Help make Firs Farms community hub a reality

Helen Osman from the Friends of Firs Farm on the launch of the group’s big crowdfunding campaign

Firs Farm Wetlands and (inset) the plans for a community hub to provide facilities for visitors and volunteers
Firs Farm Wetlands and (inset) the plans for a community hub to provide facilities for visitors and volunteers

Nestled between the A10 and Firs Lane in Winchmore Hill is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.

Since it was first created in 2016, Firs Farm Wetlands has evolved into one of the UK’s most important urban wetlands. It is designed to capture heavily-polluted run-off from busy roads and nearby properties, channelling the water through a series of ponds and reedbeds that filter out many noxious substances naturally. It even helps to protect homes in Edmonton from flooding!

The wetlands are now home to more than a hundred wildlife species. Volunteers from the Friends of Firs Farm have planted over a thousand trees and shrubs and donned wellies and waders to help clear vegetation and debris from the ponds and water courses – think of it as gardening on a grand scale. Companies even pay for staff to spend a day helping out at Firs Farm. The friends also provide tours for schools and environmentalists to learn more about urban wetlands.

There is just one problem to all of this – there are currently no toilet facilities for visitors to Firs Farm! To help resolve this and create a community hub with not only toilets but a café and space for community activities at the wetlands, more than £200,000 has so far been raised. The project was going well – until Covid-19 struck. Now we are emerging from the pandemic, with planning permission recently being granted by Enfield Council and a building contractor ready to start, we have a shortfall of around £100,000 thanks to rising costs.

A further obstacle is that we will lose a grant of £80,000 if the hub isn’t started on site by 31st December. There is now a real risk of this exciting project not going ahead, unless we can urgently secure more cash. For that reason, we have set up a crowdfunding page and are asking the people of Enfield to chip in and create this much-needed facility.

This story is published by Enfield Dispatch, Enfield's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.

We need your help! We are looking for people in Enfield who can help support us to produce more high-quality local journalism in Enfield Dispatch. We have *no* shareholders; we have *no* wealthy backers; we are run by a small but dedicated team as part of a not-for-profit community interest company; we hold local authority to account, expose scandals, highlight inequality, promote good causes, and provide people a platform to highlight what matters to them; every penny of income from Enfield Dispatch helps us deliver more journalism in Enfield; the paper costs nearly £6,000 per month to produce and distribute, but monthly income is under £5,000 currently; we currently have 120 supporters who contribute around 12% of our income, but we need more! Can you help us? Our membership scheme has many different options, starting from £3 per month, depending on your ability to contribute. Rewards include having a copy of the paper posted to you every month. Local businesses and charities can also sign up and, from as little as £10 per month, access discounts on advertising. Find out more at: enfielddispatch.co.uk/join

The community hub will be open to everyone and will have a ‘Changing Places’ toilet enabling people with carers to visit Firs Farm. The light-filled indoor space will be available for use by clubs and community groups and for sharing messages around wetlands and other environmental issues. The toilets and café will also help enable more football players to play on the under-used pitches at Firs Farm.

Please watch the short video about Firs Farm and the community hub on the crowdfunding page and consider supporting us. With your help we can make this happen – we look forward to welcoming you to Firs Farm Community Hub in 2023!

Help support the Friends of Firs Farm crowdfunder:

We know times are hard

If you are struggling to make ends meet, we are keeping Enfield Dispatch free because of you. We know that many people cannot afford to pay for local news, so this website and our print paper will always be free. If you can afford to, and value what we do, a small monthly, yearly or one-off contribution can support us to keep providing quality journalism for Enfield to our community for free.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month. £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.  

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly or yearly 

More Information about donations