Wick Woodland

Entering into Wick Woodland there is something strange in the atmosphere. The interior has silver birches reaching up to the sky, giving it a ghostly feel.


All around the edge of the woodland trees lean into the forest - plane trees alongside the canal path, their branches allowed to stretch into the woodland but stunted on the outside. Black poplars and ash trees form a shield from the road alongside and they also grow leaning into the forest.


Find a map from only a few decades ago and Wick Woodland does not appear. This is a young forest, with the mature trees around the edge forming the perimeter of a field where football was played as recently as the 1980s.



Now these young trees and bushes provide hiding places for foxes, shrews and muntjac deer. Kestrels, jays and goldfinches have been spotted here.


Just across the canal Mabley Green is a spacious stretch of open space where the busy A12 has sliced off the edge. Now inaccessible to people, the mature woodland habitat is a safe haven for wildlife. A lane of mature plane trees watch over the green space as they have done for years.


And Mabley Green provides different interest and opportunities for safe and imaginative play for children with the features that have been developed over the past few years - trees and plants and hills to explore.


The old gravel football pitch has been left for nature to bring about change. With its diverse flora, its bare soil and sparse vegetation encourage insects to burrow and build nests here.


And over in nearby Daubeney Fields there is another precious green space amongst the housing estates of Hackney, another of nature's playgrounds where children can let off steam and run around, climbing over mounds and logs and boulders.




Here in late summer we find paths trampled through the long grass where children come to pick apples and plums from the trees that local people have planted.



All around Daubeney Fields the work to green the city goes on, with more and more planting to help form a green corridor linking this site to other green spaces, creating opportunites for wildlife to travel and forming a barrier to protect the environment from pollution.


The chemicals that plants produce to protect them from disease can also be beneficial to us and nature all around helps children and adults to be happier and healthier.


With the river running alongside and the sight of boats drifting along the water, this is also a much loved space - and as the local residents say,


"Daubeney Fields Forever!"


Walk from Hackney Marshes or the River Lea Towpath or from Homerton Station