Volunteer working parties make their contribution towards assisting Barnet Council with the task of maintaining Hadley Green, clearing litter, and helping to reduce pollution in the five historic ponds and ditches that add to the character of a much-cherished green open space.


Hadley Residents Association organised a spring tidy of the green and concentrated much of their effort on clearing undergrowth and overhanging branches from Drovers’ Pond, close to the junction of Dury Road and Hadley Green Road.

Each of the five ponds is de-cluttered and tidied on a rotating basis.

Last autumn, Joslins Pond, near the junction with the High Street – where generations of children have fed the ducks – was cleared of overgrowing vegetation and the banks de-cluttered.

Another favourite is Brewery Pond, close to the long-since demolished Hadley Brewery.

Such is the association’s determination to enhance the five ponds that it is raising money for a hydrology and conservation survey of the ponds and ditches for advice on how to tackle poor and polluted water quality, algal blooms and invasive pond weed.

Approval for the survey has been given by Barnet Council’s greens spaces development officer Rob Wiltshire.

Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust is also to report on current levels of the green’s biodiversity and how this can be improved.  

Funds raised at last summer’s Jazz on the Green have been earmarked for the cost of the survey and hopefully this will be added to after this year’s Jazz on the Green on Sunday 30 June from 12noon to 6pm (pre-purchase tickets at TicketSource).

A well supported working party tackled the pruning and litter picking at Drovers’ Pond – see above, including from left to right, Steve Hart; David Chapman, green team leader; Renee Evans; Patrick Evans; Ben Hillson, the association’s deputy chair; and Julia Harling, who is a member of the Wood Street and Monken Hadley conservation area advisory committee.

Drovers’ Pond is currently under threat from the invasive New Zealand pigmy pond weed which has covered much of the water surface with a green carpet.

Ben Hillson says the trouble with the weed is that it smothers other pond life and is hard to get rid of.

“Come the summer, when the pond dries out, it does form a carpet-like covering which can be rolled up – that is certainly what we are hoping.

“Drovers’ Pond was an important feature of the green in the age of horse drawn vehicles.

“After climbing Barnet Hill, drovers used to drive their carts through the pond to cool down the metal on the wheels and help to keep the wood damp.”

The spring green tidy resulted in a large heap of branches and undergrowth ready to be collected by Barnet Council.

David Chapman (above, left) praised Barnet Council and the green spaces team led by Rob Wiltshire for all their efforts to maintain and conserve the green all year round.

“During last year’s dry summer, we notified the council there was an opportunity to clear out the ditches along the west side of the green, which had filled up with debris.

“Rob Wiltshire and his intrepid team leapt into action and cleared the ditches behind Windmill House and all along the new gravel pathway to Christchurch Lane, giving the ditches more capacity before the winter rains.

“During early February Rob and his team conducted a major campaign to tidy the green. This involved the removal of brush wood and brambles and the clearing of the ditches of unwanted vegetation right across the green.

“Barnet Council’s considerable support in maintaining the green has been unparalleled in recent years and is greatly appreciated.”

While most of the working party concentrated on the area around Drovers’ Pond, volunteer Steve Hart collected litter on the western side of the green, close to Middle Pond and the pond close to Old Fold Manor Golf Club.

“This is my first event with Hadley Residents Association, and I am a great admirer of their work. Hadley Green is a stunning green space, and it needs all the tender loving care that we can give it.”