Rewilding London – Hidden Ruins Overrun with Nature

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Rewilding London – Hidden Ruins overrun with Nature As the capital city of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, London is well known for influencing other cities of the world since the Middle Ages. It’s famous for more than its ancient buildings and it’s history. As the city has aged and grown, many of locations have fallen out of public view and nature has moved in, claiming its hold on the ruins of our past.

Nunhead Cemetery

This Peckham cemetery opened in 1840 and is home to magnificent monuments and humble headstones. It Covers 52 acres, with a Gothic chapel at the entrance of the graveyard, and patches of graves are dotted around its criss-crossing paths. After its closure in 1969, the surrounding scrub and woodland was allowed to invade the cemetery, and trees began spreading their roots between graves and overrunning paths. Now, whole areas of headstones are inseparable from the tangled plants that cover them, and nature has been left to ravage the gothic architecture long abandoned. In 1987, the site was designated a local nature reserve. The site is managed to promote the conservation of tawny owls, woodpeckers, and songbirds.

Sydenham Hill Woods Folly

Sydenham Hill Wood in Southwark lies a ruined medieval structure. With an intricately carved archway and thick stone walls, it could be the remnants of a church, or maybe a section of castle. Its surrounded by dense woodland on all sides. The ‘ruins’ aren’t the remnants of some historical building but were built for ornamental function in the mid nineteenth century. Sydenham Hill Woods is now designated a local nature reserve and is the largest remaining area of the Great North Wood – a vast area of ancient woodlands that once covered South London. With bats, hedgehogs, butterflies, and over 200 species of trees and flowering plants populating the wood.

Lesnes Abbey Woods

Covering 88 hectares, Lesnes Abbey Woods contains a prehistoric burial mound, ancient woodland and the ruined walls of the twelfth century Lesnes Abbey. The surviving walls of the abbey can now be seen in stark outline in the Lenses Abbey Woods. The extensive ancient woodland and surrounding parkland, Lesnes Abbey Woods is home to a diverse range of wildlife habitats, plants and flowers. Including White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary.

Crystal Palace The woods at crystal palace are operated as a nature reserves and provides a clear view of the abbey’s previous scale and relation to its neighbouring wildlife. Viewing the abbey’s ruins first-hand, you can appreciate the towering dominance it once possessed over the area. The Crystal Palace was representative of a lot of Victorian inventions. Now only the ruins of its terraces and plinths remain, slowly seeping back into the trees and hillside on which they were placed. As well as being home to lots of wildlife, The park is also home to The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs – a series of sculptures of dinosaurs and other extinct animals.

As one of the greenest capitals in the world, with over 3,000 parks and green spaces, London reached 11th globally for environmental sustainability. In fact, 40% of the city is green space. It’s amazing what can happen when nature moves in.

Keep Rewilding Britain. References

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