Protected East Barnet woodland walk in Russell Lane on the verge of restoration

Times Series: Few people may realise that the trees in the central island of Russell Lane are part of a protected former woodland walk Few people may realise that the trees in the central island of Russell Lane are part of a protected former woodland walk

A historic woodland walk is on the verge of being restored to its former glory thanks to the efforts of some green fingered activists.

The two rows of trees, located along the central island of Russell Lane in East Barnet, have also been at the centre of a two-year campaign for restoration after years of “decimation”.

In the early 1900s, more than 80 trees made up a pretty tree-lined pathway in what was then farmland along what is now Russell Lane, East Barnet.

But, despite being awarded council protection in around the 1930s, individual trees, now bordered on both sides by the carriageways of Russell Lane, have been removed for a variety of reasons including rot and over growth.

Sue Scott, of East Barnet Residents’ Association, and local resident Brian Don have been campaigning to have the walkway restored and Barnet Council has agreed to help pay for it.

The authority has set aside in the region of £3,000 to pay for the planting of 15 new hornbeam, quickthorn and cherry trees, which they hope will take place in March.

Mrs Scott, who has lived in Weirdale Avenue off Russell Lane for 32 years, said: “The area is getting more and more crowded as the years pass and our green spaces are under threat.

“We want to retain this area for the future and make it a place for people to enjoy. It is important to restore it – particularly for the older people in the area who remember how it used to be.”

Retired swimming instructor Mrs Scott says the campaign’s supporters are hoping to bring in tree experts after the March planting to look at how the walkway could be restored further.

She said: “We are waiting to see what it will look like before we take the next step.”

The trees line the central island along Russell Lane in East Barnet

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