A wild oasis nestled between two of London’s busiest railway stations and beside Regent’s Canal, this reserve was created from wasteland and is now a haven for diverse wildlife.
Camley Street Natural Park is a unique urban nature reserve, surrounded by significant new development in a bustling part of central London - between King's Cross and St Pancras.
The woodland, grassland and wetland habitats including ponds, reedbed and marshy areas, provide a rich habitat for birds, butterflies, amphibians and plant life, while a visitor centre caters for the thousands who visit annually.
The reserve provides additional habitat along Regent’s Canal, with enhancements being made to soften the canal banks through installation of wildlife islands and marginal aquatic plants to provide habitat for birds, fish, and aquatic invertebrates.
Bridge works at Camley Street Natural Park
A new bridge is being constructed across the Regent’s Canal as part of the ongoing development of the King’s Cross area. The bridge will pass over the northern tip of the reserve, connecting the new development area with surrounding neighbourhoods on the west side of the canal.
Camley Street Natural Park will remain open and accessible to the public during bridge works, although there may be occasional days when the site has to close. For more information, go to: Bridge works at Camley Street Natural Park
Species you can see at Camley Street Natural Park
Amphibians: Common frog
Plants: Common broomrape, hairy buttercup, common spotted-orchid, rare earthstar fungus
History of Camley Street Natural Park
The site was once a coal drop for the railways into nearby King’s Cross Railway Station, which was demolished by the 1970s. Subsequently colonised by nature, it was bought by the former Greater London Council (GLC) in 1981 to be turned into a lorry park. Local people and the Trust ran a successful campaign to persuade GLC to save the flower-rich wasteland from development, and create a nature reserve instead. Starting in 1983, GLC worked with the Trust to re-landscape the reserve and install a visitor centre to deliver environmental education; Camley Street Natural Park was opened by GLC leader Ken Livingstone in 1985. This innovative inner city oasis – a symbol of the urban nature conservation movement of the time - was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 1986, and has subsequently been visited by people from around the world.
Management of Camley Street Natural Park
As visitor numbers increase care is taken to protect the reserve’s wild spaces and ensure nature is allowed to thrive through careful management of paths and habitats from trampling and disturbance.
Facilities at Camley Street Natural Park
The visitor centre includes toilets, information boards, a classroom, and self-guided activities for families to enjoy while exploring the reserve. Seating is dotted around the site, and there’s an outdoor eating area. A new viewing point provides seating alongside the canal. Wildwood Cafe serves vegetarian food at the rear of the visitor centre on Saturdays and Sunday, 11.30am-4pm, and on some weekdays during summer.
How to get to Camley Street Natural Park
The entrance is a five-minute walk from King’s Cross and St Pancras railway stations. Walk north up Pancras Road and across Goods Way. The reserve is in front of you, and the entrance is further along Camley Street just before the railway bridge.
Opening times for Camley Street Natural Park
The site is open 10am-4pm in winter, 10am-5pm in summer, every day. If you are a group of 10 or more individuals, please phone and book a visit in advance.
Accessibility at Camley Street Natural Park
The entrance has a woodchip surface, as do footpaths around the site. The visitor centre has steps but also a ramp leading to it. Steep steps with handrails at the southern end of the site lead to the viewpoint on the canal. No visitor parking but drop-offs can be made by arrangement. Camley Street has double yellow lines on both sides.
Status of Camley Street Natural Park
Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation; Local Nature Reserve
Get involved at Camley Street Natural Park
- Volunteer with Camley Street's team
- Record species you've spotted at Camley Street
- Take part in Camley Street's events
- Book a school trip to Camley Street
Booking Camley Street Natural Park
Camley Street is a unique space in central London where we run outdoor learning sessions all year round using hands-on, curriculum-linked activities to ensure children receive an unique and memorable learning experience. We are also available to hire for meetings and parties. For more information on education sessions and site hire, please take a look at our bookings page.
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