The 2022 Consultation
Every year the trustees of the Friends of Finchley Way Open Space charity conduct a consultation with neighbours and visitors. In this way the trustees hope to ensure that visitors and local residents have their say in how the site develops.
The land is owned by Barnet Council. This means that the work the charity does has to be agreed with the Barnet’s Greenspaces and Tree teams. Both have been very supportive over the three years since we started.
The questionnaire link was distributed by email to all Friends on 26th October 2022 and closed on 30th November 2022. There was also a link on the FoFWOS website. All responses were anonymous.
There were 49 responses to this year’s consultation. This means that presenting the findings as percentages is inappropriate; raw numbers are given instead.
About the respondents
Proximity to home is important to respondents. The majority of respondents (33) like that the site is within a short walk of their home. The majority lived within five minutes’ walk of the site (30) and almost all of the rest within lived five to 10 minutes’ walk (14). Only five came from further away but all came from within the borough.
Most (39) of the respondents were aged 50 or over, only 1 was under 30. Twenty-nine were women and 20 were men.
None of the respondents went to the site every day. Twenty-one said that they went less than once a week but more than once a month but 12 went less than once a month.
Over half of the respondents (25) said that they went to the site because ‘it’s somewhere to go that’s quiet, calm, peaceful, natural’. Some 17 go for fresh air and seven to get out of the house/flat. It is also used as a cut-through and 12 respondents said they used it this way. Only nine said they went to walk their dog.
The majority of respondents (28) said that they go to the site alone, with a further 18 going only with other adults (aged 18 and over). Only eight went with children.
The majority of respondents (36) visit the whole site when they go; seven only go to the Green Field.
Respondents said that they liked the site because it is somewhere nice to walk (31). Other things respondents liked that it is a haven for wildlife (32) and the trees and shrubs (29). Other plus points were that it is well cared for (28) with nice paths (27). Twenty respondents said that the design/layout is good.
Only 37 of the 49 respondents answered the question on dislikes – 31 saying that there is nothing they dislike. Three respondents said that the site did not feel safe but this is against 14 who said that they liked the site because it felt safe.
Respondents were asked what they would like to see changed or added to this site. About half (24) wanted to see more planting, while 16 wanted more seating and 13 wanted more information about the history of the site, the plants, and wildlife.
About half the respondents (26) had never volunteered. The main barriers to volunteering are other commitments (23), lack of time (17) and ill health (10).