This Week in N21

Are local residents about to be given the chance to comment on our local experiment?

Or is this more smoke & mirrors?



"I really like this newsletter. Informative, concise and a great link to the community"


"I read this newsletter the moment it pops into my inbox"












 Peachey Butchers Christmas brochure

to download












 more details here



Enfield Council undertakes



and the 'patient' is poorly

a cause for concern?

more details here



you can make a difference 



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 Check out who is building what in N21 






Join the Park Run

in Grovelands Park



Lots of other sporting activities

to join in N21!

more details here




Bush Hill Park Residents Association

Enfield Town Residents Association

Fox Lane & District Residents Association

Grange Park Residents Association

Grovelands Residents Association

Western Enfield Residents Association


Winchmore Hill Residents Association 





The Friends of Grovelands Park

more details here

Become a Friend of Firs Farm

find out how to join here

Gardening Friends

more details here

Grange Park Horticultural Society

more details here

North London Organic Gardeners

more details here


Woodcroft Wildspace

more details here





Are you thinking of starting a business?


Are you unemployed?




New & Updated Business Pages


Armour Security

Barber El's

Chi Chi's Coffee & Waffle House

Cloud9 Wellness Hub 


Fortitude Dance Company

Fun English Conversation Classes

Gadget Bees

Geo Thermal

Hair 21

Mesa Kitchen & Lounge

Mi Homes

More Yoga

Nourished Naturally

Parkwood Builders

 PH Sports


The Sacred Tree

S.E Beauty

Siobhan Cosgrave Herbalist & Naturopath

The Southgate Club

Swiss Care Clinic

Winchmore Lounge


Buff relocates to Station Road





Have the A105 cycle lanes passed the test?

Has Enfield Council 'forgotten' (until now)

that this scheme was an 'experiment'

Read the article


"Green Lanes from the PG direction can get so bad that I drive anywhere but head towards those lights. The stupid thing is that the Sainsbury entrance used to work fine without lights. And there was never a jam on Green Lanes"

Robin C





 Sharing the A105 is a documentary film project that aims to engage the local community with the recent changes to the A105 with the introduction of segregated cycle lanes along a length of the route.

Would you like to take part in the film?



Mind the gap




The new planters in Palmers Green are a very tight squeeze

Watch the video


Maybe this should be the correct sign?


The results of the Fernleigh Road Area

Quieter Neighbourhood Consultation:

a partial 'victory' for residents



more details here



The distance between the zebra crossing

north of Masons Corner and the crossing

outside the Post Office at 822 Green Lanes

is 400 metres




Council to keep cycle lane dividers

despite safety fears

read Cllr Daniel Anderson's defence of orcas



If you are concerned about the safety of orcas

please sign the petition



Whose clever idea was this?



Have you tripped over or hit one of these

whilst walking, driving or cycling?



download the leaflet on how to report incidents


 Report it to Enfield Council

on the incident reporting page




Enfield Council say orcas are safe - really?





Read this research published

in the Evening Standard




Segregated cycle lanes are putting patients' lives at risk

medical leaders have warned



Ambulance on the wrong side of the road opposite Sainsbury's

read the Telegraph article




A beginners guide to taking wildlife photographs


Read here



Fix My Street




Check out pollution levels today









Can you help your local community?


n21online is a community portal

for the Winchmore Hill postcode 


If you have a news story about life in or around Winchmore Hill, or wish to communicate with people in the local area about an activity, business, campaign or local event; please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Carols on The Green 18-page-0 1



Volunteers sought for 

Speeding Monitoring Programme


more details here



Enfield Local Plan Consultation


The draft plan sets out options for development over the next 15 years through 'good growth' principles, as endorsed by the Mayor of London Consultation closes





Our vision for Enfield is:

Heritage for change - engaged, cherished, conserved and enjoyed



Enfield Council has published a new Heritage Strategy 'Making Enfield', with a consultation,




Enfield Council Waste Collection Consultation

Find out what is proposed and take part in the consultation






St Monica's Players have put forward

an alternative plan for the Intimate Theatre

View the proposals


Petition: Save The Intimate Theatre




Sign the petition


Steven Berkoff backs call to save The Intimate Theatre

Read the article in The Stage

"I definitely think that St Monica's Church should take more pride in the Intimate's history and its place in our community - after all, churches have always had an important community function - and look seriously at the alternatives to demolition"








