It’s time for an update to our many friends and supporters.
Great successes! After months of work making grant applications to benefit our park, The Friends can share this good news with you! The biggest success is a Mayor’s Greener City Fund grant, awarded to Thames21 for work in the park. It will cover [deep breath] – a series of leaky woody dams, the planting of 2000 new broadleaf trees, interpretation signage for the restored wildlife pond, new toad ponds created by FrogLife, a den building area and refurbishment of the orienteering course! The park has also been offered free cherry trees as part of the Sakura Cherry Tree Planting Project in the UK, a project to celebrate the friendship between Japan and the UK, led by the Japan Society. Thank you Thames21 and the Mayor! The Friends were also awarded a Gregg’s Environmental Fund grant to landscape the Limes Avenue pond with water plants once the renovation is complete. And an Enfield in Bloom grant for bulbs and plants for the Water Garden. All very exciting!
Events. Enfield Council is in negotiations with two events organisers who aim to bring two massive music festivals to our park this August. The Friends are making strenuous efforts to get the council to limit its ambitions and preserve as much of the month of August for holiday visiting as possible, but the outlook is not good. If these music-with-alcohol events proceed as proposed on the first and third weekends in August, life in the area will be severely impacted, roads closed during events and up to 25,000 visitors will blot out residents’ rights to peaceful access and enjoyment of their park and neighbourhood.
The park will be technically open to the visiting public during events but such will be the impact from days spent building and dismantling the performance arena that normal use of the park will be impractical or just daunting. There will be a stream of heavy lorries using the Cockfosters gate for most of that time. The Friends are particularly concerned for families with young children who will find Trent Country Park effectively out of bounds for most of the month.
As advised at our public meetings last year, it will be up to the public to enter its objections alongside ours and through weight of numbers prevail on Enfield council to get back to a proper interpretation of its events strategy, which was never predicated on such massive invasions of a much valued public park by such overwhelming numbers. Our stance is that these are now so large they must in the name of safety and proportionality be redirected to purpose built arenas where all the security and crowd handling facilities are built in.
We note that such is the impact from major events on Trent Country Park that Berkeley, who are developing their site for residential use, have now declined the council use of its Snakes Lane for events access – a further rejection of the council’s unbridled and unsustainable commercial ambitions for our park.
The Friends reject the council’s stance that major events with ever increasing numbers are essential to the support of the council’s legal obligations to basic services, a claim which it refuses to quantify. On the other hand the certain losses to our community from over-sized events are clear to all and are justifiably objectionable.
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.
Projects. The Friends continue to work with LBE on various improvements and ecological projects in the park. Here’s a quick update:
- Limes Avenue Pond improvements – Work started on the pond on January 14 after a delay waiting for supplies. A volunteer landscaping day will take place in April to install the water plants and protective netting. Please watch for the dates and lend a hand!
- Nature Board replacement – we’ve been waiting for months for the missing boards to be replaced – and still we wait. We keep pushing.
- Water Garden maintenance –The Water Garden is sadly in need of a proper gardener. 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, please let us know! A volunteer session to install the Enfield in Bloom plants and bulbs will take place once it is warm enough. Watch for the date.
- Waymarked Trails upgrades – We are working with the volunteer group Groundforce to arrange one or more volunteer days to install the additional marker posts and repaint all of them. Please watch for the dates.
- Enfield Conservation Volunteers [ECV] – has two work days coming up in Trent Park and would welcome extra hands. Sunday 20 January – Camlet Moat, Trent Park to continue the dredging and cut back the vegetation. Meet 10am at the main entrance to the Moat (by the 5 bar gate). Parking at Hadley Road car park. And Sunday 3 February – More rhododendron clearance. Meet 10am at the Council works yard at top of Snakes Lane by the Wildlife Rescue centre and café. More information is on our Facebook page and website.
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.
Membership. Thanks to those of you who have already renewed for 2019 and to our Lifetime members. If you have not yet renewed or joined, please take this as a gentle reminder to renew or join via PayPal while you are here on the website.
You can also renew/ join at our next public meeting which will be held on Wednesday May 1 at 7:30pm at the Southgate Compton Cricket Club on Chalk Lane, Cockfosters.
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.
Social Media. Please Like us on Facebook and join our Twitter feed too. We’ll keep you informed!
Contacts. 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/
Data Protection. You can unsubscribe from our updates and newsletters at any time by replying ‘Unsubscribe’ to one of our emails. Please visit our website for our full data protection policy.
Wishing you a happy, healthy and successful 2019!
The Friends of Trent Country Park committee