looked down from the northern platform and imagined how the scene below would have looked in Edwardian times. And on the bridge at Mount View Rd I wondered why Thames Water don't let people access the lovely grass that covers the reservoir? It must be lovely on there.
The old Crouch Hill Station still retains its long platforms – there s a lovely old photo on an information board showing how it looked 100 years ago.
Enough info from me... you'll find much more here.
Please scroll down to see my previous posts about this lovely stretch of greenery.

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