A few observations about the proposal to graze cattle in Whitewebbs

This is the image chosen to illustrate the scheme:

Image chosen by Enfield Council to illustrate the grazing proposal.

As you can see it has been poorly photoshopped. It may bear some resemblance to the designated area in Forty Hall it bears no relation to the site chosen in Whitewebbs.
The area in Whitewebbs has not been mown or managed for years and has been rewilding naturally for decades. The ground is heavy clay, very uneven with many large fissures in the surface. It is badly drained and from late September to April it is exceedingly muddy and waterlogged.
The photos below give an idea of the current state of the land chosen. There are open areas of grasses and scrub but there are hundreds, if not thousands of established and new oak trees as well as ash, willow, hawthorn, blackthorn and maple

The area is rich in wildlife including many species of butterfly and other insects. There is evidence of adders.

The satellite photo used by the Council gives the impression that the area is open and suitable for grazing. This is an older, out of date, image and as you can judge from the photos above gives a thoroughly misleading picture.

I should like to see the detailed assessment of this area used in coming to the grazing proposal. There is a place for conservation grazing in the right place – I would suggest that in Whitewebbs the best place would be the northern end of the old golf course. Unfortunately the Council appears to be pursuing a policy of allowing this to be covered by astroturf and plastic reinforced pitches.

Part of the area intended for astroturfing / plastic reinforced pitches

There is uncertainty over long term public access to the old golf course. Park users are rightly concerned that their access to the one open area managed by the council will be restricted by the presence of unsupervised and unfenced cattle, however “docile”.

The level of consultation over this issue is abysmal even by Enfield Council’s low standards. We have been offered a chance to meet the cattle and the possibility of an online meeting at very short notice.

flooding in the area earlier this year