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Gillespie Park and Ecology Centre

Gillespie Park, winner of the 'London Conservation Area of the Year' award in London in Bloom 2015, is Islington’s largest nature reserve. It is home to Islington Ecology Centre - a visitor and education centre which can be booked for events.

General information 

  • 2.8 hectare nature reserve which is home to a wealth of wildlife, including 244 species of plants, 94 species of birds and 24 types of butterflies.
  • Ponds, woodland and meadow areas. 
  • The park's Ecology Centre gives advice on wildlife, gardening and sustainable living.
  • The Ecology Centre runs events, takes school bookings and is available for hire for meetings and parties.
  • A Sunday café runs from 11am to 5pm. 

Download our leaflet (PDF) or please get in touch to find out more (contact details are below).

Opening times

The park is open to the public from 8am to dusk daily, except on days of Arsenal stadium events when it is closed. 

Getting there

There are entrances on Drayton Park, Gillespie Road, Quill Street and Seven Sisters Road.

  • Tube: Arsenal, Finsbury Park
  • Train: Drayton Park
  • Buses: 4, 19, 236

Accessibility

There is a disabled parking space at Gillespie Park, with access from Drayton Park. The paths around the Ecology Centre are suitable for wheelchairs. Further access information can be found at DisabledGo.

Dogs 

Most of Gillespie Park is designated as dog-free. Dogs are allowed in the section of park accessed from the St Thomas Road entrance.  

Getting involved 

Our Volunteer Group meets every Thursday from 10am to 3.30pm and carries out work on our three nature reserves. 

Activities include cutting meadows, weeding the wildlife garden, coppicing trees, cutting back bramble and pond maintenance. You don't need any experience and all tools are provided.

The Friends of Gillespie Park is a group of local people with an interest in the park. Members organise events, such as the annual Gillespie Festival, and fund-raise.

To find out more, please contact the Ecology Centre (see details below). 

Schools visits 

The Ecology Centre offers exciting, curriculum-linked education programmes for pre-school groups and primary schools. The programme is open to groups and schools from all boroughs.

Pupils can enjoy a variety of stimulating, tailored sessions, designed to enthuse and engage young people with their environment.

For details and costs of our school programme, download our current leaflet (PDF).

We also offer teacher training; please contact us for more information (see details below). 

Hiring the Ecology Centre

The centre can be hired by businesses, community organisations and charities during office hours, including weekends. It is suitable for workshops, training sessions and meetings. 

It can be hired at the weekends and Bank Holidays for celebrations and parties by individuals. It is a very popular venue for children’s birthday parties and wedding receptions. It is also available for hire during weekday evenings for classes and workshops. 

Please contact the centre for more information (see details below).  

Events

The centre runs events throughout the year. You can view these on our Eventsbrite page.

Wildlife gardening

We have produced a free Wildlife Gardening pack (PDF) with lots of tips and advice for attracting wildlife into your garden. 

Biodiversity Action Plan 

We are currently working on a new Biodiversity Action Plan for the borough. Please contact the Ecology Centre for further information (see details below). 

Contact us

Islington Ecology Centre
191 Drayton Park
London
N5 1PH 

Tel: 020 7527 4374
Email: ecologycentre@islington.gov.uk
Text: 'Greenspace' + your message to 80800

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