CHIPPING BARNET COMMUNITY PLAN
Barnet Council is currently consulting on a Chipping Barnet Community Plan to improve the town centre to meet the needs of the community, both today and tomorrow. The consultation is now inviting comments from the community on all of the emerging project ideas:
Supporting High Street Business and building local pride,
Movement and enhancing the public realm and green spaces,
Supporting cultural and community infrastructure,
Creating a thriving Town Centre to live, work and visit
Website, full details and opportunities to comment can be found here: Chipping Barnet Community Plan. The Public Consultation ends on the 19th of February, after which all the comments will be considered to help identify the 5 or 6 projects that most represent the community's needs.
VOTE FOR SOMETHING GREEN
High Barnet's abundance of green spaces is one of its unique selling points. Wherever you may be in the area, you are never more than a stone's throw away from a park, woodlands or nature of some kind, which is indeed a luxury considering our connection to the capital. Despite this, however, access, way-finding, and upkeep limitations (not forgetting our unforgiving winters) mean that our green spaces are not always utilised and enjoyed to their full potential.
We are extremely encouraged to see that the Community Plan includes project proposals aimed at celebrating our green spaces, and making them as accessible, functional and enjoyable as possible. Some of the areas that we would be keen to engage the community with are listed below. If you like the sound of any of these, please do use the Community Plan website to show your support, the more interest we have in certain projects, the more likely they are to be taken forward.
Rewilding (and maintaining) suitable pockets of land in and around the town would be a relatively cheap, quick and straight-forward project. Provided we can get a handle on our litter problem, we believe this can add significantly to the character and identity of Chipping Barnet, as well as offer opportunities for pollination, biodiversity and habitat creation. Schools, community groups, individuals and other stakeholders could help establish and maintain these urban mini-meadows.
Whilst we are very lucky to have so many green spaces on our door-step, it would be lovely for children of all ages to have access to purposely-designed nature play areas for year-round fun and exercise. The Courthouse Playground offers some play provision, but it is undeniably man-made, quite prescriptive, and only caters for the younger age group. Given its location, however, it could offer a fantastic opportunity for a natural play setting, perhaps within a Courthouse Gardens re-generation project?
Community Gardens are popping up in urban areas all over the country, and we would love one here in Chipping Barnet! Managed by a local team of volunteers, a community garden could offer an opportunity for residents and community groups to learn about growing food and flowers, and help with sowing, planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting. The produce could even supply a community café / local groups, or be sold to the community with profits being reinvested into the project.
Joining up our green and open spaces with way-finding maps and signage would significantly improve awareness and increase utilisation and enjoyment of our wonderful natural landscapes. A network of routes suitable for e.g. cyclists, walkers, families, those with limited mobility etc. could be created, highlighting notable features, effort level, access etc. A strong anti-litter campaign / strategy would need to be incorporated to ensure the natural integrity of the area is protected.
HAVE YOUR SAY!
These are just a few ideas on how we can improve and enhance our green spaces in and around Chipping Barnet. If you like the sound of any of these, or have any ideas of your own, please do add your comments to the consultation. Comments can be made under individual project ideas which can be found here: www.cbcommunityplan.co.uk/emerging-projects/ or under each Character Area which can be accessed by scrolling down on the Home Page. Equally, if anyone has an interest in being involved in or running any of the above-mentioned projects, please do get in touch!