Volunteers in London

Hackney Green Gym

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A dragonfly perched on a postJoin the TCV Green Gym® in Hackney every Friday

Green Gym activities take place at The Middlesex Filter Beds Nature Reserve in Hackney. Built by the East London WaterWorks Company in the mid 1800’s they demonstrate how previously industrial areas can become valuable habitats for wildlife.

We meet outside the Nye Bevan Lower Community Hall, Overbury Street, E5 0AW at 10:45.

If it is your first time volunteering with us, we will go over what you can expect from the Green Gym, as well as fill out the registration form.

Volunteering is free, simple and no experience is necessary. It is ideal for learning new practical skills such as gardening, construction, and conservation. All our tasks are designed for a variety of fitness levels and put on emphasis on improving mental and physical well-being. For more information, or to join us, please contact Ben Harris at b.harris@tcv.org.uk or by calling 07989 167 831.

Upcoming activities with Hackney Green Gym

 

Middlesex Filter Beds

In 1852 London suffered its worst ever outbreak of cholera, a lethal disease which thrives in contaminated water. The Middlesex Filter Beds were built soon after as part of the effort to make sure such epidemics were never repeated.

When the beds closed in 1969, nature began to take over, but now the site is a thriving mix of open water, reedbeds and wet woodland habitats.

Come and visit and you may well see toads, frogs and newts, dragonfly and damsel fly, plus over 60 different species of bird. The filter beds also boast Paula Haughney’s monumental Nature’s Throne, made from huge granite blocks salvaged from an old engine house. Find out more about art in the park (link to art in the park page).

Wildlife at Middlesex Filter Beds

With a variety of habitats the filter beds provide interesting wildlife throughout the year. The wooded areas are excellent for flocks of tits and finches. Look out for Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker. Kestrel and Sparrowhawk are found on the reserve and will also hunt on the adjacent open grassland of Hackney Marshes.

The brickwork of the old bed walls provides shelter for amphibians and in spring the wetlands are home to frogs, toads and newts. The weir is a good spot for Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher, which nest along the banks.

More than 200 plant species have been recorded including Cuckooflower and Purple Loosestrife. There’s also a community of interesting mosses and liverworts along the old walls of the beds.