Within a few days of the news that the Friends of Broomfield Park had succeeded in a bid for Enfield Residents Priority Fund money for the Conservatory railings, the energetic park protectors were again celebrating - this time for being awarded a further £5000 from the fund to help create a wildlife pond.
Artists' imprssion of the Conservatory Railings projectAnd last week the Friends also got the go-ahead from Enfield Council for an extension of the wildflower meadow on the Aldermans Hill side of the Park. The site for the new meadow, the same size as the first, will be cleared and sown within the next few weeks.
However, not everything is rosy in the Park. Not only are there continuing worries about the plan to stop locking the park overnight, but a distinctive feature of the Park is under threat. One of the nine weeping willows that surround the boating pond, forming a symmetrical pattern, is looking distinctly unwell.
The sites earmarked for the willdlife pond and growing spaceThe railings project, which attracted much support from visitors to the Park, will see the ornamental ironwork that once surrounded the subterranean toilets at Palmers Green Triangle adapted to protect the beautiful Broomfield Conservatory. The £5000 from the Residents Priority Fund will top up the amount raised elsewhere to the total needed to adapt the railings and build a wall to mount them on.
The Wildlife Pond will be created between the tennis courts and Broomfield Community Orchard, next to an area which the Friends hope to turn into a community growing space. The growing space project is very dear to the Friends' hearts, but cannot go ahead without recruitment of a significant number of new volunteers. If you're interested in working on either the growing space or wildlife pond project, please contact growingspace @friendsofbroomfieldpark.org.
Broomfield Wildlife Pond
The pond will provide a habitat for freshwater native wildlife, including many species of plants, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles. It will add a new level of biodiversity to the Park, complementing the ornamental lakes which are dominated by fish and wildfowl. Frogs and other amphibians will help control garden pests in the Community Growing Space, and flowering water plants and marginals will provide additional nectar and pollen for bees, including from the Orchard apiary. The pond will help meet the Council's objectives in its Biodiversity Action Plan.
The Pond, with its dipping platform and interpretation board, will be a valuable resource for environmental studies by students from local schools; there are over 10,000 schoolchildren within walking distance of the Park. A number of local schools and groups such as Hazelwood School, the Cubs, Scouts and the Woodcraft Folk participate in activities and events in the Park, such as those at the Conservatory and the Community Orchard. We are keen to develop these learning links further, especially in relation to the Pond and Community Growing Space. We will try to widen local involvement through events such as 'Pond Days'.
The involvement of young and older people in creating and managing this new habitat will strengthen links in the community, foster attachment to the Park and its assets, and enhance an understanding and appreciation of the natural environment.
Seating on an existing raised area overlooking the pond will provide a calm and restful place to observe a new wildlife feature in the park, families can talk over what they see, and people can meet and make new friendships.
Opportunities for volunteers
We are looking for volunteers of all ages to get involved in the design and creation of the Pond and the adjoining Community Growing Space.
This will provide useful experience in working with groups to achieve an objective, as well as learning more specifically about fresh water biology and the environment. Some practical skills will also be developed, and altogether, young people – and jobless older people – who become involved, will enhance their work experience and CVs.
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