It’s time for an update to our many friends and supporters. First a date for your diaries!
Our next Public Meeting will take place at 7:45pm on Wednesday November 20 at Christ the King Catholic Church, 29 Bramley Rd, London N14 4HE. This will also be our AGM. The meeting will take place in the St. Mark’s Room upstairs and there is now a stair lift for those who can’t manage stairs. We’ll send more information closer to the date.
- The Friends have had a busy year so far working with various partners on projects around the park:
- The Limes Avenue pond restoration was completed in May with a volunteer planting day. More than 30 people showed up to help, including a contingent from Berkeley Homes. Many shrubs and plants were installed and most are doing well. We now need everyone’s co-operation to keep dogs out of the pond to allow the plants to establish and wildlife to flourish. Notices explain this but Friends sometimes have to draw them to dog owners’ attention! Please do. Many thanks to all who helped plant the pond and to Thames21 for orchestrating the event, to the Watercourses and Parks Departments for all their assistance and to Greggs Environmental Fund and the Mayor of London’s Greener City Fund for grants to complete the work. Watch for a new interpretation lectern about pond life, which will be installed soon.
- The Waymarked Trails project was also completed in May. Two 2.5 miles trails are now marked out with yellow- or red-topped posts, guiding visitors to some of the further reaches and interesting sights in the park. The printed trail map has been revised and can be downloaded from the Friends website or picked up from one of the cafes, Go Ape or Oakwood Library. [We are trying to keep them supplied but the maps are very popular!] Thanks again to the Parks Department for their help installing the posts.
- Enfield in Bloom provided funding to plant a bed in the Water Garden and to install daffodils around the Wildlife Centre. Another grant is imminent so watch for a volunteer opportunity to do some more planting.
- Thames21 is very active in the park on natural flood alleviation and other projects. So far several hundred trees have been planted, some ‘leaky dams’ have been installed on the streams and Thames21 have also helped with Limes Avenue pond project and are working with Froglife.
- Froglife is also working in the park, creating new and improving old amphibian ponds to help the toad population. They will soon be working on the pond at the Cockfosters entrance gate. The Berkeley Homes amphibian survey showed that it has been a good year for toads in the park and we hope that trend will continue with the new habitats. Thanks to Froglife for the interesting free Wildlife Workshop they held in July.
- New Equipment for the Natural Play Area – after much discussion the Council has agreed to fund the replacement of the basket swing and scale that were removed over the past couple of years. The new equipment is scheduled to arrive in September.
- Limes Avenue trees – you have probably noticed the sad gaps in the stately avenue of lime trees. Unfortunately many of the trees have reached the end of their natural lives. However, the Council’s tree department have agreed to replace the missing and diseased trees – though funding still needs to be identified.
- Nature boards – After two years absence, the missing interpretation boards [Trees and Meadowland] should be replaced very soon.
The Friends had ever more reason to oppose the LBE programme of mega events in the park this summer, as numbers soared and impact on the whole area escalated. Enfield’s Licensing sub Committee, led by administration councillors and supported by council officers, granted permission for the largest events ever held in the borough; setting up the 51st state and Elrow mega events blocked out much of the summer school holidays, hosting 42,500 attendees.
We made strenuous efforts to get the numbers reduced, and the timing changed to avoid the school holidays, but LBE refused any concessions. In 2020 LBE proposes to double the numbers by extending events to two full weekends, a total of 85,000 attendees. We know this is unsustainable. But LBE sees no natural limit to this imposition and intends to continue to market the park for commercial exploitation. And all this with virtually no return to the park from the revenues generated.
The Friends are now logging the damage to the park, especially extensive damage to the exhibition table that families like to use for gatherings. A delivery lorry has virtually demolished the grade 2 Cockfosters gate, now supported by scaffolding, and we await a protracted and expensive rebuild. We ask ourselves if a 40 tonne truck could do this to the gate, what could it do to an enthusiastic child that just happened to run in its way. We want all 40 tonne trucks banned from the park.
We know that Cockfosters residents are also considering what to do regarding the overwhelming presence these music and alcohol events impose on our park and community, the abuse of property, the noise, drug dealing and anti-social behaviour.
The Friends presented their case at two heavily attended public meetings this spring to gauge public acceptance or resistance to this policy and concluded that most neither want these events, nor do they feel they have given permission for them to expand. The council sees the park as a ready source of revenue, although after all costs the net value is a lot less than LBE asserts. Combined with the cost to the community and the safety risks inherent in entertaining such huge numbers in a make-shift accommodation in the park, with very limited public transport access, we continue to believe LBE is misdirecting itself into continuing this policy.
The Friends continue their campaign on behalf of the many who value Trent Park and seek a means to release it from commercial events. We will convey onwards all objections and comments, but even more effective is to write to the Leader of the Council, with a copy to us. Her address is: email@example.com
Please stay in touch with our campaign through Facebook and the website and respond to the call when the moment arrives to enter formal objections to Enfield Council. Every message counts; we will need everyone’s help to push back the tide of damaging and unnecessary commercialism.
Berkeley Homes first new residents are expected to move in soon. We welcome them and hope they will become involved with the Friends and our efforts.
The Friends continue to work with LBE and other groups on various improvements and ecological projects in the park. Here’s a quick update:
- Water Garden maintenance –The Water Garden is in a very sad state at present. We will continue to work with the Parks Department on this and hope that our own gardening group will get back together at some point. If you are interested in rolling your sleeves up and helping as a volunteer, please let us know!
- Enfield Conservation Volunteers [ECV] has two workdays coming up in Trent Park and would welcome some extra hands. Sunday 24 November – Camlet Moat. Some more dredging of the historic moat or bramble clearance for those who like to keep their feet dry. Meet 10am at the main entrance to the Moat [by the 5-bar gate]. Parking at Hadley Road car park. Sunday 8 December. ECV’s final workout of 2019 will be to remove more of the invasive rhododendron to allow more light in and hopefully more native plants to return. Meet 10am at the Council Depot [works yard] at the bottom of Snakes Lane next to the Wildlife Rescue centre and café EN4 0PS. For more information contact Judy Mayo on 07791 473844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the ECV website here Enfield Conservation Volunteers.
Public Safety and Crime.
The Friends continue to press for greater security in the park, especially from casual raves in the summer weeks. We believe that, if the police do not respond to these invasions and set an expectation of denial to illegal rowdy drunk and drug taking groups, we can only expect further deterioration in future seasons. Please be aware also of a couple of recent mugging incidents around Oakwood Station and take due care.
Thanks to those of you who renewed for 2019 and to our Lifetime members. If you have not yet renewed or joined, please take this as a gentle reminder to visit our website, where you can renew or join via PayPal and find instructions for doing it by post.
You can also renew/ join at our next public meeting which will be at 7:45pm on Wednesday November 20 at Christ the King Catholic Church, 29 Bramley Rd, London N14 4HE.
Membership is open to all – a person or family, a local club, school, business, association or other group with an interest in Trent Country Park. Your membership dues of £4 per year are used for the basic running costs of the organisation, such as hall rental, printing and postage.
Website and Social Media.
Please explore this website for information about the park, its history, ecology and much more! You can also join the Friends here via PayPal. And please Like us on Facebook and join our Twitter feed too. We’ll keep you informed!
Please feel free to contact us if you have any concerns about the park or would like to join or help the Friends committee. You may also want to share your concerns with the three Cockfosters Ward Councillors, as follows:
Park issues can also be reported via the Council website at: https://new.enfield.gov.uk/services/leisure-and-culture/parks-and-open-spaces/parks/
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Wishing you many happy visits to Trent Park!
The Friends of Trent Country Park committee