By Quentin Given, convenor, Haringey Climate Forum
The coronavirus lockdown has shown how important our parks and open spaces are, especially for people with no garden of their own – and that’s a lot of people living in Tottenham.
It is important to relax amongst trees and wildflowers and hear birdsong and buzzing bees; so, it’s good news that Haringey Council is working on a new plan for local nature. The Biodiversity Action Plan will come out for consultation in a few months. It will give high priority to accessing nature, involving people in learning about, and looking after our local wildlife.
At a well-attended meeting last month convened by Haringey Climate Forum, we heard from the council about how their new plan will put big emphasis on getting benefits for nature from new developments, whether that be miniparks, tree planting or green roofs.
We were told that protecting designated sites of nature importance in Tottenham, like the Marshes and the cemetery will be a high priority, and that there will also be focus on creating wildlife corridors between existing green spaces. This could mean working with residents to create passages for hedgehogs between gardens, as well as nest boxes and wildlife ponds in areas that sit between parks and other open spaces. This should also mean support for things like the Cloud Garden project in Bruce Grove.
Trees and woodlands will have their own plan to protect the existing stock of trees on streets and in parks, involving local people in looking after them, especially if we have more long, hot, dry summers.
The council acknowledged that ten years of austerity has left Haringey like many other boroughs under-resourced to meet our expectations; as a result, community efforts are needed too.
At the meeting, Sally Haywill of Lordship Rec spoke about the fantastic work they have done, planting trees, creating rich grassland meadows and involving a wide range of people in the project. Ferry Lane Estate was also highlighted for its tree planting and watering, wildflower meadows and hedges.
We face both a climate emergency and an ecological emergency, with wildlife disappearing across the world, and this is reflected locally. This is why Haringey Climate Forum is inviting people who’d like to become part of a borough-wide nature network to get in touch.
The be kept informed, and to get involved: