Wormwood Scrubs Park
Hammersmith and Fulham
Grade: Borough Grade I |
Area: 46.87 ha
Free public access (all/most of site)
By far the largest open space in the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Wormwood Scrubs Park boasts a variety of habitats and wildlife. Much of the park was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 2002 and is now managed for its wildlife by the Wormwood Scrubs Charitable Trust on behalf of the Council. Scrubs Wood once stood to the north of the park, but was flattened to make way for the former Eurostar depot. The broad swathe of woodland, scrub and grassland that occupies the north of the park was created in the early 1990's, mostly using turf and plants rescued from Scrubs Wood. While large parts of the park are occupied as sports pitches, other areas of grassland are managed as meadows.
A wide variety of trees may be found in Wormwood Scrubs Park, among them pedunculate oak, silver birch, field maple, elm, sycamore and crack willow. The park is also good for birds. Nesting species include blackcap, whitethroat, lesser whitethroat and willow warbler, while the wide range of migrants passing through in spring and autumn makes this a popular place among local birdwatchers. Also present on the site are black-headed gull, greater spotted woodpecker and kestrel amongst others. Rarities have included marsh harrier, whinchat and common redstart. The meadows vary from dry, acid grassland in the north-east of the Scrubs, with typical species such as sheep's sorrel, to damp grassland with tufted hair-grass in the west. The meadows support good populations of common butterflies, including small, large and Essex skippers. The park is also home to a thriving population of common lizards, rescued from Scrubs Wood and reintroduced here in the 1990s.
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