Despite being part of a big city, we're certainly not short of green space in Palmers Green and around. Broomfield Park, Arnos Park and Grovelands Park immediately spring to mind, but the smaller patches of green are also very important. Firs Farm Playing Fields is an excellent example of a smaller, but very attractive "green lung". Like the bigger parks, it now has its own "Friends", a group being set up by local resident Toni Guiver. The Friends of Firs Farm have their own Facebook page and are holding a meeting this Wednesday inside the park both to talk about the Friends group and its ideas for the park and to discuss an important project which we describe below (take a torch with you - it will be dark by the end of the meeting).
Restoring a buried river
In recent years the trend has been away from obsessively tidying up and trying to control nature, so we're seeing more areas where grass is allowed to grow tall and there's a new wildflower meadow in Broomfield Park. What's more, it's now realised that the attempt to control nature doesn't always work as we expect. We now know that canalising rivers and streams to increase their rate of flow, or burying them beneath the ground, can cause flash floods of residential areas and pollution of the river Lea, which is used both as a leisure destination and to extract drinking water. The new strategy is to slow down streams and create soakaways, which absorb water and filter out the pollutants before they reach the bigger rivers. The newly created wetland areas are also attractive in terms of flora and fauna.
One such project is the restoration of the stream that runs through the woodland part of Grovelands Park, being run jointly by Thames 21 and Enfield Council. Less well known is a similar scheme in Firs Farm Playing Fields. The Firs Farm Playing Fields River Restoration Project began this year and there will be second phase in 2015. It involves bringing back to the surface a buried stream running along the north side of the park, near to the boundary with Edmonton Cemetery.
The Firs Farm River Restoration Event will include briefings by council officials and provide a chance to air your views about the future of Firs Farm. Meet at the entrance gate opposite 253 Firs Lane at 5pm on Wednesday 1st October.