Dear Readers, there have been a number of developments in East Finchley which aim to improve the local environment, and to provide both the human and animal members of the community with something to enjoy. First up is the Leopold Road Neighbourhood Garden, which has been built in an unloved spot, and which now provides seating, plants for pollinators and a very fine bug hotel.
This is the area as it was prior to the redesign.
There’s now a fine mural, some nice new benches and some excellent brickwork.
And a lot of plants that will provide nectar and pollen for pollinators and other insects, with hellebores and cyclamen in flower now, and what looks like a mimosa just about to burst into bloom.
There’s a super-sized bug hotel made out of pallets, and some mahonia for winter nectar and berries for birds.
There’s also an information board, explaining the history of the area ( there was a pig market held in The Market Place just around the corner, with animals driven from far and wide). I love that this was a collaboration between local people and the council, and it is just the kind of ‘pocket park’ that can make all the difference.
In Market Place itself, The Friends of Market Place Playground (now part of the East Finchley Community Trust) have been working to improve the small park and children’s playground – it was a dangerous, litter-strewn spot, with damaged play equipment and broken glass. This group has made a huge difference – when I passed there seemed to be new things for the children to play on, and some of the areas around the park had been tidied up and replanted. Sadly, there seems to be an ongoing problem with vandalism, but there were some small children enjoying themselves with their parents, and the cherry trees were in blossom. It used to seem such an abandoned and desolate spot, and now it feels as if it’s somewhere that people will actually use. The more people care about a space, the less likely it is to be damaged in my experience.
There are lots of other things going on in East Finchley too, one of which is happening on Church Lane, where some of the trees appear to have names. But more about this in the Wednesday Weed tomorrow….