The site has been a nature reserve since 1984 but for hundreds of years had been a hay meadow area which provided food for London’s horses. A railway was built through the area in the 19th century and Stephenson’s railway tunnel can be seen nearby. When completed in 1837 this was one of the engineering wonders of the world. In the 20th century, up until world war two, it was covered with domestic gardens. There was a tree nursery here at one time. The reserve was co-founded by Ursula Granville and there is a plaque to commemorate her. The land is owned by Network Rail, who lease it to the London Borough of Camden for use as a nature reserve. The site has been managed as a nature reserve since 1985 and received official Local Nature Reserve status in 2011. However, towards the close of 2011, the site has been threatened by an adjacent building project proposal.