FRIENDS OF TRENT COUNTRY PARK
Report by Peter W Gibbs, Chairman
Report on Proceedings of public meeting, held at 8.00pm Sept 13th 2017, in Christ the King, Oakwood. With added explanatory notes.
The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed 19 members
The minutes of the previous May meeting, having been distributed, were agreed.
Chairman’s Report and proceedings
The park has suffered a lot of damage this summer from major events, and visitors have been noticeably discouraged as a result. Our dispute with LBE to scale down events in our park continues unresolved because of the intransigence of the Council.
The Friends continue to press for improvements in the park. We are applying from grants whenever possible with some success but the competition is tough. In addition we press LBE to reinvest into TCP more of the revenues it takes from major events.
Security has again become an issue with overnight raves taking place close to the Hadley Road, and no speedy resolution apparently in sight. Overnight sleeping is also taking place and the Friends are concerned that various groups are now only too aware that there is no effective security in our parks, so miscreants are taking advantage. In addition an incident was recently recorded of a man appearing the park with a knife, pursued by police.
Previously reported to be under way, the Friends can now report the delivery of a major ecological study, conducted by Denis J. Vickers, Consultant Ecologist.
1. Biodiversity and the new Ecology Study (Carol Fisk)
Continuing our work to enhance understanding of Trent Park’s rich biodiversity, the Friends commissioned an ecological study of the park’s flora and fauna. The goal is to inform and stimulate general public interest in the park, but also to fold this information into the park’s maintenance plan to enrich and enhance conservation activities. The full report reveals a wealth of previously unsuspected life and is available on line to all members and the public. It is now entering a period of promotion to LBE and all interested parties.
The meeting showed its full appreciation of Denis Vickers’ work and recorded its grateful thanks for the extensive study put in on this valuable project.
The Friends’ website and Facebook page are great sources of information for the most up-to-date park information and are well worth perusing.
The Trent Park Family Wildlife Club continues on October 7 and November 25. Facebook, the website and the park noticeboards carry more information.
Black Rainbow Events’ very successful Trent Park walks programme was funded again by Berkeley this year and has had several very well-attended walks. One remains in this season, on Sunday October 29. Full details are on Facebook, the website and the park noticeboards. The walks are free, fascinating and much recommended.
2. Planning with Enfield Council (LBE): discussions on planning and maintenance have been delayed. More schemes in future are likely to proceed on a joint funded basis with Friends, reflecting LBE’s much cut capital expenditure.
3. Volunteering: Friends urgently seek the help of our members, for whatever time can be spared, to support the many facets of work undertaken to beautify the park and make its joys available to more residents. Willing members are asked to keep an eye on Facebook and the website for more details.
Help with the Water Garden is especially important if we are to keep this lovely feature is shape. Volunteers can expect an enjoyable morning in good company and take satisfaction in enhancing the park. Contact us via the website.
4. Berkeley campus development: plans were approved by LBE on July 18th and final negotiations involving the GLA are about to conclude this month. Berkeley expects to hold a further public exhibition in October and commence work on site before year end, commencing with removal of the old student accommodation.
The Museum group is now established and, subject to overall planning approval, is beginning its work of shaping exhibit plans in the Mansion. Best estimates are that 2 years will be required for work to be completed.
5. Events: This summer’s programme culminating in a mega event on Aug 5-6 left our park in a severely damaged condition which LBE has made only superficial attempts to rectify, using the small damages deposit made by Mad Husky, the event organiser. We have made our disagreement with LBE’s policy abundantly plain. We continue to press LBE to respect the natural limitations of TCP for major commercial events.
LBE has issued a new 5 year Events Strategy which in no way responds to our reasonable concerns to respect the prior claims of existing users, especially in the summer schools holiday season. This document is highly unsatisfactory; a number of key assertions made re consultation with residents are factually misleading. See:
In more detail:
LBE has permissioned itself to hold up to 8 major event days pa which, with set up and knockdown time means the core of the park could be out of bounds for as many as 64 days a year.
Numbers creep - audiences of 15000 per event day are now permitted - commands no consent from the public, being far too large and unwieldy for the park and neighbourhood, and represents a real and present source of threat to the peaceful use by residents of their own homes and neighbourhood - substantial downsides that LBE is unwilling to recognise.
