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A network of small public space community projects supported by Pocket Parks
Type: Partnership Programme
Powered by: Mayor of London
Map: Project Locations
London Wildlife Trust and London Borough of Camden are working to open Baynes Street Canalside Garden to the public from early 2015 onward with the support of The Mayor's Pocket Parks scheme. The garden is a haven for nature and a great place to enjoy the wildlife of the Regent's Canal. We'll be improving the existing habitat, installing seating and creating new interpretation to create a place where people can learn about and enjoy wildlife and escape from the bustle of London. Access to the gardens is from the Regent's Canal towpath which is accessible via steps and a ramp from either St.Pancras Way or Baynes Street (NW1 0TY)View all
Baynes Street Canalside Park is one of 100 improved green spaces included in the Mayor of London's Pocket Park Programme. The narrow space spans along a portion of Regent's Canal. The London Wildlife Trust and a team of volunteers have been heading up the transformation of the Camden Council land for the past couple of months. The gated park will open soon to the public as a multi-use green space and wildlife habitat.The space is designed with the community in mind. A ring of tree stump chairs provides the perfect space for school groups that regularly visit the London Wildlife Trust to learn about the outdoors. The garden is filled with plants that attract important pollinators to the area as well as a 'bug hotel' for vital wildlife. Students who visit will be able to observe the plants and animals from their lessons up close in the learning space of the park. The footpath below the park fence is usually busy with cyclists and pedestrians. The set of wooden benches and carved chairs in the park offer much needed seating to look out on the canal. Maaike Milligan, Community Engagement Officer at the London Wildlife Trust, said the transformation will hopefully encourage the community to look after the space. "If there's more wildlife bits in the garden, I think people have better respect for it" said Milligan. "If it looks maintained, and it looks like things have been put there on purpose, I find that in general, the public tend to respect it more often," she added. One of the key features of the park is a rain garden. Before the renovation, polluted water runoff from St. Pancras Way ran straight from the street, through the park area and into the canal. The aim of the rain garden is to filter rainwater and runoff to reduce pollution. Volunteers dug a one meter hole along a portion of the slanted plot and lined it with special materials such as a fabric netting and porous rocks. Layers of soil and rocks fill the ditch to the top. Soon, special hearty plants that are good at filtering rainwater will also be planted on top. Like many park projects, the Baynes Street Canalside Park had limited time to make the plan come together. Milligan recommends putting in the necessary planning hours beforehand to anyone else trying to transforming a park. Even if it seems like the boring part of the work, nailing down all the logistics in advance pays off. Having a plan helped London Wildlife Trust use their 11-week time limit efficiently. Stay tuned for details about the park's opening and pop down to visit the extraordinary Pocket Park Milligan called "unique, urban, and packed full of wildlife."