Saturday, 21 May 2016

North London Nature - Woodberry Wetlands + delicious food at the Coal House

One wonderful thing about going for a daily walk is having more awareness of What Is Going On. I've seen the light, the trees, the flowers change with the season and seen people, shops and posters. If it weren't for my daily walks, I'd not have spotted these posters for the newly opened Woodberry Wetlands. The bird drawing is so lovely and I love new places to walk (A new haven for wildlife!) and I was so excited that I headed there the very next day!

I've now picked up one of these free posters to frame for my flat! We actually walked to the Wetlands but the closest station is Manor House for the main entrance or Stamford Hill for the North entrance. We entered via the North entrance (free entry) and were welcomed by a guy from London Wildlife Trust. He was very nice and didn't hold us up, just wished us merrily on our way.

I love the gates! And even though it was a grizzly grey day, the flowers were so pretty.

They clearly put lots of effort into all this, the signage is great - really pretty graphics and lots of information.

It's a small but lovely park, a leisurely wander around the reservoir. Birds enjoying the space too. There was a closed off path and we were told it was for bird privacy as they were nesting down there! Hopefully next time we visit we will see lots of baby birds, ducklings and cootlings(?) and things. We did see a nesting mama coot on our way in to the park. She was sitting firmly on her nest looking plump and protective :)

They actually run classes and workshops here that sound amazing, like Wild Yoga or Bird Identification. There's a course called 'Contemporary Green Woodworking' that sounds right up Stu's street and I'm hoping he'll sign up.

And there is a very cute café in the park. It's called the Coal House Café and it utterly charmed me.

The décor is simple and ready to get messy (luckily) as shamefully, I'm pretty sure those are my muddy boot-prints on the floor.

I love the metal bar running across the space, which they've hung plants from. I asked Stu if we could have a bar to hang stuff from but our ceiling is too low. And he said he thinks that bar has always been there from when the building was actually a coal house.

The menu was simple and fresh too! Avocado toast, eggs etc. That sort of thing, healthy yummy simple. I had a thing I'd not come across before, really liked it, want to make my own version. It was smoky sweetcorn on toast with soft egg and jalapenos. Mmmmm.

Also, love the cracks in the table. Plus, there are jugs of tap water full of lemon or apple which you can help yourself from. It was so relaxed and friendly in there. Really lovely.

As we left the Woodberry Wetlands park, we had a chat with a passionate and knowledgeable woman from London Wildlife Trust, who opened the park and look after it. They run various nature reserves in London, protecting habitats and species as well as engaging and educating local communities. We didn't sign up, because I prefer not to make impulse decisions, but I think we will be signing up as members because they do good work and it's so great that they maintain these wild spaces and let us in for free.

We've been setting up more charity standing orders this year, hoping to spread more small donations across more charities and currently give regularly to St Mungo's, Compassion in World Farming and Action for Children. (We are most concerned about human and animal suffering). We have nothing going in to savings at the moment though so I want to sort out what we can afford to save, then set up to donate to London Wildlife Trust. There are so many deserving causes out there though!

Do you donate? How do you decide who to give to? What causes matter most to you?

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