Agenda item

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

To note that the dates of future meetings will be agreed at Annual Council on Wednesday 13 May 2020.

Minutes:

NOTED that the dates of future meetings will be agreed at Annual Council on Wednesday 13 May 2020.

 

Residents again requested quarterly meetings of this Forum as had previously been the case and which was also detailed in the Terms of Reference for the Green Belt Forum. It was agreed that this request would be considered when setting the Council Calendar for the forthcoming municipal year.

Action: Stacey Gilmour, Governance & Scrutiny Officer

 

 


 

Memo

 

Green Belt Forum

 

Purpose

 

Date/Time

Green Belt Enhancement Opportunities and Aspirations Workshop

 

15 January 2020

 

Notes

 

 

Green belt areas used/ visited/ valued

·         Families using parks

·         Mainly access parks rather than other green belt land

·         Forty Hall

·         Hilly Fields

·         Whitewebbs

·         Cycling, walking and horse-riding

·         Little parks people often didn’t know the names of but which were local to them

·         Small urban green spaces in east of borough

·         Mostly on weekends

·         Walking in following areas: Flash lane and path along river up to lake; Whitewebbs wood; Through Whitewebbs golf course and parallel path (access by Cafe); to Crews Hill (access through Hilly Fields and Strayfield Road); to Forty Hall, Middleton House and Capel Manor (access by Rose & Crown)

·         Access and use of the boroughs’ green belt mainly via parks, footpaths and other green spaces.

·         Trent country park, Lee Valley, Grovelands, Enfield playing fields, Forty Hall, Clay Hill – visit and use all these areas but only accessed by car.

·         Use linear B paths to go to work (east of King George’s reservoir going SàN)

·         Visit and walk in Forty Hall often.

·         Use of Forty Hall for dog walking and the farmers market there

·         Walks/circular paths at Grovelands Park, Southgate

·         Lots of walking at Trent Country Park – deserves a Green Flag status

·         Use these areas for walking (Grovelands Park Southgate, Boggy footpaths)

 

Management, maintenance, security

·         Maintenance of access, footpaths, bridleways

·         Need to ensure safe access / that people feel safe once in green spaces

·         Enforce No barbeque/fire policy

·         Park police

·         Trent Park - Maintenance, area SW of park must be kept as meadow

·         Enforcement of agricultural ties – Forty Hall farm/area by Elmtree Pet hotel

·         Improvements: access, better paths, parking, public transport, meadow as well as trees (Clay hill and Whitewebb lacking meadows due to lack of maintenance).

·         Create woodland between Whitewebbs lane and the M25 e.g. at Slowman’s Farm

·         Security – patrol lanes to prevent antisocial behaviour and drug taking. Prevent motor cycle riding.

·         Lack of security at Clay Hill

·         Crews Hill has turned into an unauthorised industrial site with inappropriate economic activity and lots of negative impacts on land, air quality, local residents; many uses now there are inappropriate to the GB and not what it is meant to be for; despite active enforcement, problems are worsening. Issues are expanding towards white webbs lane now – council has been unsuccessful to date in getting this under control – this needs a large-scale, holistic response from the council to get under control

Flooding

·         Hilly Fields Bridge flooded – drainage needs improving

·         Drainage issue (Ferny Hill Farm into Trent Country Park).

 

Footpaths

·         Circular / connecting paths for walkers

·         Flooding of footpaths in winter

·         Physical accessibility for those less able bodied. Maybe certain footpaths that are less likely to flood and more even surface. Sign-posted for easier use by those with mobility issues/pushchairs

·         Shortcut to station across Hilly Fields Park closed

·         Closure of cemetery gate at Clay Hill prevents walking to station.

·         Confirm existence of footpath from Covert Way Nature Reserve at Hadley wood (Hill avenue) through to Jacks Lake.

·         Provide footpath from Botany Bay Farm to the London Loop.

·         Provide a pavement along Cattlegate Road to fill a missing link in Enfields footpath network. Half a mile from Crews Hill golf course to the M25 where footpath continues over Cattlegate farm.

·         Formalise informal footpath from Ramney Marsh to New Ford Road which goes under M25.

·         Wildlife walk with dogs under M25, fields tend to have sheep in.

·         Need to improve the new path from bottom of Forty Hall to Middletown House as regularly flooded (impossible to walk even though boarded).

·         Idea to treat the separate paths as an arc of different experiences

Accessibility

·         cultural aspects of accessibility of open spaces – if you don’t know it’s there / if you feel it is not meant for you / if you don’t have habits of accessing it, you are less likely to use it

·         It is often unclear whether one is allowed on certain green belt land; clear sign-posting and public info of public versus private land, public footpaths etc.

·         Access green belt land all over for dog-walking but often feel uncertain about where allowed or not / worried about being chased away from private / farmland.