Bush Hill Park councillors here

Grange councillors here

Winchmore Hill councillors here





Winchmore Hill ward

November newsletter

download here

Grange ward

December newsletter

download here



Winchmore Hill Police 






Southgate Homebound

and Disabled Association



 more details here



Ruth Winston Community Centre


Winchmore Hill Community Care




more details here  



Dementia Cafe

at St Peter's Church Hall

on Fridays

More details here




Chickenshed Theatre 



The Fontliners Book Club

meets once a month in the Winchmore

 email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



The Highlands Village Book Group

invites new members

 contact Kate on 07944 756757

Winchmore Hill Book Club

Grovelands Park
Facebook Group


Winchmore Hill & Palmers Green Memories 
Facebook Group


Winchmore Hill Families 
Facebook Group


N21 Community

Grange Park Horticultural Show 2010

on Sunday, 12 September 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Grange Park Horticultural Show 2010

Grange Park Horticultural Society held its 67th annual Horticultural Show on Saturday (September 11th). The warm afternoon brought a stready stream of visitors to St Peters Church Hall.

The Society, set up in 1941, as part of the 'Dig For Victory' wartime campaign, is still going strong, with most classes fiercely contested.  Whilst the show felt quaintly old-fashioned, seemingly little changed over seven decades, the Society is benefitting from the resurgence in popularity for home grown produce, a growing trend which is set to continue. Many of the winners are the lucky owners of allotments in Cheyne Walk, which are much coveted, with a long waiting list.

N21online is waiting to receive the complete list of GPHS 2010 winners, but special congratulations should go to Alan Grierson for his magnificent dahlias and also to Derek Florin and Mr Payne whose super-sized vegetables took many of the first prizes.



Brothers Jamie and Luke Grierson were the joint first prize winners in the Children's minature gardens class, keeping up the family tradition.

The Major of Enfield Jayne Buckland was on hand to present the prizes, Grange Park Horticultural Society has amassed an impressive collection of silverware over the years.

The Society is keen to recruit new members, to find out more contact the secretary on 020 8366 8426.

There is a lot we can learn from our local green-fingered experts.

The Majestic Plastic Bag

on Thursday, 26 August 2010. Posted in N21 Community


The Majestic Plastic Bag


WRAP, the government waste reduction agency released figures yesterday showing our use of plastic carrier figures is falling, with a 35% fall in bags issued by the supermarket chains in 2009. We are now using 6.5 billion plastic bags a year, compared with 10.9 billion in 2006. Whilst this is a commendable achievement, showing that people are starting to change their behaviour, this is still a massive number of bags, the majority of whom are destined for land fill.


All over the world governments are looking at ways of dealing with the scourge of  plastic bags. The Republic of Ireland introduced a plastic bag tax back in 2002, Bangladesh and some African nations have sought to ban plastic bags because they clog their fragile sewer systems. The Welsh Assembly is introducing a 7p tax on plastic bags from March 2011.


Modbury in South Devon became the first town in Europe to ban plastic bags in 2008.  The Californian Senate is preparing to vote to become the first US state to outlaw plastic bags. This short video, has been produced by an environmental group Heal The Bay lobbying for the ban. Narrated by Jeremy Irons, “The Majestic Plastic Bag” follows a “clever and illustrious” plastic bag on its migration from grocery story to its final home — the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Along the way, it will tangle with “one of nature’s most deadly killers – the teacup yorkie” as well as “hungry sea life” that feeds on plastic.


Heal the Bay says 19 billion bags are used in California each year, creating nearly 123,000 tons of waste and costing up to $3.23 billion each year in taxes used for clean up efforts. It is a poignant reminder of the environmental damage caused by plastic bags.






Million Ponds Project

on Friday, 20 August 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Million Ponds Project

The Million Ponds Project was established in February 2009, to protect ponds, streams and lakes and to reverse the decline in the number of ponds in England and Wales. The project is being co-ordinated by the Pond Conservation organisation who report that the last century the number of ponds in England and Wales has fallen by three quarters, from around 800,000 to only 250,000.  In addition to this sharp numerical decline, Pond Conservation is concerned that 8 out of 10 countryside ponds are in poor or very poor condition and are under threat from pollution.

The Project has set ambitious targets, to ensure that there are a million ponds, albeit over a long timescale of 50 years. In the first phase it is aiming to for a target of supporting the creation of 5,000 new ponds by 2012, both in the countryside but also by encouraging gardeners to create natural water habitats. More than 50 threatened species rely on ponds for their survival and are a national priority under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and making clean new ponds is one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect freshwater wildlife.

