The Regent’s Canal towpath is a vital green corridor providing wildlife habitat and rare green open space in King’s Cross. Since the demise of British Waterways, the new Canals and Rivers Trust is responsible for the canal. Now the London Wildlife Trust in the form of Martin and his band of volunteers working out of Camley Street Natural Park has responsibility for maintaining the majority of green space along the towpath from Camley Street bridge to Islington Tunnel.
It’s no easy task, recently a tree fell blocking entry to Islington Tunnel – it fell because its leaf canopy was too heavy for its angled trunk, hazardous discarded needles and drug paraphernalia are hidden in undergrowth.
It’s a huge relief that the towpath is in the hands of an organisation that knows about and cares for urban wildlife and how planting can either encourage or discourage it. Some sections of the towpath are under private management and here care for wildlife is perhaps less of a priority. Recent trouble spots also include Thornhill Bridge Community Gardens and the southern end of Battlebridge Basin where residents’ desires for canal views have resulted in criminal destruction of trees and harsh pruning respectively.
Protecting the scarce green space we have in King’s Cross is more important than ever with long standing areas of green including trees and mature ivy being removed by property developers and replaced by hard landscaping.
So Martin has a heck of a job on his hands and needs all the local support he can get. If you’d like to help by volunteering to maintain the green space on the towpath Martin provides training sessions and supervises the maintenance days. Contact him at Camley Street, click here. And if you’d like to be involved in promoting and protecting the Regent’s Canal, take a look at Friends of Regent’s Canal’s Facebook page.