Railway Fields Local Nature Reserve
Green Lanes (opposite Harringay Green Lanes Station), N4 1ES
- Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm - last Saturday of each month - and alternate Sundays - please call 020 8348 6005 before visiting.
Green Flag Award Winner since 2004
Located just off the busy and bustling road of Green Lanes, behind magnificent iron gates lies one of Haringey’s most hidden and wonderful treasures. The two-acre Green Flag award site of Railway Fields is one of three Local Nature Reserves in Haringey. In the 1950s the site was used as a railway goods yard and even today coal can still be found on site.
The council acquired the land in the early 1980s and in 1986 turned the site into a wildlife haven and environmental teaching centre for local schools. In 1990 Railway Fields was officially declared a statutory Local Nature Reserve. The site is currently managed by conservation charity The Conservation Volunteers (TCV).
There is a well-designed Swiss chalet style wooden building that is capable of housing up to thirty children at one time, as well as a variety of different animals. There is a range of different habitats including woodland, scrub, meadow, a pond and two areas of marshland. Swings, slides and a climbing frame are all present on site, so learning about wildlife can be combined with play activities.
Railway Fields is renowned for its flora. Over 200 species of wild flowers have been recorded and they include the unique Haringey Knotweed discovered in 1987, a remarkable cross between the Japanese Knotweed and the Russian Vine.
Habitats change throughout the year, so whatever time of year you visit, there is always something of interest and new to see. Leaflets have been developed detailing what can be found during the changing seasons and are available to download at the bottom of this page.
Twenty-one kinds of butterfly have been recorded over the last few years and more than sixty species of birds have been observed since Railway Fields first opened.
On entering the magnificent gates, the site felt intriguing and inviting. Lush vegetation blocked out noise from the surrounding streets, which made the site feel peaceful and secure.
They went on to say that
The whole site felt totally natural and untampered with, in a controlled and sensitive way and the strong emphasis on developing and encouraging biodiversity is very evident.
Find out more about the Green Flag award, or to discover and comment on how Railway Fields is managed read its Management Plan. This can be downloaded from the attached files section below - please note the management plan document is over 2MB in size, and may take some time to download on slower internet connections.