Tottenham Hale contains a great variety of open spaces, from local park and play features to regionally important natural landscapes.
At The Paddock, Haringey Council is working with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and Friends Group to transform the site from an underused and overgrown space into a welcoming local nature reserve through new management arrangements and a programme of physical improvements.
You can find out more detailed information about the project by visiting the Paddock improvements Commonplace website (external link).
Following feedback from previous consultations and the community, the focus of the masterplan is on improving accessibility and protecting the different habitats across the site.
- planting and ecological enhancement
- improving pathways
- more information and signage
- improving visibility and sightlines
- new facilities such as a visitor centre (with toilets and educational classroom), riverside hide, viewing platform, and seating
Japanese Knotweed in The Paddock
Over the last few years, there have been noticeable increases in Japanese Knotweed spread within The Paddock. It was creeping towards the locally rare wet woodland that contains unique mosses and lichens together with historical hiberaculas, in the northern corner of the site.
What is Japanese Knotweed?
Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is native to Japan, Taiwan and northern China, and was introduced to the UK in the early 19th century as an ornamental plant. It is a perennial plant, growing each year from its extensive underground rhizomes, and spreads rapidly both by natural means and as a result of human activity.
As landowners, Haringey Council has a responsibility to control the spread of Japanese Knotweed. Japanese Knotweed is listed in Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and is subject to Section 14 of this Act. It is an offence to plant or cause this species to grow in the wild. As The Paddock evolves through the Paddock Enhancement Project and receives more visitors, the chances of the Japanese Knotweed being spread will only increase. Therefore, effective and long-lasting control is the responsibility of Haringey Council.
Japanese knotweed treatment
The first phase of the comprehensive enhancement scheme to improve The Paddock community nature reserve has now been completed!
Our specialist contractors, Ebsford Environmental Ltd., have successfully cleared the significant Japanese Knotweed infestations and decades of fly-tipping that have blighted the site.
Removing the Knotweed
Extensive site-wide investigations were carried out within The Paddock and a bespoke treatment package was devised. Using the ‘cell burial’ method of excavating, sealing and burying the Japanese Knotweed in a geo-textile membrane, The Paddock has been largely cleared of the Knotweed that was colonising the site and depriving native species of their habitat.
With each area of Knotweed that was excavated, tonnes of historic fly-tipping and dumped building waste was discovered, making the task of burying the Knotweed rhizomes more complicated. The contractors discovered enough dumped vehicle parts to re-build a car! 30 tonnes of rubbish in total!
The cleared Knotweed has now been encapsulated in 6,400 square metres of geo-textile membrane, creating a secure cell with a life of 50 years. The cell has been capped with over 3,300 tonnes of soil, delivered to the site in 234 truckloads sourced from a local supplier to keep environmental impacts to a minimum.
New meadows in The Paddock
The cleared space is now a new meadow, as well as new ‘wet meadow’ or boggy areas. The meadow will be planted with wildflowers to improve the biodiversity of The Paddock, while the wet meadows will help diversify the range of habitats on site.
Ebsford Environmental have kindly sponsored and undertaken hydro-seeding of the meadow, ensuring that the planting can become established through the spring.
Due to the challenges of undertaking excavations close to the waterway, some of the Japanese Knotweed infestations close to the River Lee have been left in situ. These will be treated through a sensitive chemical treatment programme.
With the completion of this first phase of enhancement works, plans for the main works to improve the path network, entrance areas, visitor facilities and landscaping can now be progressed for implementation in autumn 2023.