At the PMRA Hustings on April 18th there was a great deal of concern about traffic management – where will the traffic generated by the development process and the new homes and businesses actually go? There was also anger about our scraggy street environment where progress is painfully slow. The Community Streets project is still not completed. The sunken trench in the pavement at the southern end of Hornsey Park Road and the dilapidated northbound kerb opposite have received no attention.
On a brighter note our own work has been looking good. Despite the urban stress all our planted areas are looking nice – even lush. The new lavender plants are bulking up while the replanting of the little garden beside Umoja House has been a big success. For the first time we’ve had an English bluebell flowering under the lime trees. Sadly, we’ve lost the holm oak we tried to move from the lavender garden in the autumn. But the planters and trees installed on the Hornsey Park Road build-out look good – thanks here to borough engineer Gary Smith, council tree-man Alex Fraser and to the Council’s nursery at Finsbury Park for the plants we put in on 5th of May. Biodiversity was the theme of a recent meeting with the borough’s newly appointed Conservation Officer, Ed Santry, organised by the Friends of Parks Forum: PMRA hope to meet him soon and engage him around our vision of Wood Green as a living environment.Under our noses wildlife is already rich and diverse: chaser dragonflies already out and about, long-tailed tit chicks and blackcaps at the back of Hornsey Park Road, what looks like a white-winged damselfly in the lavender garden, the scented flowers of the false acacia tress in Caxton Road.
There’s a lot of work ahead. We’re still guardedly optimistic about our relationship with St William over the former gasworks site. Ashley Spearing, with whom we made good progress discussing the Heartlands/Hornsey Park Road borderline a couple of years ago, has moved on. Farewell and warm regards to him. The new senior development manager Matthew Rees has suggested we become involved with the conservation efforts around the earth bund behind the Iceland car-park. What will count in these negotiations is whether we can develop the clout to be a ‘stakeholder’. We have ideas but we don’t have money. We have credibility but we need a larger, stronger team. Why not get involved and help put your mark on our changing neighbourhood?