News April 2013

Great News

There will be major work on the Highlands Gardens pond this year - thanks to the £50,000 grant we have managed to get from the National Lottery, Community Spaces. We are very fortunate to have a great team of people who have driven this through. We have been greatly assisted by Katy Staton, (Landscape Architect) with advice and steerage on our grant application .

The work we’re doing is not very glamorous but it is essential to the improvement and long term preservation of the pond (it’s a bit like having the foundations on your house underpinned). The proposal is to drain the pond and dig out the years and years of silt to get down the original Victorian concrete. We then hope to line the pond and fill it back up again. Hopefully this will mean that instead of a leaky, murky pond we will have a lovely well-balanced haven for wildlife.

So there will be some short term pain (in terms of machinery digging and drainage) for the long term gain. Although £50,000 is a lot of money – we may need more to try to maintain the streambed and to undertake other workings in the park. Does anyone know of any businesses that might be interested in sponsoring part of the works?

Notice Board

Take a look at the Notice Board in the Gardens for up to date information on working parties and other activities.

Big Lunch

Note that the picnic planned for Sunday June 9th 2013 has been postponed because it is likely to be in the middle of the pond work. The new proposed date is Sunday September 22nd 2013 (changed from September 1st), and will hopefully be combined with the launch party to celebrate the completed pond work.

Last year not even the freezing cold and pouring rain could dampen Jubilee fever. We managed to have a bit of a do inside followed by egg and spoon races and kazoos in the drizzle. Thank you to everyone who showed bulldog spirit and kept the party going. We are keeping our fingers crossed for sunshine. Bring your family and friends and come and enjoy a picnic in the park. Hopefully there will be a lot of lolling and chatting. There might even be a few silly races – so get practising your three legged running. (If however it rains – it will be cancelled).

Green Fingers Or Keen?

Our group has a role in the planting and tidying of the gardens. Is there anyone out there who is a keen gardener? Or indeed anyone who would just like to come along and do some planting?

Once a month on Saturday mornings a few of our committee members like to do a bit of tidying up. Everyone and anyone is welcome to come along but it would help if we had someone who knows their azaleas from their eglantine. Just keep an eye out for the banner and come along or alternatively email the webmaster (address at foot of page).

New Barnet History

There is all sorts of interesting stuff you’ll be able to find out about New Barnet at a special history day. Did you know there was once a copper plated astronomy dome in New Barnet? That there was more than one cinema? That New Barnet had its own town hall and police station?

Find out more at a special history afternoon on Sunday 28th April 2013 at Cromer Road School.

It’s a great opportunity for you and your family to discover more about New Barnet – and if you’ve lived here for a while to share your memories.


The New Barnet history project is looking for people to contribute their photographs and accounts of life through the years – whether it is bombings during the Second World War or the celebrations of the new Millennium. Come along to the open day or search online for cromerroadat80. The project is also interested in recruiting researchers. You would be trained in how to interview for an oral history project. No experience is necessary – just your time and enthusiasm.

Broken Paths

We are pleased to inform you that Barnet Council have mended a broken drainpipe inside the main entrance. This should solve the problem of pond and rain water leaking over the pavement.

Wild Space

Wildflower Meadow - We are going to sow some yellow rattle in the meadow at top of the gardens in an attempt to reduce the vigour of the grass. Hopefully this year more of our wild flowers will have room to blossom on the meadow and will be a sight to behold.