Opinion Survey Results

The Survey

Between 26th June and 12th August 2019, the Friends of Cherry Tree Wood undertook a survey (of 11 questions) of users of Cherry Tree Wood a Barnet owned slice of Ancient Woodland in East Finchley North London. The questionnaire was available in hard copy on the Friends stall at the East Finchley Community Festival and shortly afterwards it was available online via Survey Monkey.[1]

The Survey sought to identify and gauge the range and importance of improvements that should be made to the Wood in the coming few years and to find out current satisfaction levels with the Wood.

[1] With great thanks to local company Social Engine http://www.social-engine.co.uk/ and especially Kieran Saggar for his invaluable help and support on the Survey.

Summary of Results

  • In total 273 people responded to the survey via hard copy questionnaire or online through Survey Monkey. 70% of the respondents were women and only 28% men with 2% preferring not to identify themselves.
  • Views on the most important and more immediate proposals for action were sought. The clear front runners for action relate to litter and cleanliness of the park. Improved litter bins came out top followed by regular litter picks. Adopting the flower beds near the café and tennis courts along with providing a drinking fountain for humans and dogs proved very popular and a nature and tree trail was also well supported.
  • Longer term improvements elicited some of the strongest responses with improving toilets by far and away the greatest concern for action. The need for a woodland management plan and the improvement of biodiversity in the Wood was recognised and very strongly supported. A new larger café with inside seating facilities received very strong support as did making improvements to provide an inclusive playground and to provide new surfaces for the tennis and basketball courts. The idea of reopening the Mutton brook culvert through the park was considered important by 50% of respondents.
  • An open question asked people to identify other ideas that they have for the improvement of Cherry Tree Wood. Some reinforced or commented upon ideas contained in Questions 1 and 2 particularly about the café, toilets and litter. New ideas ranging from a new gate at Fordington Road, the provision of a scrape or pond and many others will be tested through the Management Plan for the Wood that is being developed by the Friends in conjunction with Barnet Council.
  • Overall satisfaction levels appear reasonable but 16% declaring themselves either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied is too high and hopefully these results will fall over the coming years as the items that appear to cause dissatisfaction are dealt with and resolved.
  • Most respondents are relatively frequent visitors to the Wood with over 60% using the Woods either on most days or weekly. Only 2% rarely visited.

The most cited reason to visit Cherry Tree Wood was to go for a walk (46%). This seems to tie in with getting some fresh air, enjoying the surroundings and seeking peace and quiet (25%, 21% and 19% respectively). A large grouping was engaged on children/family outings (36%) and visiting the play area (31%). A significant group (16%) were walking the dog. Wildlife experiences such as enjoying flowers and trees (14%) and seeing birds and wildlife (11%) were sought by a slightly smaller group. The bulk of the responses came from the 30-59 age group. 20 % were from the over 60 age group but few (7%) were in the under 30 age range. This is an area where the Friends acknowledge more detailed survey work may be needed in future to determine the actual needs and desires of the younger age group.

Did you know?

Finchley District Council purchased Cherry Tree Wood in July 1915 for £3050 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England. There was opposition to the purchase. One person desribed the Wood as “… a more unsuitable piece of land for a recreation ground cannot easily be found near Finchley.” It is “..virtually a clay heap.”

Cherry Tree Wood – Opinion Survey 2019

We Want to Hear from You

The Friends of Cherry Tree Wood want to hear what you think could be improved in the short and longer term in Cherry Tree Wood. We will publish the results locally, on our website and Facebook page, and use them or to work with Barnet Council to bring about improvements and to lobby for more funds.

Use our Survey Monkey link at:


Or you can find the survey form here to download:

Please complete the Survey by Wednesday 31st July 2019 Extended to 12th August 2019

If you downloaded a copy you can return it by email attachment to: friendsofcherrytreewood@gmail.com

By post or through the letterbox to: FoCTW, 50 Summerlee Avenue, East Finchley, London, N2 9QP

Thanks for taking the time to support our beautiful Wood.

Keep Barnet Parks locked overnight!

Barnet Council propose to remove the current service which locks Barnet park gates overnight. This will mean Cherry Tree Wood being left open all night.

The Friends of Cherry Tree Wood believe that the removal of this service is a false economy as it will lead to increased anti-social behaviour including vandalism, as happened in the past when parks were left unlocked. We are calling upon Barnet Council to ensure that parks continue to be locked at night.

The idea has already been tried in Barnet when Parks were left unlocked between 1999 and 2002. The incoming Conservative Administration said that the cost of locking parks overnight would be offset by the council not having to pay for repairs caused by night-time vandalism. Quite right. What has changed?

Sign the Petition

A final decision will be taken by Barnet Council on 14th March at the Environment Committee. Sign the petition at:


Keep in Touch

We need your support for the Wood. If you can offer help or just want to hear about our activities and what we are getting up to then please drop us an email to: friendsofcherrytreewood@gmail.com

Welcome to the Friends of Cherry Tree Wood

Pavillion amongst the trees

Welcome to the Friends of Cherry Tree Wood new website.

The Friends Group is a Registered Charity (No. 1060923). We were established back in the 1990’s and have campaigned over that period to protect and enhance the park and woodland.


We are becoming very active again given the pressure on Local Authority budgets. Our aim is to protect what we have and to try and enhance this beautiful park and woodland.

The Charity has three key objectives:

1. To secure the preservation, protection and improvement of Cherry Tree Wood;

2. To promote high standards of planning and architecture;

3. To educate the public in the geography, history, natural history and architecture of the area of benefit.

We have a very active programme planned for 2019 including:

* campaigning to keep the park locked at night. Barnet Council has plans, to be decided on 14th March 2019, to ditch closing all their parks at night. We have set up a petiton on the  38 degrees website https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-barnet-parks-locked-overnight  Please visit, sign the petition and share it with as many friends and family as you can. Thanks.

* preparing a bid for funds to improve the bins, benches, flower beds and reintroduce a bark chip path through the wood.

* consider options for the site of the Pavillion which Barnet has decided to demolish.

* Hold two guided walks each year on the history and ecology of the Wood and two litter picks.

* Hold a bird and bat box making day in September.

This and much more is being worked on. At our recent AGM we decided to do away with membership fees for the foreseeable future and concentrate instead on attracting a supporter list through social media etc. We will fundraise for specific projects.

Do ask to be included on our mailing lists so that you get up to date information about us. You can also check out our Facebook page for more regular updates and over the coming months we hope to set up Twitter and Instgram accounts.

We need your support for the Wood. If you can offer help or just want to hear about our activities and what we are getting up to then please drop us an email to: friendsofcherrytreewood@gmail.com