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The 2023 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 20th October 2023 and closed on 30th November 2023.  There was also a link on the FoFWOS website and posters on the gates with details of how to access the questionnaire.  A reminder was sent to all Friends on 24th November 2023, which boosted the response rate by 15.  All responses were anonymous.

There were 55 responses to this year’s consultation.  This means that presenting the findings as percentages is inappropriate; raw numbers are given instead.

About the respondents

The majority of respondents (32) were Friends a further 14 were Friends and volunteered. 

The majority of respondents (42) like that the site is within a short walk of their home.  The majority lived within five minutes’ walk of the site (34) and almost all of the rest within lived five to 10 minutes’ walk (12).  Only six came from further away within the borough and three from outside the borough.

Most (41) of the respondents were aged 50 or over, only 2 were under 30.  Twenty-eight were women and 27 were men. 

None of the respondents went to the site every day.  Twenty-five said that they went less than once a week but more than once a month but 18 went less than once a month and two had never been to the site.


Over half of the respondents (33) said that they went to the site because ‘it’s somewhere to go that’s quiet, calm, peaceful, natural’.  Some 19 go for fresh air and five to get out of the house/flat.  It is also used as a cut-through and 18 respondents said they used it this way.  Ten said that they went to walk their dog.

The majority of respondents (30) said that they go to the site alone, with a further 20 going only with other adults (aged 18 and over).  Twenty went with children.

The majority of respondents (44) visit the whole site when they go; three go only to the Green Field.

The most popular reason for going to the site was because it is close to home (42).  For 40 it was somewhere nice to walk and 38 said that they went because it is a haven for wildlife.  The same number (38) said that they went because it was tidy and well cared for.  Other reasons for visiting the site were: for the trees, shrubs and flowers (43), because there are nice paths (32), it’s a good design (30) and it feels safe (19). 

Of the 44 respondents who answered the question on dislikes, 34 said they had none.  Five respondents said that the site did not feel safe but this is against the 19 who said that they liked the site because it felt safe.  Three respondents said that there is nothing to see or do.

Respondents were asked what they would like to see changed or added to this site.  About a third (18) wanted to see more planting, while 10 wanted more seating and 12 wanted more information about the history of the site, the plants, and wildlife.

Some respondents (8) mentioned paths for disabled access.  Three respondents said that they have a disability that affects how they enjoy the site.


Over half of the respondents (30) had never volunteered but 11 volunteer regularly.  People volunteer because they live near the site (19) and because they are interested in the environment (16).  A few (7) come to meet people. 

The main barriers to volunteering are other commitments (19), lack of time (18) and ill health (6).

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