FLORA & FAUNA
Flora and Fauna in NW7
Consideration of environmental issues goes hand in hand with the examination of planning applications and the built environment. We have such a wonderful array of green space with flora and fauna around us that, for those who appreciate these points, Mill Hill is a great place to live. We have tried to put a few images together which convey the breadth of nature around us – browse these at your leisure.
We also have a considerable number of ponds in the area, and these all need consideration and maintenance by various bodies, of which the Society plays its part. (See the piece by Dr Michael Worms on ‘Wild Life – Ponds’ in the ‘Articles’ section.) Darlands Lake has recently been strengthened and many members of the local community worked toward this with the assistance of the Local Authority.
In the Society we call this work ‘Green-Up’ and historically this has been centred round trees – new trees, old trees, Tree Preservation Orders (TPO’s) and illegal tree felling. Green-Up seeks a more pro-active attitude to new TPO’s in the borough’s planning department, and hopes this may emanate from the work of the borough’s Cleaner Greener Transport & development Overview and Scrutiny Committee, to which the Society could be asked to give evidence, and hopefully gain two-way co-operation.
Being vigilant in resisting applications to fell trees, especially those protected by TPO’s, and where major developments threaten clear-felling, has been a keynote of the Green-Up Group. Where trees are too close to a dwelling there is little we can do except give advice on the best course of action. However, we seek at all times to preserve the street tree scene. We urge residents that it is in their own best interest to keep the green credentials of their street as it does affect the overall property values and the quality of life, for themselves and the community.
Planting trees is something the Society has been involved with for many years. This activity started out by offering to plant trees and shrubs at local schools for free. Then the Society included street trees but found that the red tape involved made this so difficult because consulting gas, water, and all the cable companies was required before we could plant anything. The Society, being made up of volunteers giving up their free time, found this to be impracticable.
Green-Up’s most successful schemes have been to organise tree-plantings, such as the Millennium Grove in Mill Hill Park extension field where most of the planting was carried out by children from local schools, and Mill Hill Park (now looking more like a woodland), several trees along the park side of Flower Lane, a tree of Heaven just outside Mill Hill School which replaced a 185 year old Beech tree which blew over in a gale in 1991. Three Maritime Pines on the green across the road from the Rising Sun public house (a species chosen by the Local Authority due to it’s resistance to pollution), and the 50th anniversary planting in Mill Hill Park near the tunnel under the A1.
Not only are the trees on Public Land important, some of the best examples are to be found in private gardens and grounds. These are very important to the overall green feel of Mill Hill and the owners have a huge responsibility to look after and maintain them, and the community carries an equally large debt if gratitude that they are. So whether the trees are in your front garden or council owned by the kerb side we do urge you to look after them. A bucket or two of water in really dry weather will help young trees survive and give pleasure for years to come to both young and old.
This picture is of Bittacy
Hill in 2007.