Open Barnsbury Wood on the odd Saturday for 2 hours

Barnsbury WoodI have been opening Barnsbury Wood as a volunteer since I came to live here. This involves offering a couple of Saturday afternoons over the summer and, on those afternoons, opening the gate and letting visitors wander about while I sit on a camping chair and read my book. After two hours I check everyone’s gone, lock up and go home – feeling better for a few moments of peace.

The note below is a friendly request for volunteers, from the Nature Conservation Service. This scheme helps Barnsbury Wood maintain its status as a public nature conservation area. Please respond to the Nature Conservation Service directly.

Barnsbury Wood Volunteers wanted, to open the wood to the public on Saturdays 2-4 pm through the summer.

Barnsbury Wood, the beautiful little nature reserve on your doorstep (Crescent Street) is only open to the public on Tuesdays 2-4 pm. For a number of years we have been able to extend this to include Saturday afternoons in the summer. This is only possible with the time and commitment of local residents who volunteer to staff the Saturday opening.

If you are interested please contact us.

Louisa Roscoe
Nature Conservation Officer
020 7527 4383
078 2509 8503

Full induction provided for new volunteers, refresher for those who have volunteered before if they wish.

Fill in the questionnaire to preserve the library

West library

Dear Boys and Girls,

Congratulations on the new library, because it isn’t just a library. It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you—and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life.

Signed, ‘Isaac Asimov‘, 1971.

This was written in an effort to attract as many youngsters to the premises as possible. The original is posted on this excellent blog, Letters of Note.

Now Islington residents are being asked to fill in a questionnaire as part of a consultation on Islington libraries. Councils are closing libraries countrywide, at the moment, In order to save money. Thankfully, Islington Council has pledged not to close any libraries this year, but cost cutting will inevitably mean library closures or reduced library services at some point.

Islington Council will use the consultation to guide or justify decisions about which libraries/services will go. Therefore if we want to keep our libraries it is important that we each fill in this questionnaire to let our Council know how and when we use our libraries and how we see ourselves using them in the future.

Click here to fill in the form online, or pick up a hard copy from any library in Islington. The deadline for submission is 31 July. Allow around ten minutes to complete the form online; to move on through the questions click the ‘Next’ button at the bottom each page.

There will also be a public meeting  on 21 June at Finsbury Library at 7p.m. The map is below.

Council spending on Thornhill Square Gardens in 2010

Below is an update from the West Area Parks Manager Environment & Regeneration Department, Islington Council. If anyone in the square has planting suggestions please email them to and I will forward them to him.

I have an area budget of around £20,000 for about 60 sites. This I use mainly for community engagement projects, planting projects and some repair works to infrastructure.

I have allocated about £1,000 for Thornhill Square this year for some planting in the oblong bed in the middle of the path with two palms in it. This bed and the recently planted large beds will incorporate a gardening project that we would like to carry out, inviting yourselves and residents to come along and hopefully learn some gardening hints and tips from Colette. We are aiming to carry this out on Saturdays through out the year.

We are preparing a species list which contains wildlife-friendly and/or drought tolerant plants such as sedums, grasses and herbs. We are also finalising a leaflet for residents in the area. Any thoughts would be appreciated and I will forward you more details and possible dates as soon as possible.

Give your views on waste disposal

North London local authorities collect nearly 1 million tonnes of rubbish a year, from all homes and some businesses in their area. This “municipal waste” is equivalent to more than 1 tonne per household. Businesses, building sites, hospitals and other facilities generate approximately 3 million tonnes of waste which also has to be dealt with.

Currently, around half of North London’s municipal waste and a quarter of business waste goes to landfill sites outside London but this can not continue. Councils now need to reduce the amount of waste being produced, increase recycling and find alternative ways of using and treating waste within North London.

Councils in Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest are currently developing the North London Waste Plan. When adopted, the Plan will form part of their Local Development Frameworks.

Following last year’s consultation on the issues and options for the Plan, the seven boroughs have now put together a draft plan (also known as the”Preferred Options Report”). It identifies sites for the wide range of waste facilities needed to manage the waste produced in North London up to 2021. They want you to say what you think of this report. Are the proposed sites the most suitable ones? Will the proposed policies help ensure the best facilities possible?

Local people will get the chance to find out more about the plan, and give their views through drop-in sessions which will be held in October and November 2009 in each of the seven North London boroughs. Details of these are below:

  • 14 October Green Living Centre, 222 Upper Street, Islington, N1 1XR
  • 19 October The Score Centre, 100 Oliver Road, Leyton, E10 5JY
  • 20 October Ocean, 270 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1HE
  • 22 October Hendon Town Hall, The Boroughs, NW4 4BG
  • 2 November Haringey Civic Centre, High Road, Wood Green, N22 8LE
  • 3 November Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, Kings Cross, WC1H 9AU
  • 10 November The Artzone, 54-56 Market Square, Edmonton Green Shopping Centre, N9 0TZ

The plan will be available to view from 14 October here, in the council’s planning office or at any one of the council’s libraries. At the same locations you will also be able to see related reports on previous consultation, habitats, equalities and sustainability.

You can send feedback in the ways below:

  • Send your responses to the questions in the draft plan by completing the questionnaire at the back of the report.
  • Complete the questionnaire online here.
  • Send general comments by email to or in writing to Archie Onslow at Camden Town Hall, Argyle Street, London WC1H 8EQ.

If you are a member of a community group that has a particular interest in the issues and you would like one of your meetings to discuss the issues, please email

All questionnaires and comments must be returned by 24 November 2009.

Please feel free to contact Karen Thomas on 020 7527 2676, Sakiba Gurda on 020 7527 2402 or the North London Waste Plan Programme Manager, Archie Onslow, from London Borough of Camden, on 020 7974 5916.

Calling aspiring filmmakers

Aspiring filmmakers with dreams of becoming the next Scorsese could get the big break they are looking for thanks to a new initiative.

The ‘North London Film Fund’ will offer an intensive training programme from the 2nd to the 12th of September in all aspects of filmmaking, from scriptwriting and producing to directing actors and practical filmmaking skills. After the course, the participants can apply for funding to make a short film and will receive professional mentoring support to successfully transform their idea into a film.

Mumina Khatun, age 18, took part on the course last year. Her short film, The Knowledge, about a female taxi driver working in King’s Cross, was screened at the Renoir. She said: “The course gave me a much greater knowledge of how the industry works, such as how to pitch ideas. I was interested in going into the film industry before, now I’m going to University to study Film and TV.”

The course is open to residents over 18 who live in Camden, Enfield , Haringey and Islington.

Films made on the course will also be entered into ‘the Bobs’ (Best of Boroughs), a new prize for London short film-making which has been launched by Film London, the capital’s film and media agency, in partnership with ITV Local, the capital’s broadband television service.

For further information and an application form visit or contact Stephanie Akinyelure at or 020 7974 1647.

Morinade Akinbobola
Filming and Development Manager, Culture and Environment
London Borough of Camden 
7th Floor, Town Hall Extension, 
Argyle Street 
020 7974 2329
077 7034 8036