Challenge to a planning application that threatens to remove protections from the Parkland Walk
The Friends of the Parkland Walk are currently engaged in a challenge to a planning application for 3 Francis Place, Highgate. This is the property to your left, seen when you enter the Parkland Walk at Holmesdale Road. The owner has already secured planning approval for the development of a basement and an extension to this former railway cottage. For many, this would be unacceptable in itself, but in addition to this, the owner is seeking approval for a management to carry out the works - a plan that would require amongst other things, 26 ton vehicles accessing the Parkland Walk to remove spoil.
What is exceptional in this instance is that there are protective covenants in the lease specifically written in by Haringey Council back in 1993 designed to prevent such developments and to protect the Parkland Walk and its users. Unfortunately, it seems Haringey Council is minded to consider waiving these protections despite the fact that the development is of no benefit to the nautre reserve, the community or the wider public. To find out more about this and how you can help, please read the article in this link.
Congratulations are in order
It has just been announced that the Parkland Walk, along with Queen's Wood have both attained Green Flag Park status and now join the other 18 Haringey parks that hold this award and the 1,582 held nationwide.
Green Flags are awarded by Keep Britain Tidy recognising quality green spaces and the efforts invested in them by local authorities and the community. We met with officials from Haringey Council and the judges in April this year and they were particularly impressed with the efforts and commitment of FPW volunteers and those from The Conservation Volunteers to improve the quality of the Nature Reserve, and notably our Big Clean event.
The judges also drew attention to our website and social media involvement as we strive to promote the Parkland Walk and provide information about the history, flora and fauna and encourage community involvement as a part of preservation and conservation activities.
In the judges words
"Friends group are an asset, very knowledgeable of site history, flora and fauna. Excellent volunteering support from TCV and local community."
"All forms of social media are being utilised, excellent Friends website."
"The Friends group are very passionate and committed to the walk and should be commended on their dedication and volunteering activities. Support for the walk is strong and the area is a fantastic facility for this area within London, A superb walk with fantastic views highly recommended as a day out for the whole family. "
Many of the criteria for this standard would not have been met without your help and hard work, and the committee of the Friends would like to thank you for the part you have played in achieving this award.
The report by the judges also makes a number of recommendations, notably on the need to improve on litter collections, attend to graffiti and address the problem of dog poo. We will be talking to Haringey and Islington Councils on what they can do to improve on these and other areas highlighted.
Volunteers help improve the paths at Crouch End Hill
A big thank you to Steve Taylor, Annie Connell, Michael Freeman, John Lingford, Dave Charie, Cathy Meeus, Jethro Hopwood, Max Glover and Andy Embleton who turned out on a fine sunny Saturday morning to slash and hack away at ground cover that was taking over the platforms and path.
This needs doing every year, and we think, in time, we might even re-establish the edge of the existing platform.
One lady we spoke to was on the Walk for the first time and showed us an article she had cut from her local paper in Australia which plugged the Parkland Walk as one of the 'must do' events when visiting the capital. Praise indeed, but many would agree that this oasis in the urban clutter is a real delight, and it is thanks to volunteers such as those who came out on Saturday, who help to make it so special.
This time, we decided to improve on the social element of the session and headed off for a well earned pint at the Railway Tavern. Surprise, surprise, it was hugely popular and we had a full turn out and will endeavour to do that at the end of all our work sessions.
Thank you too, to those who stopped and expressed their appreciation for the work being done. If you would like to become one of the 'haloed' active members of the Friends, do join us. You also get the buzz the next time you use the Walk of looking at the good work and saying "I did that!"
Can you spare a couple of hours to help the conservation work in Muswell Hill?
Is graffiti getting out of control?
Walkers may have noticed that the volume of graffiti has been on the increase not only at Crouch Hill, but also further down the length of the Parkland Walk. Many passers-by are admirers of some of the paintwork, but we get a lot of feedback from people who feel this activity is not appropriate to a nature reserve and spoils their experience of walking in a green environment, filling the air with unpleasant fumes.
Graffiti, it should be remembered is a criminal offence, and the Parkland Walk is also a designated Nature Reserve. FPW welcome your feedback but are powerless to take action. If you see graffiti taking place we would remind you that it can be reported to the authorities directly as a criminal act in progress by dialling 101.
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Tagging the Walk
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