Daniel Greenwood, ecologist with the London Wildlife Trust and FODG member, in a note for a recent Dulwich Community Council, said of Green Dale:
It is a truly special place and has remnants in East Dulwich’s rural past that dates back thousands of years. As for its wildlife, recent ecological surveys by Southwark Council and Hadley Property Group have shown that it is home to a number of target species for the Southwark Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) as well as the national BAP. It is now evident that hedgehog (declining severely) is resident, and so too common frog (not so common anymore), whitethroat (a bird that travels from Africa to East Dulwich) and the noctule bat (Britain’s largest) are dependent on the site as it is. And this is only a snapshot of the diversity of its fauna. The Green Dale along with Dog Kennel Hill Wood makes up a vital green corridor, linking with the railway line and all the way to the playing fields of Dulwich Village, Herne Hill and the Dulwich Woods.
Wildlife has thrived because the site has been ‘left’ somewhat, and natural processes have been allowed to resume. It should be pointed out that the site has not been entirely closed to the public during this wild time, with informal public access being implemented by dog walkers and local people, and is evidence that declining species can live in harmony with people if suitable habitat is available. The recent findings should be proof that though the Green Dale has been neglected in a manner of speaking, it is not the wasteland that it has recently been described as. Indeed, it is a site of great opportunity for people and wildlife.