Developing the Park Centre and Aviary
We have now had the results of the aviary consultation and its disappointing news for those park users who wanted to see budgies in Waterlow Park. Camden undertook the consultation about the proposal to introduce budgies into the aviary in the Park at the end of 2009. This consultation resulted in 58 responses. Over 70% of respondents would like to see budgies introduced. However, of the 30% of respondents who did have issues with keeping domesticated birds in an aviary some felt very strongly. The issue of keeping birds in an aviary is clearly an emotive issue.
Following a brief analysis of the results Camden decided to contact a few other Parks departments across London to research their experience and views about aviaries in Parks and found that there was a wide spread of opinion. There are only a few aviaries in London parks including Clissold Park (Hackney), Roundwood Park (Brent) Golders Hill Park and Queen’s Park (City of London), and Lloyd Park (Waltham Forest). There was a general consensus that aviaries do evoke strong feelings – they are often extremely loved local features, whilst on the other hand, some people feel it is not an appropriate way to keep birds these days.
Another important factor that has now come into play is that Camden has decided to review how the Park Centre is used. As the Aviary is linked to the Park Centre it was decided to put all independent discussion of how the aviary is used on hold. Instead Camden says they will be including this area in their review of the park centre and will look for a potential use that would be in line with their bio diversity objectives.
Friends of Waterlow Park understands that it is sensible to look at the aviary’s use in the context of a fuller review of the Park Centre. However, we very much regret that the strident views of a section of the minority of 18 people have led to the views of the large majority of 40 respondants being rejected. We hope that once the park centre review is concluded we can find a suitable use for the Aviary which at the moment is sadly neglected. FoWP will contributing to the Park Centre review and we would welcome your early thoughts on how it might be better used in future. Do contact us with your ideas.