Thursday, 17 September 2015

The case of the missing objection letters

Click here, to see a very interesting film clip of Brookdene from our very own local TV station, Barnet TV 

There was a meeting at Hendon Town Hall last Monday to discuss the future of Brookdene Nature Reserve. Under the 1972 Local Government Act, councillors on the Assets Regeneration & Growth Committee had a statutory requirement to 'consider any objections to the proposed disposal that are made to them'. This is the precise and only reason that Brookdene was on the agenda. The Chairman, Cllr. Daniel Thomas, wrote to us trying to underplay and discredit both the level and correctness of the letters of objection sent in. 

With regard to the total number of objections - of the 58 letters appended to council papers, 42 were submitted on the 3rd April 2015. 1 was submitted on the 10th April and 15 were submitted between the 1st and 15th August 2015. No mention is made of letters submitted prior to 3rd April nor between the 11th April and 31st July. We know that there were other letters and emails not included. We would estimate, that about 15 letters were sent in before 3rd April, 30 between 11th April and 31st of July and about 35 directly to Cllr Thomas - we had been copied in to a number of these. THIS BRINGS THE TOTAL LETTERS OF OBJECTION RECEIVED TO ABOUT 137. Quite a considerable number, we think you'll agree. And everybody is saying the same thing - they appreciate this piece of unspoilt woodland and they do not want it declared surplus to council requirements and passed to a property developer for any reason. We stand by what we wrote in our report THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN and no amount of spin or wishful thinking can change this fact.

There was a lot of confustion at the recent meeting with attendants not really knowing what the Committee was doing. And we were very surprised by Labour Councillors who wanted to give three quarters of the Brook's public land to a private developer as when they visited the site they said they would oppose the lease.

It has transpired that no decision was made on the 7th September. The Brookdene item was referred to Full Council for decision on the 20th October, 2015. When a decision is referred to Full Council, it also means that every councillor will have an opportunity to debate and vote on the proposals.

So, in the meantime, get writing to all councillors and remind them that this piece of Brook public land should remain public. We oppose the granting of a 150 year lease in order to make a private garden for 43+ flats. Just copy and paste these names below into your email.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Pymmes Brook Walk

Are you joining us this Sunday for a fabulous walk?

The published distance to the finish is 4.1 miles but we have added a small loop around St Mary's Parish Church/Church Farm Pool and the un-named green space that adjoins the church and runs back down to Oak Hill Park alongside Avondale Avenue. This loop will add another 1/4 mile to the total distance.

Anyone who thinks the walk is getting a bit long need not worry - you can stay at the Oak Hill Cafe and we will pick you up after the loop. Although we will be exploring many green spaces on our journey to Monken Hadley we will never be far from bus stops and therefore there will be many dropout points along the way with buses back to Arnos Grove or Barnet. If anyone is worried about getting tired and not making the full distance - don't worry - this is a rare instance where we can get you to a bus stop within easy reach of virtually any part of this walk.

We have arranged a lunch stop at Oak Hill Park Cafe. This will be about 1pm which is an hour after we set off at 12pm. Please look at the attached lunch menu, make your selection and pre-order by Thursday evening. 

Please email to order lunch

We will collect lunch money on the day at the start of the walk. It would help us if you could bring the exact money Thanks. If anyone would like a map of the walk please let me know and we will bring one for you on the day.

We assemble outside Osidge Library on Sunday 23rd August from 11-30 onwards for a 12pm start. Please try and arrive no later than 11-45 to allow enough time for registration and taking lunch orders. Osidge library is at the junction of Osidge Lane and Brunswick Park Road and the 382, 184 and 125 buses stop nearby. There is also ample car parking near by including the library car park.

The finish will be at Jack's Lake, Monken Hadley and we will be serving tea and home-made banana cake in the picnic area in the woods before setting off homewards. We will be able to escort people back to Osidge, Arnos Grove, Friern Barnet and Finchley and direct people back to Barnet and Whetstone. There is a surprising amount of different things to see in this walk, let's hope for good weather on the day.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Pymmes Brook Trail

Brand new slide show and walk entitled THE PYMMES BROOK TRAIL. The slide show is on Thu 13th August at St Mary's Church, Church Hill Road, EN4 8XD and the walk starts outside Osidge Library on Sunday 23rd August. We seem to have been off in all directions in the last few years and covered a lot of ground from Mill Hill to Finsbury Park as well as all over Finchley,Friern Barnet and Muswell Hill but I have managed to come up with something new and exciting for this summer. Wherever there's water one finds special places and features and Pymmes Brook is no exception. We start by exploring Brunswick Park, which has a surprising amount of unspoilt greenery, before we pick up Pymmes Brook and follow it to its source at Beech Hill Lake in Monken Hadley. Along the way we will see many wonderful sights and also uncover a few contentious issues.

Anyone who thinks Pymmes Brook may be boring - think again. This is a delightful walk taking in an awful lot in just 4.1 miles. Meadowland, parkland, open grassland, brookside woodland walks, garden village, parks, sports fields, nature reserve, heathland, recreation ground, open green brookside walks and a finish at the very beautiful Beech Hill Lake. The lunch stop will be at Oak Hill Park Cafe where they serve very tasty, freshly prepared food. I will send a menu out in due course for you to pre-order your luncheon. We will be joined by Greenacre Writer Rosie Canning who will be organising a mini literary performance at the bandstand after lunch. There will also be a chance to write some prose or peotry whilst on the walk. Hot tea and home made cakes will be served at the finish at Beech Hill Lake. What more could you want! Only good walking weather, keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Follow the Folly


Our first walk of 2015 on Sunday 17th May is a really lovely green walk - FOLLOW THE FOLLY BROOK. There will be readings along the way so bring your poems. Apart from the very beginning at Woodside Park and the end at Mill Hill there are no roads, no noise, no pollution, only the sound of birdsong and running water. This really is a very pretty walk and we will see 3 nature reserves, woodland, meadows, and farmland as well as the brook and Darlands Lake. Tea stop will be at Finchley Nurseries and after a further 0.6 mile walk through Oakfield Wood we will catch the 221 bus back to Sussex Ring for a last 0.3 mile stretch back to Woodside Park tube. Total distance is 3.9 miles including the bit after the bus ride.

All our route will be along footpaths but the ground in places after all the winter rain was very muddy. It has now dried out but the foot traffic through the mud has left the ground pitted and dried out with pock marks.There are also a couple of stiles and other places of slightly rough terrain. We are recommending this walk only for the sure footed among you.. The pace will be leisurely and stewards will be there to help BUT you do need to negotiate some rough ground and a few minor obstacles such as fallen trees.

At the moment the route is completely dry but if there is further heavy rainfall between now and the 17th it may become muddy in places. If this is the case we advise you to wear stout walking boots or shoes that will take the mud.

As we are walking so far from roads for most of the route there are no dropout points along the way.

You will need to bring a packed lunch with you on the day. Also a bus pass or Oyster card for the ride back. You can make your own way back on foot via Burtonhole Lane but it is 1.6 miles to Woodside Park.

One thing that makes this walk so special is that we do not go near a road for the most part and it is very pretty. Let's hope for good weather on the day. Hope to see some of you there.


Brookdene Nature Reserve


Another beautiful green space under threat - Please see attachment below. If anyone needs addresses for councillors please see link here.

Is there anyone out there ready to help with conservation work? On Brookdene or other places. Please get in touch - please email: