August 29, 2017

The Darlands Trust Set Up to Protect Nature Reserve

For over 20 years there has been increasing concern by local community that the Darlands Nature Reserve was falling into disrepair under the care of the London Borough of Barnet (LBB). It is of paramount importance to protect both the fauna and flora as well as the lake totally silting up. There is also a fear that developers could one day encroach on this most treasured sanctuary.

In 2000 the Totteridge Residents’ Association, the Totteridge Manor Association, the Mill Hill Preservation Society together with other local community groups organised the Millennium May Fayre, with the objective of raising money for the future restoration and protection of the Darlands. The monies raised are still available. In 2016 the above named groups together with The Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and Totteridge and Mill Hill councillors got together to form the Darlands Trust.

The sole purpose of setting up this new charity will be to preserve Darlands Nature Reserve for future generations to enjoy. The LBB is keen to find the right way of protecting important leisure and environmental assets whilst minimizing the burden on council tax payers. Granting a long lease to a charitable organisation under strict conditions would ensure the Darlands will continue as a valuable ecological and environmental asset, whilst the LBB will still remain the freeholders of the land.

The Darlands Trust is well aware of the need for adopting a sensitive approach to any works undertaken and will not alter any access or rights of way. Apart from employing relevant experts as required, any work will be under the oversight of a number of agencies including, particularly, the environment agency.

This is going to be a local community project and its success will depend on everyone coming together to raise the necessary money and offer their expertise and support to protect what is a real jewel in the crown of the Totteridge Green Belt.

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