Hale Wharf blog series part II: Reconnecting communities with nature

26.06.24 3 min read by Ellen Bryan

Recently, the Mayor’s New London Plan has outlined how a well-planned and managed green infrastructure network will be vital in helping the city stay healthy and liveable as the population continues to grow. And so it does, so does the pressure for land to build good quality homes, schools, hospitals and places of work, with up to three million more people expected to live in the Capital by 2050.

Locations like the Paddock in Tottenham, provide an immeasurable amount of value to communities that surround them – but it is vital that they are safe, accessible and well maintained.

The Paddock had been in a state of disrepair for several years, and as a result The Conservation Volunteers were appointed to manage the site from November 2020, now employing two full time members of staff that carry out practical management, surveying, and engagement with locals.

One of the key objectives during planning discussions for residential project, Hale Wharf, was the creation of a new pedestrian bridge directly to the Paddock to activate the site and ensure a pedestrian link from Tottenham Hale Station directly to The Paddock.  In addition, through the Section 106 Agreement the scheme provided contributions for the delivery of significant upgrades to The Paddock including the removal of Japanese Knotweed, enhancements to the woodland habitat to extend the ecology and provision of an educational facility and volunteers hub.

In late 2023, representatives from Muse, McLaren Construction and Stace LLP took part in a day of impactful volunteering, supporting the conservation volunteers in clearing and maintenance of the site.

Due to the ongoing work from The Conservation Volunteers, it has now been developed as a haven for calm for birds, trees, flowers and members of the public. The result is a peaceful getaway of woodland, crammed with hawthorn, elder, buddleia, wild geraniums, purple flowering comfrey, white daisies and pink dog roses.

The Paddock, and other green infrastructure across Haringey, is helping to reduce the impact of climate change on the lives of residents and help Haringey Council reach its ambitious 2041 Net Zero targets. Vegetation has been shown to reduce the effects of raised urban temperatures through evaporative cooling, shading surfaces and allowing natural drainage.

Nearby trees are also a major contribution to the capture and storage of CO2 and improvement of air quality. As well as vegetation, the presence of open bodies of water, such as ponds and the Lee Navigation, can assist with the cooling of surrounding areas and in reducing daytime temperatures.

It isn’t just the environment that benefits, people do too.

According to Public Health England, there is evidence regarding the relationship between exposure to, use of, and perceptions of green space and several mental and physical health outcomes. This includes reduction in psychological stress, fatigue, anxiety and depression, promotion of better subjective well-being, and various improved physical health factors.

Hale Wharf is being delivered by Waterside Places, our strategic joint venture with Canal & River Trust, in partnership with the Mayor of London and London Borough of Haringey. It sits within one of the Mayor of London’s Housing Zones, with 505 homes being delivered, of which 191 are classified as Affordable Rent. Hale Wharf is making an important contribution to the Mayor’s and the Greater London Authority’s aspiration for 2,000 new homes in the borough.

 

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