There is a large area of land behind 7-‐10 Bruce Grove with lots of mature trees, nesting birds and other wildlife. People have been talking for years about making this an official protected area for nature and local people, and it has sometimes featured in Council planning documents.
Friends of the Earth has advocated this for some years, and Bruce Grove Residents Network have recently agreed to support us in this. We also have support from the following local groups: Tottenham Civic Society, Tottenham Trees and Tottenham Clouds.
So we think the time has come to make this happen.
Deficiency in access to nature
Bruce Grove Ward itself has very little public open space (Bruce Castle Park is not part of the ward). The area to the south of Bruce Grove is an Area of Deficiency of access to nature, according to Haringey’s own planning documents. Providing a site rich in nature would help address that deficiency.
There are lots of mature trees on the site, including an Araucaria or Monkey Puzzle tree. There is lots of scrub. Birds noted on a brief visit by members of T&WG FoE and BGRN in May -‐ and presumably breeding on site -‐ included Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackcaps, Robins, Dunnocks, Blackbirds, Blue and Great Tits. There is also lots of Japanese Knotweed.
A management plan for the site could include planting more native tree and shrub species, perhaps some fruit trees, removing the Knotweed, creating a wildflower area, installing nest boxes and even a wildlife pond.
Why “Cloud Garden”?
The house at 7 Bruce Grove was the home of Luke Howard, the man who developed the system of cloud names that is still in use today. So, incorporating the former garden of that house into this space would also give it a historical aspect – hence the suggested name, Cloud Garden. It could even include some display boards about the clouds, and invite people to lie down and gaze up at them.
Who owns the land?
Through information provided by the Planning Department and a subsequent Land Registry search, we have established that the land is owned/covenanted to the Council, and two private companies, as outlined in the map below: Mastmead Ltd (space behind 9 Bruce Grove) and Bellerive Corporation (space behind 7&8 Bruce Grove).
Mastmead is based in the UK;
Bellerive is registered in the Seychelles.
How can we make the “Cloud Garden” a reality?
The Council needs to ensure the land is designated as open space to prevent development. The Council would then need to CPO the land, using contributions from developers through the CIL. Ideally the Council would take responsibility for the site thereafter. However if the Council is unable to do that, then an approach could be adopted similar to what is being done at Plevna Crescent, where the developer is committed to establishing a Trust to manage the wildlife area of the site.
If run by the Council, the opening hours and security could be determined as with other sites. If via a Trust, then the site could be opened for use by Bruce Grove and other schools, for work parties to carry out maintenance, at weekends and at other times as appropriate.
Tottenham is seeing massive redevelopment and its population increasing by tens of thousands. So we should be providing more green space.
There is also a sense that much of this development does little to benefit existing residents. Creating a new green space would be a strong statement that the Council does want to improve quality of life for existing as well as future residents.
Quentin Given Moira Jenkins
Co-‐ordinator on behalf of
Tottenham & Wood Green Friends of the Earth Bruce Grove Residents Network
75 Kessock Close
0208 801 9490
Haringey Unitary Development Plan July 2006: pages relating to the proposed Cloud Garden site
Cloud Garden site: historical maps