The Paddock is an 8-acre triangular greenspace located in Tottenham Hale within the London Borough of Haringey (LBH). It is bordered by the river Lea to the north-west and north-east, and on the south by Ferry Lane road.
The site is made up of a diverse mix of habitats including woodland, scrub, meadow, ponds as well as the river and its surrounding margins. This provides the potential to support a range of mammals, birds, insects, and plants.
Being situated close to the Lee Valley Park, Walthamstow Wetlands and Tottenham Marshes makes the Paddock a valuable part of a patchwork of local green and blue spaces.
The site is a valuable place for the local community, with a grassy open space with picnic benches and a network of pathways and seating areas, it offers an area for people to get outdoors, exercise, relax or spot some local wildlife!
Where to find us
The Paddock Community Nature Park, Ferry Lane, London, N17 9BS
(The site is currently open to the public 24/7)
History of the Paddock
The Paddock has seen many changes over its lifetime. Originally an area of marshland, it was likely first settled by the Saxons for agriculture. Until the mid-19th century it was used as part of the Mill Mead water meadow that supplied grain to the neighbouring Tottenham Mill.
After World War One it was used as a sports ground, owned by the nearby Harris Lebus furniture factory. When the factory closed, the land became largely derelict but was occasionally used to graze horses, giving it the ‘Paddock’ name.
In the 1960s, excavation rubble from the construction of the Victoria Line was deposited in the Paddock creating the elevations present today. The site was opened to the public as a Community Nature Park in 2000. Today the site is working towards gaining Local Nature Reserve status.
Japanese Knotweed Works in 2023
The Paddock site has had a substantial issue with an invasive plant called Japanese Knotweed. If left unmanaged this plant would eventually take over the site: it posed a serious risk to the habitats and wildlife here and in the wider area. As such the landowners (Haringey Council) have a legal duty to remove the plant, which is being carried out through a variety of methods.
The first phase of removals have now been completed, this involved certain areas of knotweed being dug out and placed into a sealed pit lined with a copper membrane. This allowed the removed plant to be stored on site, and the areas on top of the membrane have been covered with soil and seeded with a wildflower meadow.
In other areas it will be treated carefully with a herbicide (glyphosate) where digging is not an option and the ground is either contaminated with asbestos, or too close to buildings and other features to be structurally possible.
Still have questions about the Japanese knotweed treatment? The Council’s FAQ page has a list of commonly asked questions surrounding the management.
Information about the Paddock’s wider improvement plan, including the Japanese Knotweed removal can also be found on Haringey Council’s website: Transforming The Paddock
Friends of the Paddock
The site has a local Friends group called the Friends of the Paddock. The group’s efforts have made a significant contribution to improving and shaping the site over the years. The modern Friends was established in 2017, however there have been previous groups existing in the years prior to that.
TCV and the Paddock
TCV have been tasked by Haringey Council with writing a 21 year management plan for the site. This plan will identify key habitats and how to protect and enhance them. This will include working towards Local Nature Reserve status for the site, to benefit both people and wildlife in the future.
In addition to this plan, TCV are involving the local community including the Friends of the Paddock, residents, community groups and schools in developing the site.
How can you get involved?
TCV offer opportunities to be involved in practical conservation volunteering, education activities for school children and a range of community events.
TCV has a tradition of getting people outside, active and joining in, and plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of many people’s lives.
At the Paddock, volunteering allows local residents the opportunity to engage in this green space and support community initiatives. All tasks are developed in line with the long-term site management plan.
On Wednesdays (10am-3pm) we run our practical conservation sessions. You’re also welcome to join us for a shorter time slot on the day.
- Activities include management of meadows, woodland, and ponds. Path maintenance, litter picking, DIY & more!
On Fridays (10am-12:30pm) we run our wildlife surveying activities.
- Surveys include birds, plants, fungi, and invertebrates e.g. butterflies, bumblebees, spiders & more.
- Surveys vary depending on the time of year as this will affect which wildlife we can see.
All ages can join in the wildlife surveys, the route may be a little muddy but buggies are welcome! For volunteers attending under 18 please do contact us for more info.
On Saturdays: On one Saturday each month we run a range of fun community events for all the family.
- These events include wildlife walks, guest speakers who are experts in their field, arts & crafts and more.
Looking for a volunteer role with more responsibility?
Are you interested in taking on extra responsibility, attending training, or starting a career in conservation? TCV also has a very well-established Volunteer Officer programme enabling people to enhance their own prospects, learn leadership skills and develop a career in the field. Get in touch now to find out more.
To find out more contact Anna or Izzy at email@example.com or call 07483 045 734.
Education Activities for Schools
Are you a teacher in Haringey? Our education sessions for local schools include activities such as pond dipping, exploring food cycles and mini beast trails. Our programmes are developed in line with the National Curriculum and give children a chance to explore the natural environment in a local green space.
To find out more about educational activities at the Paddock contact Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Who’s who at TCV – The Paddock?
- (Page last updated May 2023).