You can help by creating a pond in your garden with clean water and shallow margins to provide homes for pond animals. On the website there are guidelines on building a wildlife friendly pond, which you leave it to become colonised by wildlife naturally. If you get the conditions right you should soon see dragonflies, pond skaters, damselflies, water beetles and backswimmers, as well as frogs and maybe newts and water snails.

You can download the guide, using this link:

When you have built your new wildlife pond you are asked to register the pond, providing your Ordance survey grid reference. In the first year of the scheme more than a thousand new ponds have been set up, but there is still a long way to go.

It is even possible to apply for funding to build a pond, although this is primarily for the construction of ponds in public areas. More details can be found on the website, with January 2011 the cut off point for grant submissions.

Do we have any pond experts in N21 who might be able to offer their advice to novice pond builders?

Food For Free

on Wednesday, 11 August 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Food For Free



Walking around Winchmore Hill it is a bumper year for many fruit crops, with many trees already dropping fruits onto our public spaces, as well as in our gardens. Yesterday, I saw a man filling a bag with fruits from an overhanging branch in Old Park Ridings. He was only collecting fruit that nobody else wanted and is one of a growing band of free food harvesters.





Not Far From The Tree is a campaign originating in Toronto, now in its third season, which has set up a residential fruit-picking programme that aims to prevent locally grown fruit from going to waste. It co-ordinates teams of volunteers to harvest the fruit on trees whose owners are not inclined to do so themselves. Of the resulting bounty, one-third goes to the owner, another third goes to the volunteers for their labour and the final third is distributed via pedal power to charities and community organisations in the neighbourhood.


The project harvested more than 3,000 pounds of residential fruit back in 2008, followed by more than 8,000 pounds last year; so far, close to 2,000 pounds of cherries, mulberries and plums have been picked this year.


One to emulate in the residential gardens in our neck of the woods?




Improving Palmers Green

on Wednesday, 28 July 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Improving Palmers Green

Improving Our Place is a community group, centred around Palmers Green, which is starting to make a positive impact on the local area.


Here's how they describe their remit on their website, which is still new:

IMPROVING OUR PLACE is a campaigning group keen to improve the quality of life in and around Palmers Green, and which believes it could be a better place in which to live, work and study. Whether it's a greener environment with more trees and planted areas, better managed and safer traffic, a stronger sense of community and belonging, a thriving cultural life, or better local facilities and shopping, we think there is scope for improvement.

The group is working alongside local residents associations, local councillors and other local interest groups, to kickstart community initiatives.  It is focusing its attention on 4 main areas:


Traffic calming and improving the high streets, including Green Lanes;


The new Broomfield Community Orchard, in conjunction with The Friends of Broomfield Oark and the protection of street trees


Arts & Culture;


Biodiversity and open spaces


Supporting local business


The Improving Our Place team also did a great job in kick starting the Big Lunch in Palmers Green, leafleting in the area and co-ordinating planning and street closure applications.


Moving forward, the IOP team are keen to build on the arts and cultural events which are already taking place in Palmers Green, which already has an established annual Green Lanes festival and the Palmers Green Festival, held in Broomfield Park.


The group meets informally at The Woodman (backroom) on the second Monday of the month at 8.30pm and guests are welcome.

The objectives of Improving Our Place are very similiar to those of n21online and we are looking at ways of sharing expertise and resources to have more clout and reach out to more people inthe local area.  Areas of particular interest include ways of supporting our local traders, exploring the idea for a local loyalty card.

Make your garden a honey pot for bees

on Thursday, 22 July 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Make your garden a honey pot for bees


Take a leaf out of Sainsbury's book (read Sainsbury's to open bee hotel in N21) and take steps to help reverse the decline in bee numbers.

1. Make your garden more bee friendly by planting more bee friendly plants.  Honey bees like wildflowers such as knapweed, ox-eye daisies and sun flowers, which have simple, single flowers, eanbling them to get to the pollen easily, as they have a shorter proboscis than Bubblebees, they can't get the pollen and nectar from tubular plants.

2. Let your lawn grow longer and ignore the clover and daisies because they are an excellent food sourse for bees.

3. Next time you are looking for new shrubs and bushes to plant in the garden, think about Cotoneaster, also hazel, as the catkins of hazel are an important food source for bees in the spring.  Whilst Ivy can be a nuisance, Ivy flowers are important for them in the Autumn, to enable them to build up their resources.

