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THE COVID-19 VIRUS : UPDATE
Following a recent meeting of the Trustees, it has been decided that, to continue protecting staff, volunteers, schoolchildren, teachers and the general public from the Covid 19 Virus, the Environment Centre and Nature Reserve will remain closed until further notice. All planned events and visits have therefore been cancelled.
The Friends of Barnet Environment Centre will keep the situation under constant review and will continue to follow Government guidelines and advice. Notices will be put on our website and on our Facebook page when there is any change.
Thank you again for your continued support and patience and rest assured that we will reopen this wonderful local resource as soon as it is considered safe to do so.

Keep well. Stay safe.

fobec-logo-150x154Barnet Environment Centre is situated on a 7.5 acre nature reserve which is a “Site of Interest for Nature Conservation”. The Friends of Barnet Environment Centre is a registered charity which provides events for the local community and activities for schools in order to educate and inspire a lasting interest in and appreciation of the natural world. We maintain the reserve through regular volunteer work-parties and, in addition to educating schoolchildren, organise open days, children’s activities and youth projects.The nature reserve and Environment Centre are only open to the public for these events. Our schools newsletter October 2020 and our latest volunteering newsletter are available.  The August 2020 Newsletter is an update on what’s happening at the Environment Centre and Nature Reserve during the Covid 19 crisis. Our Chair has written the Trustees’ Annual Report 2019-2020 to sum up what has been another good year for FoBEC, despite the necessary cancel of visits in March onwards.

 a field vole sheltering in the meadow Educational Year 2018-2019:
It’s been an incredible year with many wonderful wildlife encounters and an amazing 1980 children aged 3 to 18 visiting our beautiful nature reserve. These visits were supported by 385 teachers and parents who helped to make the visits run smoothly. All our programmes are curriculum linked and provide children with the opportunity to learn about and connect with nature and discover the joy of the natural world. Our sessions for youth groups have extended to include Beavers, Cubs, Rainbows, Brownies, Woodcraft Folk and now, Air Scouts. Youth groups enjoy a range of activities including autumn arts and craft, pond dipping and minibeasting, star gazing and night walks, and, new for this year, bat walks. We are so happy to be able to share our nature reserve and its amazing wildlife with so many children. We hope they continue to engage with nature once they leave us and grow up with a sense of ownership of the environment and a desire to protect it. More …
Please visit our School or Youth pages.

making hay on the meadowCaring for the Nature Reserve 2020
With the advent of the Covid19-induced shutdown of the Environment Centre, organised volunteer sessions for the maintenance and development of the Nature Reserve ceased. Without any idea of how long this state of affairs would persist, but with the feeling that it was likely to be for some considerable time, volunteers decided that they could not let this wonderful facility deteriorate and, individually, have been turning up to carry out essential work. Their purpose is that the Reserve will be ready, immediately, for the resumption of FOBEC’s educational services and organised opportunities for the community to enjoy the delights of the 7.5 acre site. The One Acre Meadow has been scythed and raked, paths and fencing maintained, mowing carried out, ditches cleared, fallen tree boughs sawn up and moved to log piles, and machinery serviced. The dry weather experienced for long periods of this year has also required the watering of the plants in the Environment Centre garden, and topping up of the ‘dipping’ ponds. Oh, and the inevitable weeding and control of brambles.

feeling the bark
Open Afternoon for Members and Volunteers
Members and volunteers were invited to an open afternoon on 27 September 2020, where they were given a copy of the new Sensory Trail leaflet and then sent off to explore in family groups or in groups of fewer than 6. We asked people to act as guinea pigs to comment on the leaflet, which contains information on “pause and ponder” points 1-12 and has a map. The leaflet will help our visitors to appreciate the various habitats and to look, listen, feel and smell. Feedback was fantastic: e.g. a separate leaflet for children, better signage walking around the nature reserve and help with the identification of plants and trees. Further leaflets are planned to help our visitors enjoy this local nature reserve.

NAclear_logo_40mmThe nature reserve site and Environment Centre are owned by Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. More …