Weird and wonderful objects found on Parkland Walk nature reserve
At first glance, everything is just as it seems on the Parkland Walk nature reserve with its teeming wildlife and woodlands.
But take a closer look, and you could join the handful of ramblers who have spotted some of the weird and wonderful items hidden inside pipes and hanging in the trees.
Strange ceramic masks hung on branches and a macabre old Barbie doll are among the odd artefacts found on the leafy nature trail, which stretches from Highgate to Finsbury Park.
“We look out for the butterflies and the wildlife and the creepy crawlies but there are also these little extras, like hidden Easter eggs,” said Simon Olley, chairman of the Friends of Parkland Walk.
“People often just charge through because of the urban pace so it’s nice to slow down and tune in to the environment.
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“My immediate reaction when I first saw them was amusement. People have been very creative and they just want to share that with other people.”
Some of the items have been found during the regular litter picks on the nature trail, which are organised by the Friends.
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Mr Olley’s favourite was a knobbled white ceramic face, which he found hanging in a tree on the Stroud Green stretch of the walk back in 2012.
Mr Olley said: “The white ceramic... there was something quite ghostly about it, with its creepy white face in the evening light staring at you.
“It is interesting that people create these things and then they find the Parkland Walk as a suitable gallery to exhibit their work. I think it’s charming.”
The most recent find is a toy elephant in a water pipe on the Muswell Hill stretch, which was spotted two weeks ago.
The Friends have now collated the images, and are encouraging walkers to send in their own photographs of surreal finds encountered on the walk.
Mr Olley said: “There’s a real pleasure in seeing the ways people connect with others in whatever weird ways they find suitable.
‘‘People obviously put a lot of time and effort into these things and then put them out there in a public space.”