Sun 26 Jul 2015
From January to July, the Friends of Firs Farm have made huge progress in transforming an overlooked and underused piece of land to a wonderful green space for everyone to enjoy. Extraordinary achievements as a result of community partnership, as not only have the local residents ‘rolled up their sleeves’ but a number of local organizations have been supportive in making this initiative work. Without this effort from all parties, the Friends would not have achieved their goals in such a short time.
The first celebration for the Friends was in winning the Wetlands bid from the Mayor of London’s Big Green Poll. Hours of lobbying the public in Sainsburys’ and train stations paid off as the friends captured 20% of the overall 10,000 votes securing the £175,000. This funding will extend the new wetland habitat which is capable of storing flood water reducing the risk of flood to over 100 residential properties and the A10 trunk road. The brook will be restored to the park, creating an interesting and varied landscape, improving the ecology of the park.
On the 16th July, Enfield Council, supported by the Friends, held a consultation on the next phase which includes improved entrances, watercourse through the woodland, pond dipping platform and a visitor’s centre. This next phase is planned to start in the autumn but already visitors to the park can see cycle paths being developed and much of the river bank brimming with trees, marginal plants and shrubs.
Planting has been supported by Friends, volunteers and local businesses who have decided that Firs Farm is deserving of being a community day for their employees. Businesses have pledged time to support transformation of this green space and already have made a difference by removing redundant broken fencing, clearing and planting. This work will be ongoing and we expect the next planting phase to take place in September, so watch the website for news on this so as not to miss it.
Alongside the planting, the Friends have developed a community watering programme entitled ‘Adopt a Tree’. Of the original 26 trees planted, 23 have now been adopted and are being cared for over the next 2 years. Further planting of trees is planned for September so if you are interested and would like to plant/adopt a tree for the next 2 years, please contact the Friends.
The park is very fortunate to have a woodland area and the Friends, working in partnership with Enfield conservation volunteers, have created a woodland path through the woods for all to enjoy. This work will continue into the autumn and if anyone is keen on learning new skills in how to lay a path, hedge laying, clearing and planting then please let the Friends know.
Lastly, keeping the park free from litter is an ongoing task. The Friends have held a number of “Capital clean up” days using the equipment provided through this campaign for our monthly litter picking sessions which are held on the first Saturday of every month. The noticeable difference has been seen in that there is less litter resulting in improved habitat for and it appears that park visitors are being more considerate with what they do with their litter.
In summary, the friends and their respective partners have been extremely busy this year in developing a park that people will enjoy and look after. The wetlands is a by-product of the Enfield flood relief work but with new cycle paths, woodland walks and new plant life attracting varied insects and animals, we all hope this area continues to be developed into a beautiful Enfield green space for all to enjoy.
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