Barnet 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 Chair has written the Trustees’ Annual Report 2019-2020 to sum up what has been another good year for FoBEC, despite the necessary cancellation of visits in March 2020 onwards. Please also read our Chair’s March 2021 Newsletter for news about what’s happening at the Environment Centre and Nature Reserve during the Covid 19 crisis.
Educational Year 2020-2021: This May, June and July 2021 we were able to offer school and youth visits to the Environment Centre. Over 400 children accompanied by 97 adults enjoyed various activities such as investigating pond life and mini-beasts, and learning about plant life cycles and food chains. Unfortunately we could not accommodate all the last minute requests for visits but hope to be open on Thursdays in the Autumn term.
All our courses are curriculum-linked and provide children with the opportunity to learn about and connect with nature and also to discover the joy of the natural world. We are so happy to be able to share our nature reserve and its amazing wildlife with so many children. We hope that in future years they continue to engage with nature after they leave us and grow up with a sense of ownership of the environment and a desire to protect it. Please visit our School or Youth pages.
Caring for the Nature Reserve 2021 Volunteers decided that they could not let this wonderful facility deteriorate and, individually, have been turning up to carry out essential work. Their purpose was that the Reserve would 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.
Open Afternoon for Members and Volunteers
Members and volunteers were invited to an open afternoon on 4 July 2021, where they were given a copy of the Reserve map and then sent off to explore in family groups or in groups of fewer than 6. At this stage the resurfacing of our paths was almost complete, making the Reserve more accessible to wheelchair users and those with limited mobility. It is also the first stage in creating a Sensory Trail and a Tree Trail – you will see that there are seats at seven of our ‘Pause and Ponder’ points around the site. The next stage will be to put in numbered posts to guide people around the site and there will be an associated leaflet with information about each point.
The nature reserve site and Environment Centre are owned by Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. More …