At 2.8 hectares, Gillespie Park is Islington’s largest nature reserve. The park represents a hugely important natural green space for both people and wildlife, not least because Islington is such a heavily built up borough that has less green space per person than any other local authority area. Gillespie Park has been evaluated as a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation and it was declared a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) in 1996.
The Nature Conservation Team manages Gillespie Park, with four members of staff based at the Ecology Centre. The team includes an Apprentice, who is on a two-year Apprenticeship in Horticulture and Landscaping.
The management Aims and Objectives are:
- To protect and enhance the biodiversity of the park
- To maintain and promote the use of the Ecology Centre for community and educational activities
- To engage the local community in developing a sense of ownership of the park
- To promote and develop volunteering opportunities
- To enable people to enjoy the health benefits that access to natural greenspace is able to offer
- To promote education about biodiversity and sustainability to all
The management of the park is set out in a new five-year Management Plan for 2019 to 2024.