Our green spaces in the city are vital to our health and well-being. They make living in big, crowded cities bearable, giving us space to breathe, move and relax. Below Mike will introduce some of the green spaces of Finchley.
Over the years the face of Finchley has changed. This once lush, green suburb has succumbed to incremental developments that have slowly eroded the sense of spaciousness and greenery that we once took for granted. Charming period houses with gardens have gone, replaced with high density apartments. Many green spaces have gone too. All around us the bricks and concrete are closing in as green turns to grey.
And then there is the motor car. Now widely regarded as an indispensable accoutrement to modern living – but is it so absolutely necessary? In the last 60 years cars have multiplied twelve-fold. There are now over 150,000 on the streets of the borough. Air pollution is a major health issue. As roads have expanded, trees and greenery have disappeared. A staggering two thirds of front gardens have been turned over to block paving. It seems the motor car may have affected our perception of the importance of nature. Certainly the motor car has changed our lifestyles, and in the process, the very character of Finchley.
Never before have green spaces been so vital for our health and well-being. Trees and greenery are important antidotes to pollution for they absorb carbon and produce oxygen. Nature calms and soothes us. Moving water further refreshes us and charges the air with negative ions. Walking is an excellent form of exercise for all ages. Fortunately, there are still many green spaces in Finchley – parks, public gardens, woods, playing fields, nature reserves, waterways – and in every space, of course, wildlife is to be found.
Why not do some exploring right here in Finchley. Several lesser known green spaces can be found very close to Wellpoint Clinic:
Long Lane Pasture
Nature reserve ½ mile from clinic. Head north up Ballads Lane for 150 yards. Turn right into Long Lane, go straight across Squires Lane to Finchley Fire Station. Entrance to Long Lane Pasture is directly opposite the fire station.
Willow Tree Garden
Landscaped gardens with cascading water feature behind the crematorium, St Marylebone Cemetery, East End Road. 1 mile from clinic. Very lovely at all times of the year. Head south along Ballards Lane. Just past tube station turn left into Station Road, then right into Manor View. At T junction, left into East End Road for 350 yards. Alternatively, take 143 bus in the direction of Archway and alight at the ‘Basing Way’ stop.
Dollis Valley Greenwalk
Beautiful walk that follows the course of Dollis Brook. 500 yards from clinic. Head down The Grove, turn right into Grove Avenue for 150 yards, then left into Lovers Walk. Cross Nether Street and follow green section of Lovers Walk to Dollis Brook.
We like to thank Mike Gee for this guest blog. Mike leads regular walks in and holds talks on the green spaces and history of Finchley. Well worth checking out.