The Friends of Firs Farm are pleased to announce the official launch of Firs Farm Park, one of Europe's largest Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDs) schemes, wetlands and cycleway took place on Wednesday 9th March.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Daniel Anderson and Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Matthew Pencharz officially opened the project which aims to tackle pollution, prevent flooding, bring wildlife into the park and make it easier for visitors to access the area. Councillor Sarah Doyle, Associate Cabinet Member, Bambos Charalambous and representatives from Thames Water and Environment Agency, were also present.
The new £950,000 project will see whole parts of the park landscaped to create not only a wetlands area to prevent pollution, but a woodland watercourse and walk plus educational features such as an outdoor classroom and ‘dipping platform’ for schools and community groups. To date, 30,000 tonnes of soil have been moved, over a hundred trees have been planted, shrubs, bulbs, marginal water plants and wildflower meadows have been seeded.
The new 600 metre path and cycleway, now links the east and west points of the park and provide access for all sections of the community such as cyclists, pedestrians, those with buggies and disabled people. It will be an attractive route for local children to get to and from school, and help people travel to and from their places of work.
Funding for the scheme came from the Mayor of London, Thames Water, Enfield Council and the Environment Agency.
Toni Guiver, Chairman of Friends of Firs Farm, who kickstarted the project says
“The success of the wetlands is a perfect example of how a local community can work together to achieve something amazing. Aside from enhancing and utilizing a redundant piece of land for the benefit of the local community, it addresses a very real issue– flood relief. SUDS mimic nature and typically manage rainfall by slowing water down before it enters streams, rivers and other water courses and providing a natural storage facility.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Council, Environment Agency, GLA, Thames Water and Thames 21 for their support, as well as all the volunteers from Thames Water, Sony DAB, SSE Utilities, Interlek and our local community. We forward to further collaboration in the future to ensure the success and long term future of Firs Farm Park. “
Cllr Anderson added:
“I am delighted to open this new wetlands and cycleway and to see how the entire park has been transformed. From just a bare piece of land to over 2.4 hectares of improved space; this park is now not only a welcoming retreat for native wildlife but also for local people”.
Firs Farm Wetlands will host a major community festival on Saturday July 16th.
The Friends of Firs Farm meet weekly to continue clearing, planting and maintaining the new park. Volunteers are always welcome.
More information can be found on our website and Facebook pages
Moving 30,000 tonnes of soil; imagination and two years of cooperation between the nearly formed Friends of Firs Farm, Enfield Council and the GLA has resulted in the offical opening of the one of the largest new wetlands projects in Europe.