There are hundreds of parks, commons, heaths an even a couple of forests in London making it one of the greenest capitals in the world.

Tucked away in a residential area of Islington is one of the smaller, less well-known ones, the New River Walk. This man-made park was created to follow the overground route of the river from Essex Road to Canonbury where it emerges from an underground tunnel.

The River was built as an aquaduct in the 1600’s to carry drinking water from Hertford to London originally ending at Clerkenwell near where now stands Sadlers Wells theatre and next to that the rather magnificent former headquarters buildings of the Metropolitan Water Board.


We took Herbie for a stroll along the Islington section yesterday, the weeping willows provided welcome shade, a respite from the searing heat of the summer that’s eventually landed.

At this point it’s little more than a stream, but provides a haven for wildlife. In addition to the ducks, moorhens and cranes we even spotted a terrapin loitering on one the miniature islands created by partially submerged  bales of  straw.

The next overground section of the 28 mile route upstream is at Stoke Newington; we’ll be continuing the journey soon…