A conservation group wants to stop footpaths with hard surfacing for wheelchair access in its nature reserve - fearing cyclists riding too fast might endanger others.

The Friends of Parkland Walk say the 4km-long nature reserve on a disused rail line between Highgate and Finsbury Park is a "unique green space" enjoyed by mostly walkers and joggers as its paths are too uneven for cycling. 

Haringey Council held a consultation from July to September into improving access for disabled people and agree upon an appropriate surfacing material ahead of a project to replace Stanhope Bridge - an old rail bridge across Stanhope Road - next year.

A council report on the consultation criticised "misinformation and scaremongering" and stated it was an "absolute fundamental" that the aim was not the creation of a cycle superhighway and that absolutely no decisions have been made.

But the friends group says the "overwhelming majority" do not want hard surfaced paths and it is "very worried" that the council has made up its mind - paving the way for cyclists and creating a "hostile environment" for many other users.

Its chair Cathy Meeus said: "The council are saying they want to make it more wheelchair accessible but all it will do is encourage faster cyclists.

"They'll make it accessible for one small group of vulnerable people but make it a hostile environment for young people, old people who are less mobile, dog walkers, the visually impaired and deaf community.

"Will they honour the consultation and not make changes? We want the council to remember this is an official nature reserve, not a cycle route."

Sustrans was one of four organisations invited to bid to help Haringey Council manage a project to discuss resurfacing and improving accessibility in the nature reserve with the community.

The group has questioned why Haringey Council approached the self-described "walking, wheeling and cycling charity", when its own audit mainly emphasised the need for improved signage, not the removal of a natural path.

Haringey Council said Sustrans, which won the bid, was "suitably qualified" as a cycling and walking company.

They added: "The council will follow this project through to its conclusion, which will be to agree a suitable resurfacing material and identify accessibility improvements in line with the co-production process that we have started.

"At this point, there is a blank canvas that will be developed, based on local community input and involvement."