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, two small wildlife 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!
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.
TCV and the Paddock
TCV have been tasked by LBH with writing a comprehensive management plan for the site for the next twenty-one years. This plan will identify key habitats and how to protect and enhance them, to benefit both people and wildlife in the future.
In addition to this plan, TCV are looking to involve the local community and schools in developing the Paddock.
How can you get involved?
TCV will be offering opportunities to be involved in both community conservation volunteering and education activities for school children.
Community conservation volunteering
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 will allow local residents the opportunity to engage in this green space and support community initiatives. This will include tasks such as habitat and vegetation management, path and pond maintenance, as well as surveying and general site management duties. All tasks would be developed in line with the long-term site management plan.
For volunteers interested in taking on further responsibility and training, TCV has a very well-established Volunteer Officer (VO) programme enabling people to enhance their own prospects and develop a career in conservation. Many TCV VOs go on to gain employment in the conservation sector.
Education activities for schools
Formal education sessions for local schools will be run either in the morning or afternoon and include activities such as pond dipping, exploring food cycles and mini beast trails. Activities will be in line with The National Curriculum and TCV will aspire to develop training facilities and resources at The Paddock through nature trails, interactive habitat features and environmental educational resource materials. In addition, informal training activities could be offered such as guided tours, drop-in sessions, or self-led groups.
Community events and activities
Other opportunities to be involved at the Paddock will include community activities and events.
Throughout 2021 on the last Saturday of every month we’ll be running a short practical session followed by an exciting exploration of the natural world with a guest speaker.