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Residents delighted at £400,000 green spaces grant
Supporters of the borough’s green spaces are delighted one area will get a £400,000 face-lift.
The Dollis Valley Green Walk, which stretches from Hendon to Whetstone, was one of just ten parks across London to receive from the Mayor of London’s refurbishment grant.
The area incorporates Brent Park, in Hendon, Windsor Open Space, in East Finchley, Riverside Walk and Gardens, in North Finchley, and up to Brook Farm and Wyatts Farm in Whetstone.
Dovi Heller, who started a campaign last year to force Barnet Council to improve facilities in Brent Park, said he hoped the money would benefit the community.
“The scheme covers a wide area and we hope a reasonable amount of money will be given to Brent Park,” he said.
“The money could turn a currently unusable space into a vibrant community centre and give children a safe environment to exercise in.”
The areas were chosen via public vote and more than 110,000 people made their selection from a shortlist of 47.
A council spokesman said they worked with the park's Friends groups over three months of public voting to attract more than 4,000 votes of support for the walk, which was up against nine other parks in the region.
Elizabeth Cantor, 33, of Bell Lane, who has three children under nine, said: “The money will make a fantastic difference to Brent Park.
“It will be ideal to be able to walk to the end of our road rather than drive to a park.”
The money will be used to improve footpaths and lighting and provide new playground facilities for children.
There will also be landscaping at park entrances “which will be made more attractive and welcoming”, the council spokesman added.
Dennis Pepper, chairman of Friends of Windsor Open Space, said: “The money is going to be very beneficial for the whole length of the walk and will enable us to do a lot of things we have planned that haven’t been possible in the past.
“I hope in the detailed discussions with the Greenspaces team, we will firm up some of the ideas each area has.
“But we have to be realistic. Although it is a huge amount of money, not everyone will get what they want and we still need to look at other sources of funding to ensure each area gets something.”
Other plans include restoring traditional flower gardens and creating additional wildlife habitats.
Councillor Andrew Harper, cabinet member for environment and transport, said the money will “revitalise” the green spaces along the length of the ten-mile walk.
He added: "We will get working on making these improvements as soon as possible, and I look forward to seeing many residents out and about enjoying the facilities and landscapes following the improvements."
Work on the Dollis Valley Green Walk will start when plans are drawn up following public consultation.