About the Pasture
Long Lane Pasture lies in Finchley, London N3, (London Borough of Barnet, West Finchley Ward; OS map reference: TQ 261903) at the junction of the North Circular Road and the Northern Line Underground railway, with other boundaries adjacent to Long Lane and Pointalls Allotments. The land is owned by the London Borough of Barnet. It was purchased in 1912 for ‘public recreation and enjoyment’. Prior to construction of the North Circular Road in 1925 it was about double its present size.
View on Google Maps (Please note satellite imagery is not up to date)
The Pasture (1.05 ha, 2.6 acres) is a meadow, which has remained largely undisturbed for centuries (apart from a small area under cultivation during World War 2). It has never been built on. It is within an area defined as being ‘deprived of public open space’
Up to the early 1980s (when it was closed to the public because of proposed road works) it was well-used by local people and had a public footpath across it. Horses grazed here for many years. The Pasture was a popular place. There is evidence of many activities on the land: kite flying, picnics, pony riding, and nature walks by school children.
The wildlife here is now of considerable local importance, see checklists below:
Checklists of Recorded Wildlife
In 1999, after years of neglect, the Council decided that the land was surplus to requirements and decided to sell it for housing development. However, after a public campaign to keep the Pasture as green space, this decision was overturned and in 2006 the land was designated for community use.
Long Lane Pasture was purchased by the Finchley Urban District Council for public enjoyment and recreation on 22 February 1912. On 22 February 2012 the Mayor of Barnet planted an oak tree on the embankment area to commemorate this landmark. It is an English oak, grown locally by one of our Friends.
The Pasture has changed little in 100 years, except that its cut hay no longer provides fodder for London's horses, and horses no longer graze here. Many of the wildflowers on the restored damp meadowland are now thriving again and although there is no public footpath leading to a bridge across the railway (one of its old names was Iron Bridge Field), there is a network of paths for visitors to make a less hurried visits. Some Finchley residents can recall varied leisure activities here: it was the home ground of the local football team 'Squires United; many enjoyed family picnics; children used to fly their kites; and classes from Manorside School came for nature study and afterwards made displays of grasses and wild flowers. It is proving as popular today as it was at the turn of the 20th century. The Pasture has outlived many threats and is now half its original size, but continues as a delightful greenspace for both people and wildlife.
In 2012 Long Lane Pasture has launched a Centenary Photo & Art Competition to create a visual record of the Pasture. An Exhibition of over one hundred photographs and paintings of Long Lane Pasture was held at the Finchley ArtsDepot in October.
In 2012 / 2013 Long Lane Pasture was awarded a prestigious Community Green Flag Award – the national award for well managed, high quality green spaces. The Pasture is one of 43 community green flags awarded across London, and this year the only one in London Borough of Barnet. For more information visit: www.greenflagaward.org.uk