emolition of the buildings at King’s Cross’ iconic nature reserve – Camley Street Park – have just begun. The buildings have been standing for 34 years and, say the bigwigs, in pretty shabby shape, which means they’re unable to support the increasing number of visitors who make their way to the urban nature reserve ever year.
London Wildlife Trust have decided to do away with the old and build a brand spanking new visitors’ centre and learning space – courtesy of money donated by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The site has always been contested. Back in the 1980s locals intervened to save the nature reserve from development and the park’s been an essential spot of tranquility for the community, and a necessary hub of biodiversity in the inner city ever since.
Before demolition, Trust experts scoured the building making sure there were no bats roosting in the rood spaces, and an amphibian fence was erected to stop newts, frogs and toads from strolling into the demolition danger zone. Just before work began the team found an adventurous toad galavanting in the empty buildings – they managed to escorted him back to the safety in the nick of time.
As King’s Cross continues to boom, pressure on and need for the nature reserve will continue to grow. It’s the perfect time to make their asset as pleasant and smooth-running as possible.
The nature reserve will reopen in 2019. So you’ll have to hold off on adventurous toad-spotting until then.
Main image: Penny Dixie