A green surprise in the centre of London

Earlier this week, I left my leafy suburbia and headed deep into urban environment. Rushing through dark tunnels on a Tube train where everyone was consciously avoiding each others’ eyes, walking through a swish but very grey Kings Cross train station and along a busy city street – which was also rather grey.

But then I came to Camley Street and suddenly, there was colour! A wall of green extending perpendicularly from the corner along Camley Street and along Goods Way, shining a lovely mix of bottle green, emerald, and olive green in the warm autumn sun. Trees towering above (though that’s not difficult at my height!) and plants spilling out over the fence.

A wall of greens!  (taken from Goods Way looking at the junction with Camley St / Pancras Rd)

A wall of greens!
(taken from Goods Way looking at the junction with Camley St / Pancras Rd)

I was fascinated by the number of wasps buzzing in the sunshine, evidently interested in ivy flowers. Despite a fear of these insects (the result of a traumatic experience a few years back!), I went up close to take some photos and get a better look. Unfortunately I am lacking in my ownership of invertebrate identification keys (except moths, I love my moth book!), but fellow Twitterers helped me out. Apparently they were the females of the common wasp, V.vulgaris. I love the one in the photo below. She was very content to sit in the sunshine and groom herself for a while, completely unfussed about me trying to find the best angle for a photo!

Relaxing in the sunshine

Relaxing in the sunshine

So Camley Street Natural Park itself. The first thing that struck me was this amazing dragonfly artwork! I especially love the use of a stereo for the head, that’s inspired and actually makes perfect sense! I took a wander down the paths, taking a sneak peek at the Growing Out section with all the vegetables. They have a great pond dipping area, and I bet it’s full of interesting wildlife! I also scampered amongst the log piles, intrigued by the fungi growing there. I have limited identification skills with fungi so I don’t know what they were but I had good fun looking at them and taking photos.

Great dragonfly

Great dragonfly sculpture!

Fungi from below!

Fungi from below!

The park is one of many reserves by the London Wildlife Trust (and somehow, it may possibly the only one I’ve been to!) and is the hub for their volunteers, as well as being a great spot to escape the busy city rush. I’m definitely bookmarking it for a return visit!


My favourite photo from the day:

Traveller's joy seed head on the fenceline along Camley Street - did you know they're also known as Old Man's Beard?

Traveller’s joy seed head on the fence line along Camley Street – did you know they’re also known as Old Man’s Beard?! Looking at it, you can see why!


Check out Camley Street Natural Park at http://www.wildlondon.org.uk/reserves/camley-street-natural-park

Thanks to @RichardComont, @bugmanjones and @Bex_Cartwright for helping with the wasp ID!

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