4. Bees do make a bee line for certain plants, they have colour preferences. They like blues, mauves, violets, as well as white flowers, because these contain ultra violet which the bees are able to see.  Recommended plants include English Lavender, Salvia Nemerosa, Nepeta Six Hills Giant, Johnson's Blue Cranesbill's Geraniums, Scabious Chile Black, Verbena Bonariensis, Phacelia Tanacetifolia and Cerinthe major Purpurascens.

For a more complete list of plants go to
The Copella Bee Garden was a Silver Gilt winner at Hampton Court this year.


5. Herbs are another bee favourite, especially thyme, hyssop, oregano, mint and sage.

6. Support Woodcroft Wildspace's bee-keeping project, more details here

7. Join the growing army of urban bee keepers.  Enfield Beekeepers is a good starting point, they are happy to offer advice to get you started and hold introductory courses and honey tasting sessions. Read their profile on n21online here

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

8. You can buy a bee-keeping starter kit from

If we have any urban beekeepers in N21 it would be great to hear from you. Happy to help you to sell local honey through

Every object has a story

on Wednesday, 14 July 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Every object has a story

Every object has a story attached to it, even stuff that gets donated to charity shops has often been previously loved. Here's how an Oxfam shop in Manchester is taking part in a collaborative project with an organisation called TOTeM (Tales of Things and Electronic Memory) to attach stories to the garments and objects that are donated to them.

People donating items at the Oxfam store were asked to tell a story about the object into a microphone, including when and where they acquired it and any personal stories associated with it. The audio clips were linked to an RFID tag and QR code and items tagged with a story were added to the shop's stock as part of the in-store exhibition.

Visitors to the shop used their own smart phone or a bespoke RFID reader to listen to the stories through speakers in the shop, and were invited to purchase the story-tagged objects.


The idea behind the experiment is to steer people away from thinking of an item's value as purely financial, encouraging them to realise the sentimental value of objects and (maybe) think twice before throwing things away.

Nice idea, why not pass the mesage on?

Sri Lankan Festival of Cricket

on Monday, 12 July 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Sri Lankan Festival of Cricket

The sounds and smells permeating Winchmore Hill yesterday came from the Sri Lankan Festival of Cricket, the biggest sporting event of the year in Winchmore Hill.

Thousands of Sri Lankans descended on the Paulin Ground for a day of cricket, food & drink, music & dancing and friendship, in glorious sunshine.

Now in its eleventh year, (the fourth being held in Winchmore Hill) the Festival of Cricket is the biggest social event for the Sri Lankan expatriat community in the UK,with sponsorship provided by the Bank of Ceyland and Sri Lankan airlines and other Sri lankan businesses.

The main event was a knockout cricket tournament contested by Sri Lankan schools' Old Boys Associations, with fundraising for a number of Sri Lankan and British charities.

The Paulin Ground was transformed into an exotic tented town, with numerous food stalls providing freshly cooked spicy delici fresh foods and drinks,


The Festival was open to all comers, not just the Sri Lankan community, so hopefully they will come back to Winchmore Hill next year, in which case it will be well worth a visit, (even if you are not a cricket lover). The Sri Lankans certainly know how to enjoy themselves.


Borrowing thy neighbours' chattels

on Wednesday, 07 July 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Borrowing thy neighbours' chattels


There are a number of articles on n21online about new services being set up in different parts of the world which offer people the opportunity to hire or borrow goods and services that they only need occcasionally, rather than buying. This trend not only saves money but is also very green, a good use of resources.

Here is proof that it can work. NeighborGoods is a service that allows its users to share physical items with other people in their area. Originally catering for people living in Southern California, it has now gone national, setting up across the the US.

The site contains a directory of stuff being shared and the option to create a wishlist for things users want. While borrowing and lending items is free, members may choose to verify their account for a small fee to build more trust into the NeighborGoods network.

This will obviously take time to build, if you live in Philadelphia and need a long ladder, its no good to you if the nearest one on offer is in Chicago, but it could work in a local area such as the Winchmore Hill postcode. It only takes a few willing citizens willing to join in and offer some resouces that other people might like to offer, or conversely put out a request for something they are in need of and we are in business!

The site has had some great testimonials:
Watch this video to see how it works:


Watch This Intro Video! from sparky rose on Vimeo.

