Woodcroft Wildspace - a case study of Winchmore Hill community action

on Monday, 14 June 2010. Posted in N21 Community

 




How many of you have ever visited the Woodcroft Wildspace, the award winning environmental haven bang right in the middle of Winchmore Hill?

Over the past decade this five acre former disused sports ground has been transformed into a local nature reserve, providing a natural habitat to a growing number of species. The project was kickstarted by former Winchmore Hill Councillor Martin Prescott, who conceived the idea of turning a site which never worked as a sports recreation field (because of problems with flooding) into a nature reserve. Martin cajoled council officials into putting together a feasibility plan for the site and then brought in local residents who have picked up the baton and the 'Friends of Woodcroft' was born, now led by local resident Bob Ladell and an enthusiastic band of Friends of Woodcroft volunteers.

 

In 2011 the long term future of the site was secured and whilst a proportion of the site is being sold off for housing, Woodcroft Wildspace is wildspace, not a park, for everyone to enjoy. It is a place where people can come and enjoy some quiet tme, it is so6emwhere that parents, carers and schools can bring their children to learn about nature - insects, birds, small mammals, pond life, plants and trees in a natural habitat. This is especially beneficial for those who do not have the luxury of their own garden. Everyone is invited to come along and both help the series of projects we have in action as well as to see the wildspace.ional Lottery, 

 

Whilst funding has been secured from Enfield Council and the National Lottery, the management of Woodcroft Wildspace and its growing role as an educational resource, is largely dependent on volunteers.

 

Woodcroft Wildspace is open to the public throughout the week. Volunteers can normally be found working on the site on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 10am to 1pm. Here is our latest site plan

 

 

 

 

 Spring 2014 sees the final topping out of our well, many hours of hard,dirty and sometimes dangerous work.

 

 

 

With the help of volunteers, including residents, schools, local community groups and our corporate Give and Gain, team building days, we have slowly turned the site from a disused sports ground into a wildspace, with a range of habitats. Our wetland area ponds and boggy area are home to frogs, and newts; whilst insects abound, stag beetles. Our orchard, has 83 trees, with over 30 varieties which are cropping well. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of our Give and Gain volunteers. Under this excellent Business in The Community programme, volunteers from dozens of companies have spent the day with use, helping in teams to help us achieve some of our larger projects such as bigging our wildlife ponds. If your company would like to participate in this rather unusual but highly worthwhile away day please get in contact, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 Woodcroft Wildspace is a great place for children, here are just a few of our younger visitors. Children are never to young to start to understand the importance of the natural world and Woodcroft Wildspace provides learning opportunities for children of all ages; right across the curriculum. A number of nearby primary and secondary schools are regular visitors, whilst Duke of Edinburgh Award participants have helped us to create hedges and dig our ponds. Our apiary building also serves as a class room and we are keen to raise funds to extend our range of classroom facilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have hosted a number of open days, picnics and community events at Woodcroft and we are looking forward to our Woodcroft Wildspace Family Fun Day on Sunday July 13th 2014. Here are some pictures of some of our past open days. 

 

 

 

 

 

Our bees are recovering from three difficult winters, but we are now hopeful that our new colony is thriving. This is an important project for us, and it is a great place to teach children just how important bees are to our natural environment. 

 

 

 

 Woodcroft Wildspace is a haven for many species, here are just a few of our residents. 

 

 

 

As well as our wells, 2014 will be the first session for our new sensory gardens, which you see taking shape here and our new outside gym.

 

 

 

On the Woodcroft Wildspace website you can follow the transformation of the Woodcroft Sports Ground, shown below, to Woodcroft Wildspace; starting with three years of complex negotiations with Enfield Council to secure
the lease.  Whilst the site is still under development it is being transformed into managed woodland, with a range of tree species, some of them self seeded; a wetland with a newly created wildlife pond, dug by the volunteers and a
meadow area.






2009 was a big year in the short history of the project, with a Big Dig Day, in partnership with BBC Breathing Places and Blue Peter and the opening of the Woodcroft Apiary, the planting of bee friendly plants and the first batch of Woodcroft Honey and Woodcroft Beeswax. Use this link to see pictures of the event on the website, here

Sadly, security gates have had to be erected, because of vandalism and antisocial behaviour on the site, including irresponsible dog owners, but please come and see us, we always welcome new volunteers. 

                    

 


Woodcroft Wildspace is registered charity and more volunteers and money are still needed to secure the long term future of the project.
 
You can help secure the long term future of the project by becoming a Friend of Woodcroft Wildspace for a mere £10 a year, £15 for couples and households.

Woodcroft Wildspace is open from 9am to 5.30pm or sometimes later from April to September. Opening times vary during the rest of the year, depending on the weather.

 

Volunteers work on the site on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday mornings from 10am to 1pm

 

If you wish to visit as a group, please call 020 8819 1662 ahead of your visit. It is fantastic example of what can be achieved when local residents, community groups and businesses pull together.



http://www.woodcroft.org.uk/






How many of you have ever visited the Woodcroft Wildspace, the award winning environmental haven bang right in the middle of Winchmore Hill?

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