Members of the DPNF are working with local groups to help save the Mark Fitzpatrick / Mortimer Terrace Nature Reserve from being sold as a development plot.
The site – established and maintained by local residents Jeanne Pendrill and Terry Reynolds – has been used by local children and community groups for nearly 30 years. It became an Asset of Community Value after an application was made by committee member, Jessica Jacobs.
“The Mortimer Terrace Nature Reserve holds a symbolic and spiritual significance associated with appreciating and nurturing inner city natural environments.” explains Jacobs. “The reserve also plays a vital role in preserving the incredible diversity of wildlife in Camden, as well as forging community links and networks and providing a safe space for environmental education for our next generation of Camden citizens.”
Historically, the land was reserved as a buffer between Victorian housing on Gordon House Road and the railway and designed to contain trees that protected the community from pollution caused by rail transport. It was saved from development in 1987 when building contractors Mark Fitzpatrick agreed to sign a 10 year lease allowing the local community to create a vital nature reserve and biodiversity corridor.
Over the years the site has been used by school groups from across Camden while at the time of closure last month it was being visited on a weekly basis by children from Gospel Oak Primary school.
Reception teacher, Nicola Rowell described how much she enjoyed bringing children to the site, ” I loved it there, it provided a unique setting for the children and a safe arena for interacting with the environment”.
Jeanne, Terry and Jo Mould of the London Wildlife Trust, met with the current owners last week to request access to help maintain the land while its future is undecided but access was denied by the owners citing legal and insurance issues.
Update 23/10/2015 Jeanne and Terry believe they will be granted access to the site in order to help maintain the reserve. If access is allowed they will act to resume school visits via the gate at Heathview.