The Friends of Windsor Open Space

We are an informal group of local people who formed Friends of Windsor Open Space (FoWOS) to protect and enhance this delightful expanse of Metropolitan Open Land which lies between Thornton Avenue and Hendon Lane.

Formed originally back in 1997 to fight off a plan by Thames Water to build a storage sewer under the Open Space with a haul road alongside the Dollis Brook. Today, we defend the Open Space against any development or encroachment which would spoil its rural character. We also aim to protect it from vandalism and grafitti, dumping of rubbish, dog fouling, pollution of the Brook and other hazards.

We take positive steps to enhance the park both for people and for wildlife, in association with the Council and other bodies

We meet regularly to organize events such as wildflower planting, dawn chorus walks, litter picks, hedge maintenance. We also organize a mid-summer evening social.

The Windsor Open Space

Windsor Open Space is owned by the London Borough of Barnet and is open to the public at all times. Dogs can be walked here, as long as they are kept under control. The footpath is for the benefit of walkers, not cyclists.

This is a beautiful informal open space, much loved by the residents of Finchley. The Dollis Brook runs through it. Some parts are wooded, others have extensive areas of grass (some mown, some left uncut to benefit wildlife). It has a network of footpaths (including a stretch of the Brookside Walk). There is a playground for the enjoyment of children under 14 years.

Long ago, Windsor Open Space was part of Groats farm (subsequently known as Grass Farm), and sheep once grazed here. In 1907 part of the land was bequeathed as a play area for poor children by Dame Alice Holt, more land was acquired by the Council in 1922 for public enjoyment and recreation and in 1938 Mayor Wolfie Grossman donated land adjacent to Broughton Avenue. All this makes up what we enjoy today.

In spring it is a riot of blossom. 67 different birds have been recorded here. Kingfishers, ducks and moorhens can be seen along the Brook, woodpeckers, jays and tawny owls live in the woodland. You might even catch sight of a heron or sparrowhawk. On sunny days dragonflies can be seen at the water’s edge and many butterflies flit across the grasslands.