US social scientist Kenneth Boulding : ‘If you believe exponential growth can go on in a finite world, you are either a madman or an economist’.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

12/6/09: Archway to Ally Pally

This evening I walked up Archway Road to Highgate to look for access to the trackbed of the former Great Northern Railway Alexandra Palace branch, north of Highgate station. South of the station, behind the fence on the east side of the road just up from Shepherd's Hill, was this attractive plant (left)- which from web searches looks to be the non-native, perennial, Straw Foxglove (Digitalis lutea). Although there are several other cultivated species on this former cutting side, a hunt around revealed no other specimens.

Further up Archway Rd., past Muswell Hill Rd., there was a good selection of herbaceous plants in the strip of land between the raod and the Northern line, now at the surface. These included Purple Toadflax, Mugwort, Common St. John's Wort, at least 5 Common Figwort, Feverfew, Cow Parsley and Hogweed.

I was pleased to see Meadow Vetchling, and there was a large swathe of another legume, Hairy Tare with its downy, two-seeded pods, some of which was climbing the chain link fence (left) opposite 477 Archway Rd. More unusually, there was also a plant of Black Bryony (Tamus communis), a relative of the Yam, at this same spot (below left).

Unfortunately there isn't much of the trackbed you can get at - it's breached twice and is inaccessible where it skirts Highgate Wood, so I cut through this Pedunculate Oak and Hornbeam wood to get to the access point where Cranley Gardens joins Muswell Hill Rd. The saving grace of the short section beyond is a viaduct with panoramic views, from which one can see Canary Wharf and just make out the top of the Gherkin next to the Nat West tower.
[Temporary posting - to be added to]

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