Tag: forty hall estate landscape restoration

forty hall facade

forty hall facade

The Forty Hall Estate landscape restoration project reportedly attracted £1.8 million of investment from a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

I arrived onsite after the consultants and landscape designers had completed the planning stage as the contractors were about to break ground, and after the Hall itself had been repaired and refurbished through an earlier, generous HLF grant.

Regrettably, five years had elapsed since the public and onsite garden staff had been consulted about the landscape restoration proposal.

The role was to increase awareness and understanding of the local and onsite heritage and be a ‘face’ of the pre-planned restoration project: a job I would not recommend to my worst enemy.

From the surreal to the unbelievable, the down right vicious and ignorant to the plain nasty: I witnessed the petty-minded, party political game playing that has put me off local politics and Council politicians for life.

Add to that a resident unhinged animal rights protester, verbal and physical threats and the unwelcome advances of a certain stakeholder representative, I lasted just over a year before submitting my resignation.

Oh Enfield: who says the suburbs are dull !

forty hall woodcut forty hall misty urn

great field 01

volunteers 01

The Great Field of the Forty Hall Estate contains the archaeological remains of the Tudor dynasty’s Elsynge Palace, and is a listed Ancient Scheduled Monument.

Whilst conservation officer for a year I undertook ecological surveys of the site and with the help of numerous volunteers ranging from Duke of Edinburgh participants, local schools, to the wonderful Enfield Conservation Volunteers we were able to initiate site maintenance after a long pause in active management.

Enhancements and reinstatement of traditional management included new pollard planting, demonstrations of traditional hurdle construction, re-pollard existing willows around two dew ponds and removal of invasive alien Rhododendron ponticum.

Bat boxes, insect shelters, log piles and hedgehog shelters were also created by volunteers and placed around the site.

The lime tree avenue, arranged on an alignment that paralleled the numerous historic rides on adjacent Enfield Chase was enhanced by raising the canopy and removing basal suckers, as undertaken by a dedicated group of vulnerable adults and community volunteers.

volunteers 02