This has been a busy year for CREOS, with a focus on both maintaining and improving the site. Workday volunteers, with the help of TCV, managed to keep the footpaths in good repair despite a snowy winter and a very wet spring. There was just one week in which our newly named “Boundary Oak Walk” became impassable and needed emergency repairs. This prompted us to apply for a grant, so that it can have a firm (hogging) surface like the Woodland walk, but we are still waiting for the result of this application. There was nothing that could be done about the meadow however, which was a quagmire for several months.
So much of CREOS’s work is concerned with water and where it goes and we have worked closely with the Shepherds Cot Trust who are also trying to manage water flow and
flooding. A lengthy report has been produced by the SCT and we await the outcome with interest.
Paths & Signage
Continuing last year’s improvements to the entrances of the CREOS site, we now at last have signs to put us on the map. In fact we also have a new map, which along with the signs themselves was designed by Alice Shaell, our newsletter designer and new committee member. It is hoped that giving names to the CREOS paths will make it easier for everyone to explain where things are.
We have also worked closely with the Shepherds Cot Trust on the design of their new signage that will be installed later this month. These signs and maps will also mention the CREOS Woodland Walks and help the public understand the differences between the two areas and where the boundaries are. In essence, although there is free public access through the SCT site, the playing fields are reserved for club members and dogs should be on leads.
Efforts made by SCT, CREOS and the Neighbourhood Watch have resulted in less antisocial behaviour than in previous years. There has been less dumping and littering. However there is still concern about moped crime and the use of CREOS paths for an easy escape. As a temporary measure the NLCC has put a few breeze blocks across the path as it exits the NLCC car park, but we are seeking to install a more suitable barrier which would slow down mopeds but not be a problem for buggies and wheelchair users. Suggestions for suitable types of barrier would be very welcome. The most troublesome anti‐social behaviour on the site this year has unfortunately been rough sleepers. We currently have two encampments, which have been there for almost a year. Every possible action has been taken by the CREOS committee to provide help for these people and to get them to move on, but so far there has been no solution.
Some members have asked about Japanese Knotweed. Alongside the meadow it has been almost entirely eradicated, having been treated once a month for three years now. However there is new growth around the perimeter of the school field which will be treated this year. It is a never ending and very expensive battle.
New Conservation Management Plan
The most important development for CREOS this year has been the increasing focus on conservation. We are preparing a new management plan with the aim of increasing biodiversity. The hedge planted last year at the main entrance was a good start, but much more has now been achieved:
- We have applied for funding to create a wildflower meadow.
- We have secured the help of the London Wildlife Trust who will write the management plan A LWT specialist has already visited to do the Phase 1 Habitat survey.
- A group of CREOS volunteers has been formed, to survey insects, birds, spiders, flora and trees.
- Our trees are being mapped on Curio.
- Contact has been made with the Ancient tree forum.
- We are working with Haringey’s tree officer to ensure that the registration of TPO’s is up to date.
- We have shown Haringey’s new conservation officer our site and enlisted his support.
CREOS’s social activities have also been a lot of fun. The weather was sunny for our Summer Event on the meadow and despite the amazing snowfall, we had a wonderful Christmas Party at the Perlin’s again. The Summer Event, will take place this year on Sunday 8th July. I hope the weather will be good for some family fun, BBQ, picnics and music from our favourite band “All shook up”. I look forward to seeing you all there.