Only by maintain back pressure on LBE is there any hope of curtailing this pernicious and unfair policy. Residents are urged to make their concerns known to the Leader of the Council at: cllr.Doug.Taylor@enfield.gov.uk
Friends emphasise that large communal events are welcome, because they do not exert pressure on the park, neighbourhood and management resources, as do major commercial events.
Trent Park earns a very small rebate from event revenues; this is intended for new investment, but to date this has been diverted to maintenance work.
All Friends are urged where possible to take pictures and keep records of nuisance and damage caused by major events so that even more pressure can be brought to bear. Send material to the Friends at email@example.com so we can forward it to the right department at LBE.
The Bear Grylls survival event in October is the next large booking, but the activity is regarded as much more in keeping with the park and community, has been successful in the past and, subject to suitable controls, will be welcomed again this year.
6. Cockfosters Gates
The valuable grade 2 pillars, decorations and wooden gates at the Cockfosters entrance are now under repair following prolonged pressure by Friends on LBE to take their deteriorating condition seriously. Damage from passing vehicles - events traffic is mostly suspected - was the main factor.
7. Dog Control Order.
After much delay, LBE has launched yet another consultation on general public space control orders, including dogs, which Friends are urged to respond to: see
A new dog order is proposed to reduce the nuisance from dog walkers taking more dogs into the park than they can control. A limit of 4 dogs per private handler is proposed and there are provisions to permit commercial walkers, but extending the number of dogs to 6 per handler.
The Friends see no logic in this differentiation and are pressing for no more than 4 per any walker. Further protection for wildlife from worrying by unleashed dogs remains high on our priorities and noticeboards with warnings are planned.
The Friends do not want Trent Park to be the default place for commercial dog walkers and resist any move to encourage the trend. Most boroughs with dog controls set 4 dogs per handler as the limit; the Friends see no reason to deviate from this standard.
8. Volunteering with the Friends
All members are urged to come and put something back into the park – find out how things work and have fun with our welcoming group!
Friends of Trent Country Park need more volunteers to assist with all sorts of work in the park to enhance and improve the facilities and their presentation to the public. Horticultural knowledge, legal experience, sports backgrounds, architectural and planning experience will be particularly welcome, along with any gardeners to assist with the Water Garden. Volunteer Friends are requested to email the Friends at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Reporting when wildlife is spotted in the park is of great help to the Friends. Members can report where and when, either directly onto the Greenspace in Greater London [GiGL] site at www.gigl.org.uk and/or by email to the Friends so we can compile records for the park. A nature section has been added to our website with some useful resources to use when visiting the park.
The Friends have installed PayPal on our website to make it easier to join the group and to renew membership. We really need your help and every penny goes to the park and our work. Membership dues are used to cover public meetings 4 times a year and incidental costs such as printing, website hosting, postage, etc. Membership is now £4 per calendar year.
Replacement of the Trim Trail removed by LBE for its own purposes, remains a bone of contention with LBE. TCP is alone of major Enfield parks in having no adult gym. The trail is a valued part of the park’s amenities and the Friends will continue to campaign for its restoration.
A pathway alongside the roadway to the Cockfosters cafe is a pressing need since cars often stray onto the low level pavement, the roadway being too narrow for vehicles to pass otherwise.
A full list of projects to enhance the park is being pursued by the Friends with LBE. You can make suggestions to us and we will pursue them.
A Forest School for pre-schoolers is now operating in the park. For more information visit: https://www.treehousefriends.co.uk/near-you
All members are encouraged to report anything untoward in the park direct to LBE. On the Enfield Council website is a “REPORT IT” feature which leads to a parks section. Copy the Friends to ensure a proper follow-up. LBE promises to scrutinise all reports and take appropriate action. Site details:
Trent Park is operated to standards set out in key documents as follows:
Conservation Area Appraisal Document 2015: a valuable non- technical insight into heritage buildings and conservable assets defining the character of the Trent park area. It covers the site’s history and current state and has been adopted by LBE as a management guideline. The revised 2015 edition now available on line at:
Park Plan: a detailed description of aims for our park, agreed between LBE and the Friends can be viewed at:
Wednesday November 22 at Christ the King. This will also be our AGM. More details to be announced.
Meeting closed 2125 hrs.