Minutes 7 July 2015


Present:     Apologies:
Roz Burnett
Anna Cordell (Secretary)
Patrick Gaskell-Taylor
Duncan Macdonald (Chair)
David Nyman
Helen Oubridge (Treasurer)
Charles Wicksteed
Ian Wilson
    Rebecca Hanley
Angela Lodge

Minutes by Anna Cordell/Patrick Gaskell-Taylor 7/7/2015


Helen spoke to Rob Wiltshire. He was in Highlands Gardens and wanted to give Helen some information. Barnet Council have a contractor in place and has been commissioned to fill in the cracks for the stream bed and coat in the same thing as the pond, which will be grey. They will go ahead with it this summer.

They have replaced the pipe from the old pump with a plastic pipe. However, the bore hole is too small for water to pump through and the weight of the water is too much for the pipe. Because the pump is above the surface of water, it would need a pump at water level. It goes to the pump house but not higher. It is difficult to deal with. The sensible thing would be to buy and install a larger pump for the lower pump house and it will deal with the whole run up. Rob has the money for this, £3,500. It will be done in 3x stages. An aeratum pump is not required because the flow will keep it aerated. Rob is hoping it will be done by Autumn.

Rob will give Helen a contact name and number for the new benches. They will be 4x sided hexagonal benches. We have money in our account to pay for them. They will be made from recycled resin, which will look like mock-wood. This will be hardy, more comfortable and warmer to sit on. Cost not yet known.

The conifer tree by the pergola was burnt down. The fire brigade had to put it out. It will be removed.

Rob’s team will take out some fir trees at the front, the Leicester Road end - and will remove one or two trees per year. This will open things up and make it better.

Charles mentioned that one of the maple trees needs watering.

The Community Police are never seen here now. Six of them were seen together walking the circumference of the East Barnet festival at Oakhill Park on the w/e 4/5 July.


The two laurel bushes at the top of the waterfall, Rob will have out completely and will trim on our side. The laurels have killed the acer. Once it has come down, we will replace it. Those by the fence will remain.

Rob likes the wildlife that he has seen - dragon flies, frogs, newts, etc.

The water lilies need to be moved into deeper water. Something deeper needs to be put there, otherwise the plants will die.

Rob said he would get one of the contractors to blow all the duckweed into the corner. Ian hooked out quite a bit lately.

Helen has seen 4x Koi carp - one extremely large one - and several goldfish. Rob is very impressed. There has been plenty of frog spawn.

A contractor jet-washed the stream recently so that he could do repairs. It filled up with rubbish again within 3 days.

Gardening Club

David asked what is the ideal number of people to help out with the gardening club? He suggested that the Railway Bell pub has a notice board and we could advertise the club on there. Ian has put up notices in the past at Tesco, Streetlife, Sainsbury’s, etc but still hardly anyone comes. Scouts offered to help out in the past but they did not show up. David has offered to send out an email mailshot each month to those who receive the minutes. Anna will send him the members contact list so that he can create a group email for the purpose. AC/DN


The Friends of Highlands Gardens has been going for 10 years, since their first meeting on 2 March 2005. It was agreed that it would be good to have the party as a 10-year celebration tea with games. It will be held on Saturday 12 September 2-4pm. 1pm to set up. Helen will liaise with Rebecca nearer the time. As the hot dogs were not used up last year, we agreed that nibbles and cake would probably do. Helen suggested tray cakes. Cup-cakes would be good too. HO, RH

Helen will ask to borrow a gazebo and tables from Cromer Road. A notice can be put on the board about the party, to check the website as to whether it will be on - it will be cancelled if it rains.

If the stream is working, we could have another duck race (Helen still has rubber ducks to use for the party). Helen’s husband, Nick, would be happy to provide some games. One idea was to have a competition to see who could find the biggest leaf.

The toilets will be opened, key to be collected. Helen will ask Rob for the key for the gate. HO

Patrick won’t be able to attend the party due to attending his poetry club event.


The newsletter needs to go out two weeks before the party, around 29 August. It needs to be completed by 23 August. Anna will ask Adam to send Helen and the main committee the template for the newsletter. There needs to be a subscription section at the bottom. Subs are now due for April 2015-2016. (There was no newsletter in April/May and so they weren’t asked for) Also a notice for the gardening club, to say First Saturday of every month, 10am-12pm. Duncan has offered to do the words for the newsletter. AC, DMc

Once the newsletter is ready, Charles will call Douglas to see whether he is able and willing to get it printed, otherwise he will use a local printer. (Anna has forwarded Douglas’ email address to Charles). Newsletter to be printed by 26 August. CW


Angela’s husband has done a nice drawing of the park. He asked whether we would like one without the stream as it’s not running. Helen suggested maybe having the drawing at another angle. Duncan suggested that the drawing could go on the newsletter.

Helen’s son will be getting married on 22 August and so will not be available now until 24 August.

Date for next meeting

Tuesday 13 October 2015, 8pm @ Charles’, 18 Abbotts Road, EN5 5DP