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Gunnersbury Triangle, London

5.0
#18 of 26 in Wildlife in London
Gunnersbury Triangle is a 2.57ha Local nature reserve in the London boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow, immediately to the east of Gunnersbury. It was saved when, for the first time in Britain, a public inquiry in 1983 ruled that a planned development of the land could not go ahead because of its value for nature. It opened as a nature reserve in 1985.
The area consists mainly of secondary birch woodland, with some locally uncommon willow carr or wet woodland and a small area of acid grassland along the track of the former Acton curve railway. The reserve supports a varied population of plants, birds, amphibians, insects and other wildlife. It is managed by the London Wildlife Trust.
The reserve has free admission. It is maintained by London Wildlife Trust staff with the help of volunteers. There is a varied programme of activities including wildlife walks, fungus forays, open days and talks. The reserve is used regularly by school and community groups, and for team-building work days by corporate groups. Its entrance, with a wooden five-bar gate flanked by hedges, is on the south of Bollo Lane, a few yards from Chiswick Park tube station.
The area is shown on 19th-century maps as orchards and gravel quarries. The triangular area now occupied by the reserve was delineated by three railway lines, two belonging to the District Line (now part of London Underground's sub-surface lines), and the now defunct London and South Western Railway (LSWR). There was once a bridge into the triangle from the west, and in the 1940s it was used as railway allotments (vegetable gardens), but when London Transport's Acton Works was built, the bridge was abandoned. The area, thus disused, was colonised naturally by grasses and trees in a "secondary succession".
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  • This hidden gem is worth a visit if you’re in Chiswick. Literally opposite Chiswick Park tube, it’s a forest escape in London. There are multiple habitats to explore with birds and other wildlife in a...  more »
  • Gunnersbury Triangle is a place where birds, small mammals and invertebrates take advantage of the sheltered birch and willow. The natural walkways guide the visitors around this calm area. Note that,...  more »
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