Where is home?
I grew up in Oxfordshire and moved to London for work around 1.5 years ago. I had previously visited Haringey and had a really good experience of it. It was a coincidence that I ended up living here but it’s great for its transport links into the city which was a real incentive for me.
What are the favourite things about where you live?
Initially, it was the transport links and ease of getting into work, however I quickly saw realised its proximity to green spaces and ease of access to areas such as Downshill Park, Lordship Recreational Ground and the much bigger and well known Alexandra Palace, Finsbury Park and Woodbury Wetlands.
More locally, there seems to be a strong focus on community. I participate with the local Good Gym who combine fitness and volunteering at local organisations and am also involved in GrowN22 CIC. I initially started volunteering with them at Westbury Banks Nature Reserve as it’s very close to home. Only a few years ago the space was renowned for fly tipping and a dumping ground for waste. Luke, who is the director of GrowN22, has since turned that around along with volunteers, by having cleared the area, added a pond and planted trees and flowers. We often have community days where locals can take a look as well as getting involved. It feels good to be part of the community and it gives a good sense of what the area has to offer.
GrowN22 do lots of other things around the area. Recently we created a community garden outside Wood Green library and have launched a short story competition as part of it. Another way the community can get involved, particularly during lockdown.
What do you want people to know about your area?
I love that even in a built-up part of London, you can still find wild spaces with plants coming up between concrete. These patches of flowers and mosses are special places collectively and help to act as a corridor, allowing wildlife to find a way through the city.
What is your favourite part of London for nature?
Although it’s quite a journey from home, I love Richmond and Bushy Park. I find it such a magical area with a rich diversity of habitats. You find deer and sky larks but also centipedes and other insects amongst the ancient deadwood.
In Bushy, yellow meadow ants can be found in grassland. These are really important for the grassland environment and create their own microhabitat. These ants eat aphids, are a food source for the green woodpeckers and their ant hills produce heat which butterflies can bask on.
While they are only 2-4mm, they build anthills that can be up to 1.5m in diameter which means that they can be found quite easily.
I also really enjoy Walthamstow Wetlands. It’s a large area with so much to see and it’s such a peaceful and tranquil space.
You can find some great street art around the neighbourhood. You can be walking somewhere and all of a sudden you are surrounded by a wonderful piece of art.
There are various artists but ATM has quite a lot in the area. It is wonderful how imposing some of the pieces are and it really brightens up the area. It's lovely to see that nature is their focus.
Photos of some street art across the area including ATM (finch and heron). Fox artist unknown.
All photos provided by Charlie.
Charlie has always had an interest in nature and prefers things that are under appreciated. He is a learning assistant at with the Royal Parks at Mission Invertebrates
Charlie lives in Wood Green near to Westbury Reserve which is close to many of the points of the North and Bee line on the #GreengrounMap
For TFL, it can be reached by tube to Turnpike Lane with good access to buses.
Find the full Greenground Map here