If anyone is interested in helping to set up a local lending initiative let me know and we can set one up on
Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Forty Hall Vineyard seeks volunteers

on Tuesday, 06 July 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Forty Hall Vineyard seeks volunteers

Forty Hall Community Vineyard is a new social enterprise, in partnership with Capel Manor College, established to produce a range of quality still and sparkling wines for the London market - thats us!

The project begun in May 2009, with the planting of the first two acres of Bacchus vines in Forty Hall Organic Farm, funded by a £132,000 National Lottery grant.

The vineyard is a community driven social enterprise and will provide educational and volunteering opportunities to a wide range of local people. It is run and managed by volunteers and will also form part of a wider college initiative which will establish the farm as a hub of local, organic food production. Any profits generated will be used to promote sustainable urban agriculture and to illustrate the 'field to table' production of local food.

The Forty Hall Vineyard Project needs your support!  Further funds are needed to plant up the remainder of the fifteen acre site and there is work to do in the vineyard all year: pruning in the winter, bud rubbing, mowing and weed control in the spring, trimming and leaf thinning in the summer and, of course, harvest in the autumn.  The grape picking each year will be celebrated by a harvest party for all the volunteers!


The wines will be made by expert wine maker Will Davenport, whose wines have won many awards and he is recognised as one of the UK’s leading winemakers.


The first bottles of wine will be available in small quantities in 2012.

Be a part of wine history by helping to establish London’s own vineyard.

If you volunteer now, you may be the first to get your hands on a bottle of 'Chateau Forty Hall' 2012!

Cakebook Flash Mob Picnic

on Tuesday, 29 June 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Cakebook Flash Mob Picnic

These days if you want people to turn off their tvs and laptops and turn up at your event you have to do
something pretty spectacular.

The EAT! Flash Mob Picnic, held in Gateshead on June 20th takes some beating.

It was organised by EAT!, with sponsorship from Newcastle and Gateshead councils and a number of other
commercial bodies, designed to celebrate these two Tyneside cities, through the medium of cake.

100 iconic buildings and structures, including the Swing Bridge over the river Tyne, were constructed by 100
professional and amateur cakemaking teams, from around the country.

The project was co-ordinated through Cakebook, a social networking site set up for the event, with recipes,
online workshops and videos.

To maximise the excitment the exact location of the venue for the 100sqm edible map of the city was kept
secret, with details of the ‘flash mob picnic’ location only announced on the day.

Here are some of the amazing constructions, which testify to the planning, co-operation not to say cake
engineering skills of the participants.

And yes they did get to eat the cakes as well!

Sainsbury's to open bee hotel in Winchmore Hill

on Wednesday, 23 June 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Sainsbury's to open bee hotel in Winchmore Hill

Whilst N21online's mission is to highlight new business and marketing ideas for small businesses, the big guys can't be ignored when they are doing something which is of real value.

Full marks to Sainsbury's for raising the profile of the problem we potentially face due to the decline
in our bee population, a vital part of the food chain and for doing something about it.

Sainsbury’s has recruited bee expert Robin Dean to set up and maintain a network of ‘bee hotels’
at its stores in London. The move is a part of the company’s initiative to help rejuvenate the country’s
dwindling population of bees.

Dean hopes that setting up bee hotels will help increase the ailing solitary bee population and give them
more insights on why the population has decreased so dramatically over the past few years. These bee
hotels are designed to offer an ideal habitat for bees to raise larvae, which are collected by Robin and
incubated until they are ready to be placed back into the hotel to hatch. The hotels will be situated on
the roofs of the stores that have been ear-marked for the network.

And in case, anyone is concerned about bee stings, Robin says: Solitary bees are different to honey bees.
They live in isolation rather than as part of a hive. They don’t make honey, so have nothing to protect,
making them docile and very unlikely to sting, so customers need not worry!

The first Bee Hotel is now open for guest bees at Sainsbury's Greenwich store and will be coming to
Winchmore Hill shortly. Sainsbury's head office has promised to let n21online know when it is put in,
so watch this space!

Here’s Robin Dean talking about Sainsbury’s bee hotels initiative:

Go to work on an N21 egg

on Thursday, 17 June 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Go to work on an N21 egg

Dobbies, the garden centre chain has recently announced that it is to start selling hens at fifteen of its garden centres. Dobbies argue that this is a logical step for them, as they have witnessed a major upturn in sales of fruit, vegetable & herb plants and seeds over the past year. For example, In May, the chain saw a 27% increase in sales of grow-your own fruit and vegetables compared with the same month last year.

