Hello, I’m Anna.
New to London, new to TCV and new to Blogging (apologies in advance)!
Having overcome the initial bombardment of bashing bodies and bags I have reluctantly fallen into a mad sort of relationship with the London Underground. Tube aside; I’m hooked on the buzz and colour of the city, particularly within Haringey.
Railway Fields Nature Reserve, where I’m based as Natural Networks Trainee, is The Conservation Volunteers’ first Green Hub in London and a focal point for volunteer projects right in the heart of Haringey. This formerly disused railway goods yard, now Green Flag award site is, for lots of locals, an urban oasis. Leading off the vibrant busyness of Green Lanes (a hectic road of bakeries and fresh foods that smell delicious), Railway Fields takes you from city to seclusion in under a minute. Walking about site, I was genuinely surprised at how much biodiversity rests here, for what is a relatively small reserve. During my first day, I was greeted with knocks of a Greater Spotted Woodpecker making it’s territory known in a Silver Birch above my head. The reserve is buzzing with birds and squirrels going crazy for each other in the trees and despite the active railway line running next to the reserve, the wildlife seems totally un-phased. Wildlife’s ability to adapt and boom within the city, when given a chance, is something I find pretty exciting.
For the next 12 months I’ll be focusing on ways to integrate and engage with the local people within Haringey, especially underrepresented groups, enabling them to enjoy their local green spaces within the city. I’ll be working with, and learning from, community volunteer groups and the Haringey Council to gain a better understanding of the local area, vibrant community and opportunities within.
So far I’ve introduced myself to the team, drunk far too much tea, and managed to get out into the local area to visit sites with the North London Project Officer. One site is an area of woodland neighbouring a local Primary School where we’re planning practical conservation work to increase biodiversity (installing a Stag Beetle loggery & dead hedges); it’ll be good to look into more ways of creating an outdoor learning space for the teachers and children to use. My lovely mentor Lizzie runs the education and school’s outreach here, working closely with the local community. I’m looking forward to learning from her and getting involved with upcoming outdoor classroom sessions in Hounslow. I feel privileged to be working alongside Clif (aka Wildlife Encyclopaedia Extraordinaire) and the rest of the team, it couldn’t have been a better welcome and I couldn’t be more excited to be here.
That’s definitely enough about me!