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From time to time, it is necessary for our Conservation team to temporarily fence off an area. When this happens, we usually post signs to help explain why.

Temporary fencing was first used in 2020 due to the dramatic increase in wear and tear, particularly in ecologically sensitive areas of lowland dry acid grassland habitat (a national priority habitat).

One of these areas is now part of a multi-year testing programme on the recovery and growth of various indicator plant species as compared with areas subject to ongoing footfall. This research is a vital component of future site management. The existing plastic fencing is due to be replaced with split chestnut fencing that is more in keeping with the character of the common, and delivery is expected in August 2021. This will be removed as soon as it is no longer necessary. Elsewhere, temporary fencing is used strategically to protect older trees and also new plantings, notably our nationally scarce black poplar ‘nursery’.

The legal position: under the Metropolitan Commons (Barnes) Supplemental Act of 1898 (3) “The Council… shall preserve the turf, shrubs, trees plants and grass and for this purpose may enclose by fences for short periods such portions [of the Common] as may require rest to revive the same and may plant trees or shrubs for shelter  or ornament or otherwise make the common more pleasant as a place of exercise and recreation.”.

Notices on Barnes Common

We aim to keep notices to a minimum. Temporary warnings, such as of high fire risk, are used as occasion requires. When new conservation work is carried out, it understandably raises questions for passers-by. In an attempt to keep people informed, temporary notices may appear from time to time explaining more about what is happening in a certain area, and why.

Want to know more?

If you or someone you know would like to know more about any aspect of the management of Barnes Common please visit ‘Conservation’ on the homepage. You can also Contact Us and we will ensure your query is directed to the right person.

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