How practical is it to keep hens in a suburban garden?

Winchmore Hill residents Andrew and Simon have kept hens for the past five months, Dot, Sky and Beau, who have laid eggs for them nearly every day.  Here’s what they have to say:

The preparation
You do need to do your research and ideally get advice from someone who knows.  Fox proofing is essential - don't worry if you have neighbourhood foxes as long as your coop and run are secure.  If you want to have totally free range hens in London then we are afraid you will simply be feeding the foxes with free chicken.

The good
They are such friendly creatures.  As long as you feed them you are their friend for life. We love watching them roam around, turning over the compost heap or having a long and leisurely dust bath.They are cheap to feed, and really appreciate kitchen scraps.The eggs DO taste and look better than supermarket ones.

The bad
When one of ours (Beau) got ill and then died (due to a stuck egg) we were understandably upset. Also learning about (and preventing) the various chicken problems can be a little mind boggling (red spider mite, liver flukes, worms and all manner of parasites) but once you have made your mind up to be as organic as possible the routine becomes easy.

The ugly
There is a surprising amount of poo which can be quite smelly (it is however fantastic for compost!!)

 We got ours from Thorne's nursery (in Hertfordshire) who do provide a good amount of post sales help.

If anyone is thinking of joining in this new ‘Good Life’ trend, I’m sure N21’s own chicken experts will be happy
to offer their advice and maybe a free sample, after all the proof is in the eating!

Everybody needs good neighbours

on Wednesday, 16 June 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Everybody needs good neighbours

The Co-op has just released a report entitled ‘Co-operative streets: Neighbours in the UK, described as “the most comprehensive piece of research into the UK's neighbours”.

The report concludes that the UK is less than half as neighbourly in 2010 than it was 28 years ago in 1982.

How do they reach this conclusion? On the whole the findings make pretty depressing reading:

*  Typically we know the names of just seven people in our neighbourhood, compared with 13 in 1982. London has the lowest score, on average we only know the names of 5.5 neighbours, (allowing for the statistical half a neighbour) and 11% of the representative sample of Londoners do not know the names of any of their neighbours. However, Londoners come out on top in having the highest number of close friends – they just don’t happen to be neighbours!

*  In 1982 59% of the sample said that at least one of their neighbours often calls in for a chat, compared with only 22% in 2010.

*  The majority of us speak to neighbours less than once a week and the number of people watering plants, looking after pets or holding a spare key for neighbours has fallen by around a half.

*  The number of people saying that they have problems with their neighbours rose from 22% to 44%.

On a more positive note, a significant number of people claimed that they try to keep an eye on someone in the neighbourhood who is elderly or disabled, borne out by the answers given by people who were widowed, separated or divorced. The number of people taking in parcels for neighbours has also increased – it’s all that online shopping!

Yet, it would be wrong to take the figures at face value without thinking about how society has changed over this time, with many more women in paid work than three decades ago and more adults of all ages living alone.  Working only part-time means you typically know two more neighbours and are more likely to be involved in your local community.

One interesting finding was that having children results in having more neighbours BUT less close friends! The analysis shows that statistically, after the first child, you lose half a close friend for every extra child you have.

Ed Mayo, of the Co-op concluded “people are having less contact with those who live in the area, unless they are proactive and go out to engage with people. There is not the bedrock of the garden fence to fall back on.... People seem to have a wider circle of acquaintances and shallow friendships, particularly online, which cuts down the number to whom they feel really close”.

The Co-Op study also draws on other pieces of research, to quote “there is a growing body of evidence that if we get on better with those who live around us, then we are happier and healthier ourselves” Also, the more people get to know their neighbours, the lower the levels of crime in the area.
If you would like to read the report go to

It is likely that many more people living in N21 would like to know more neighbours but don’t have the time or the opportunity to do so. Read about The Big Lunch, the neighbourhood initiative started by Tim Smit of the Eden Project here.  July 18th is The Big Lunch day, sadly we don’t have any Big Lunches organised in Winchmore Hill for this year, but we have high hopes for next year.

There are other new neighbourhood initiatives underway to encourage people to get to know their neighbours. The Highlands Village Residents Association Campaign Committee is putting out a leaflet and survey to find out whether people living in Highlands Village are interested in joined a Residents Association.  Further details will be posted on n21online shortly.

Woodcroft Wildspace - a case study of Winchmore Hill community action

on Monday, 14 June 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Woodcroft Wildspace - a case study of Winchmore Hill community action


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.