NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT THE
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE COMMONERS
WILL BE HELD AT THE CHURCH HOUSE, MONKEN HADLEY COMMON, ON
MONDAY 8TH JULY 2013
COMMENCING AT 8pm.
Members of the public are invited to attend, but only those persons holding rights of common are entitled to vote on resolutions put to the meeting. All proxys should be lodged with the Clerk not less than 24 hours before the meeting.
W O BOYES
45 Clifford Road,
Barnet, EN5 5PD
Clerk to the Trustees
15th May 2013
Managed and maintained by volunteers – funded by voluntary contributions
Cattle grazing on Monken Hadley Common, about 1906
Monken Hadley Common (often known locally as "Hadley Woods", or simply "Hadley Common") was created - as a “common” - by the Act of Parliament which enclosedIn English social and economic history, "enclosure" was the process which ended traditional rights such as mowing meadows for hay, or grazing livestock on common land formerly held in the open field system.
Once "enclosed", these uses of the land became restricted to the owner, and it ceased to be common land. [Wikipedia] Enfield ChaseA “chase” is a hunting ground; Enfield Chase (or Chace) was a royal hunting ground. - the Enfield Chase Act of 1777, 17 Geo.III.c.17"17 Geo.III.c.17" identifies the Act of Parliament under which the Common was established.
It means "The 17th Act [c.17] passed during the parliamentary session that started in the 17th year of the reign of King George 3rd". Indeed the very name "Monken Hadley Common" derives from, and was first used on, the plan which accompanied the 1777 Act.
"Commons” are generally privately owned land over which some people other than the owner exercise limited rights "in common" with the owner(s) of the land. These people are known as "commoners", and they may, for example, have rights to graze animals, to collect firewood, or to cut turfpeat
for fuel. Monken Hadley Common is unusual in that under section V of the 1777 Act , the land is not privately owned, but is held in trust for the “Commoners” - the people who still have grazing rights attached to their properties!
Camlet Way gate, about 1928. (In 1777 it was called "Camlot Way".) Notice the gatekeeper's hut on the right hand side (and the gatekeeper?). The Common has five gates, and their original purpose was to keep livestock from straying. They are now protected structures.
Photo: Les Bedford
Monken Hadley Common is now the only remaining unenclosed fragment of the former Chase, and is situated north of High Barnet, and immediately to the east of ancient country village of Monken Hadley itself. In 1777 it was in the county of Middlesex; in 1889 it became part of Hertfordshire, and since 1965 it has been within the administrative area of the London Borough of Barnet.
The Common is a roughly wedged shaped tract of land of about 70 ha, about 2.5 kilometres long, tapering from a width of about 0.5 kilometre at its broadest point, close to the white gates beside St Mary's Church, Monken Hadley at the western end ........
........ to a narrow point by one of the other sets of white gates at Games Road at the eastern end - about 300m from the Cockfosters Road entrance to Trent Park. It is bounded to the north and south by the residential areas of Hadley Wood and New Barnet respectively.
A public bridleway crosses the Common, joining the end of Games Road, at the east, to the car park at the foot of Baker's Hill at the west. Horse riding and pedal-cycling are permitted along it - although not elsewhere on the Common. The bridleway - the only public bridleway in the Borough of Barnet - forms part of the London LOOP - the London Outer Orbital Path (the walker's M25), and links with the Pymmes Brook Trail near Jack's Lake.
Photo: John Vincent Keogh
The bridleway east of the railway bridge
The Common has a rural aspect, which is enhanced by being adjacent to Hadley Wood Golf Club and the Covert Way Local Nature Reserve (both in the London Borough of Enfield), and the Hadley Manor and King George's Fields Open Space, the Tudor Sports Ground nine hole golf course, and the playing fields of two schools (all in the London Borough of Barnet).
Photo: John Vincent Keogh
The entrance to King George's Fields from the Common
Approximately 53 ha of the Common are mixed semi-natural deciduous woodland with some open glades and the remainder is open grassland with planted or selected trees.
The Common is listed as a “Grade 1 Site of Nature Conservation Importance” by the London Borough of Barnet, and it lies within the Monken Hadley Conservation Area. It and its trees are designated as being of general amenity value, and the woodland west of the railway line is subject to a Tree Preservation Order.
Photo: Alan Magnus
A profusion of rosebay willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium, aka "fireweed") on the upper Common
The Common is not a nature reserve but it, and the adjacent Covert Way Local Nature Reserve and the open land belonging to Hadley Wood Golf Club, are havens for wildlife. Its importance in this respect is increased by its location on the urban fringe, where pressures on wildlife are considerable.
Photo: Les Bedford, Nov 2012
Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria - poisonous and dangerous if ingested, but rarely fatal) growing on poor soil under birch at the western end of the Common
In 1992 Margaret Melling completed a 'desk study' of the wildlife, which is a useful collation of existing records, listing 12 species of mammals, 83 birds, 20 butterflies and some hundreds of other species of fauna as well as a great many trees, wild flowers, fungi etc. which have been associated with the Common. However, the survey lays no claim to being complete.
Green and/or greater spotted woodpeckers will probably be heard if not seen. If you are very lucky, you may also see the shy and elusive muntjacThe muntjac (Reeves's Muntjac) is a very small deer, growing to only about 50cm high at the shoulder.
Small, stocky, russet brown in summer, grey brown in winter, they were first introduced from China to Woburn in the early 20th century. Following deliberate releases and escapes from Woburn, they are now widely spread in south and central England and Wales. deer. Butterflies, including the white-letter and purple hair-streaks, may be observed, and in the late evening Daubenton's bats may be seen skimming low over the lake. There were numerous sightings of the harmless grass snake in the summers of 1996 and 1997. Many wild flowers and fungi add to one's enjoyment.
Dog walkers, bird watchers, botanists and families enjoying a day in the countryside are always to be seen. The open grassland by the cricket pitch is a popular area for flying kites. (Organised games on the Common require the written consent of the Curators.)
Photo: James Cridland
Monken Hadley CC vs. Botany Bay 2nd XI
July 28, 2007
Cricket: The earliest known record of a match being played on the Common appeared in the Barnet Press, and relates to a game against the Privy Council Office C.C on June 14th 1862. There's also a reference in an Anthony Trollope (1815-82) novel “The Bertrams”, which, though written in 1858/59, was set in the 1840's. (Anthony's mother, Fanny, lived for a time in Hadley): it therefore seems very likely that cricket was first played on the Common before 1862.
The present Monken Hadley Cricket Club, which has its pitch on the grassland at the western end of the Common, was formed in 1954, and has performed continuously since then.
Photo: Alan Magnus
Fisherman at Jack's Lake
The fishing of Jack's Lake is licensed to the Hadley Angling and Preservation Society (HAPS). Day tickets are available and many youngsters are first introduced to the sport at this lake.
The club, which was formed in 1982, has done much to improve the surroundings of the lake, as well as the fishing (though the rusted galvanised tanks still being used by HAPS as rubbish bins are a real eyesore, and badly let down the rest of the Common).
Public Notice, 1891
All we ask is that, for the benefit of all the other visitors, you respect the following RULES:
● No fires
● No vehicles or motor-bikes (except on roads)
● No horse riding or cycling (except on roads or bridleway)
● No dumping or litter
● No grazing (except by commoners)
● No camping
● No shooting
● No damage to or removal of trees, plants, turf, timber
● Dogs should be kept under effective control at all times