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Trent Park:  past, present and future?  Trent Country Park is the largest park in the London Borough of Enfield, extending to 167 hectares (413 acres) and forming part of London's green belt.  Within it are rolling meadows, exquisite lakes, ancient woodland, seclusion and tranquility.  The park provides recreational opportunities for walking, running, cycling, and horse riding.  There is also a golf club, hockey club, a ‘Go-Ape’ tree top adventure course, a Japanese garden and a welcome cafe. 

The south-eastern boundary of the Park is adjacent to the area covered by the Western Enfield Residents' Association, with a pedestrian entrance a few steps from the Lakeside bus stop, and the future of the park is therefore a matter of special concern to WERA members. 

Within the park is a historic grade II listed mansion which, in the nineteen twenties and thirties, was owned by millionaire socialite and politician, Sir Philip Sassoon, who entertained on a lavish scale.  Guests at Trent Park included Winston Churchill, Edward VIII & Wallis Simpson, Charlie Chaplin, George Bernard Shaw, the King & Queen of Belgium and Rex Whistler, the English artist, whose wall paintings can still be seen in the house. 

Sir Phillip died in 1939 and three months later World War II broke out.  Soon after that, Trent Park was requisitioned by the War Office to be used as an interrogation centre for high-ranking German officers.  After the war, Trent Park became a teachers' training college and ownership of the mansion, together with 21 hectares (52 acres) passed in due course to Middlesex University.

In 2012, Middlesex University left Trent Park and sold its campus, including the mansion, to a Malaysian Educational group who subsequently encountered financial difficulties as a result of which the campus and mansion was, again, put up for sale.

At a meeting of the Friends of Trent Country Park on the 10th September 2015 it was announced that a sale had been arranged to the Berkeley Group  The Friends of Trent Country Park is a volunteer group formed in 2005 to ensure the enjoyment of Trent Park by present and future generations.  Peter Gibbs (Chairman) gave a cautious welcome to the latest proposals and expressed the hope that the future of the mansion, the other historic buildings and campus grounds will now be secure - for the foreseeable future.


An abandoned vehicle caged on a driveway in Tarnbank by stout posts driven into the verge.
No way out and no obvious attempt to remove them.  
A strange situation which, evidently, has prevailed for several years.  
Nothing else to say; except that if any of our readers knows more perhaps they'd like to tell us.


This magnificent bird was spotted, atop a semi-detached on Bincote Road.

From there it would have had clear sight of Boxer's Lake where it can, regularly, be seen fishing.

We are lucky to have such a spectacular sign of environmental health and empowerment.

Dare we contemplate the impact on our habitat of another 300 plus houses and cars?

How could overwhelming the nearby fields pose a threat?

More intrusion, more litter, more pollution, more noise.

Better to ask: 'how could it not?'


Who, apart from Sue Davey (first left) can remember the figures in this photograph? 
It was taken during a Residents' Association meeting at the Civic Centre about thirty years ago. 
Sue is very much alive but the others (including Mr. Slack) are almost certainly no longer with us. 
Formerly a WERA Committee Secretary Sue has retired from front line duties but continues to act as a Warden for Boxers Lake. 
Much of the flora around the holding ponds and the improved water quality in the lake is a result of her commitment to making the Sustainable Drainage System work effectively.  
The evidence shows it is already doing just that.

Agent on the ground?  I imagine paved or other hard surfaces not exceeding five square metres (footpaths from gate to front door, for example) would usually drain water into surrounding soil or lawn.  I also suspect that, if one goes back far enough in time, lawns (manicured or rough cut) would not have been universal substitutes for productive vegetable or flower gardens.  I admit to being the proud owner of a surface feature; which drains properly into an underground main and doesn't shed icy water over adjacent pavements.  My attention has been drawn to the following extract from reported research.

"More than a million homeowners in the UK paved over part of their garden last year, dramatically increasing the risk of flooding in their neighbourhood, a survey has found.  
Insurance company 'LV=' found that, on average, the amount of green space paved over was 24.2 square meters per household – almost the same size as two parking spaces.  It warned that if the trend for covering gardens with impermeable materials continues, traditional lawns could become a thing of the past.  More than half of respondents said the main reason for paving over a garden is to create a patio, while nearly a third said it was to build a parking space.  Thirty per cent wanted to cut garden maintenance.  Paving over gardens causes a problem for floodwater run-off because a traditional lawn allows water to soak into the soil.  On hard surfaces, water builds up in roads and valleys and makes drains overflow.  Since October 2008, installation of impermeable paving greater than five square metres has required planning permission.  Yet one in eight homeowners admitted they had inadvertently breached this ruling, risking a fine."

And here's the second snippet.  Can I assume, with regard to my own extension, that appropriate consents were secured at the planning approval phase?  Would it really be my fault if these had been wrongly granted?  Allegedly:  'There is a covenant on Laing houses which means you should obtain permission from the Builder to extend your property and create annexes.'  Really?

© HomegrownP

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