·         Accessibility of spaces by public transport from around the borough (e.g. Forty Hall and many other beautiful spaces are almost impossible to access by public transport from much of the rest of the borough).

·         Improve accessibility to green belt at Forty Hall and Whitewebbs for a range of ages, abilities, cycling and pedestrians. Indicated cycle path around golf course at Whitewebbs.

·         Lack of public transport to Forty Hall/Whitewebb

·         Public transport to green belt hubs – poor access, adequate car parking

·         Missing links in footpaths and cycle paths (e.g. footpaths from Crews Hill – please take this info from the last GB forum meeting minutes where it was explained in detail; cycle paths through Whitewebbs / Hilly Fields and Jubilee park don’t currently link up together and to Trent Park; same with bridleways)

·         People use open spaces regardless of borough boundary (e.g. in Southgate people using open spaces in Barnet)

·         Some people felt the green belt basically was the parks / were less aware of land that is not accessible and some felt this land had less value if not accessible by public. Although woodlands, even if not accessible, were seen as important for habitats.

·         Access to Crews Hill – access at garden centres, poor bus services with no service on Sundays

·         Walking and cycling down Crews Hill, parking and public transport. Crews Hill Residents Association.

·         Forty Hall – physical access, cultural access for inner city residents

·         No public transport to Whitewebbs or Forty Hall

·         Car parking essential for access

·         Need Bus route for Crews hill and public access for Whitewebbs

·         Clay hill difficult to access as limited parking.

 

Natural heritage

·         Flooding / wetter weather / climate change – ensure species planted are resistant and appropriate

·         Supporting local wildlife / biodiversity / habitats

·         More ambitious planting schemes

·         Planting being native species, not imported and appropriate to support local wildlife/ecology/biodiversity (e.g. birds)

·         Invasive species expanding and damaging / displacing local species

·         Difficult to balance ensuring access to and success of an open space with the biodiversity agenda as too much access and use can disturb wildlife etc

·         Agricultural value, ecological value, wildlife and biodiversity – needs proper management

·         RSPB (Bob Husband):

-        Enfield Council are allowing contractor to sever ivy from massive trees. Ivy is a very important food plant and provides shelter for overwintering insects and nesting/rooting for birds.

-        Hedgerows are being mismanaged. They should be cut in section on a 2-3 year cycle so that the berries are available for winter thrushes. Hedgerows should allow trees to mature especially ash and oak.

-        Trent Park is being overused. Dog walks are damaging the very natural areas that they report to love. Areas need to be naturally cordoned off to curtail disturbance to wildlife.

The upper Salmons Brook needs to be opened up with ponds and lakes and the brook be allowed to meander so as to produce a more natural lowland valley environment. Planting should be of alder near the wetland areas and willow/sallow.  The south facing side should where possible be free from plantings to avoid excess water into the water bodies.

Transport

·         Need stricter controls of and enforcement against transport impacts on green belt, particularly of inappropriate / illegal uses in the green belt (e.g. HGV traffic, scaffolding trucks etc)

·         Clay Hill and Crews Hill – lorries garden centre. More access means the more congested they will be – need traffic mitigation.  Crews Hill industrialised (not green belt)– not against housing, traffic getting worse, HGVs.

·         Clay Hill and lorries/HGVs – problem of pedestrians nearly being run over walking here by HGVs (i.e. when walking home from school). It is narrow and the lorries use the pavement at the bend. Stops children walking to school and being independent.

Cultural heritage

·         Celebrating cultural and economic heritage of green belt in borough

Resurrecting past planting / uses that borough has heritage in (e.g. the old royal chase woodlands, orchards that existed in the borough in past etc) [1]

Education/information

·         Education: people would appreciate GB more if there was more education about it to encourage new generations to engage with it; could link up with what school kids are learning about climate change etc

·         There used to be funding for school kids to access and learn about GB

·         Forty Hall – education, signposts, people would treasure green belt more if there was more education on it, nature reserves ‘Wild Walks’, striking the balance between access + recreational pressure on wildlife

·         Encourage people to use it – introductory walks, signposting of walks, clear maps, information points

·         Community facility for activities – talks, school groups

·         Improve by changing and placing more importance on protecting biodiversity. Educating visitors about the green belt e.g. nettles are good, Forty Hall meadow is protected (!) so look after it.

 

Other notes

·         Maintain different environments – country house, wild, paved walks

·         Toilet facilities and café facilities for all users including muddy boots

·         Solar farm has a buffer from the M25. Will enhance green belt to the south

·         Traffic humps – uncomfortable to drive over, why not traffic lights?

·         Ensure that any brownfield sites are used before any green belt land is used.

·         Object to green belt being used for exclusive sport so it isn’t open to Spurs.

 



[1] Note that this is already happening to some extents in terms of vineyard at Forty Hill and new woodland planned around Salmon’s brook, but the orchard idea I think is new