Darlands Nature Reserve


Darlands Nature Reserve and Lake sits within the Green Belt just to the north of Woodside Park. It is presently owned by the Council and was managed since 1971 by the Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.  Management then passed to the Council. Large sums of money are necessary to properly maintain the area and the Council does not have available funds.  The lake is very shallow with extensive reed beds.  Folly Brook runs from Darlands Lake into Dollis Brook which divides Woodside Park from West Finchley.  It is a beautiful area to walk.  There is a large variety of wildlife including a diverse range of breeding birds and eighteen different types of mammal.

The area is important to Woodside Park.  The lake needs constant attention. It has silted up and is flooding causing problems for some residents in Woodside Park.  Unfortunately, there has been little maintenance over the past few years which has resulted in the Council looking for partners who can properly maintain the area.

There have been rumours abound that the Council want to offload the land onto developers for housing.  These are not true and below outlines the result of a meeting held by the Council on 4th September 2017, the result of which is fully supported by the Totteridge Residents’ Association and ourselves.

A new Charitable Trust, ‘The Darlands Trust’ is being set up after a meeting was held on 4th September 2017 at Barnet Council to grant a lease to an appropriate group to manage the Darlands Nature Reserve. For over 20 years, there has been increasing concern by the local community that the Darlands is falling into disrepair and this decline urgently needs to be halted.

It is of vital importance to protect the fauna and flora as well as ensuring that the lake is properly maintained in order that wildlife may flourish.

Who forms the Trust?

London Wildlife Trust (founded 1981)  www.wildlondon.org.uk
–     Dedicated  to protecting London’s Wildlife and Nature Reserves, managing 41 nature reserves around the capital

Totteridge Manor Association(founded1954)  www.totteridgemanorassociation.co.uk
–     Responsible for maintaining 54 acres of green spaces around Totteridge. Expertise in woodland and  pond management

Totteridge Residents’ Association (founded 1937)  www.totteridgeresidents.org
–     Committed to protecting, preserving and improving the amenities enjoyed by residents and visitors to the Totteridge area

Mill Hill Preservation Society (founded 1949)  www.mhps.org.uk
–     Committed to the preservation of Mill Hill and protection of the Green Belt

One Totteridge and Mill Hill Councillor

The aim is to sensitively restore the Nature Reserve, ensuring free access is maintained for everyone.

The future of the Green Belt is uncertain, so it is essential that a Trust be established in order that the Darlands is protected now and for future generations. Barnet Council will retain ownership and a ransom strip will be placed around the boundary to prevent any possibility of development. In the unlikely event that the Trust fails, the council has the right to revoke the lease.

In 2000, a Millennium Fayre, was held on Totteridge Green to raise money for the restoration of the Darlands Lake and this fund is still available. This is a local community project and its success will depend on everyone coming together to raise further funds to support and protect what is a jewel in the Totteridge and Mill Hill Green Belt.


To register your support, please email Totteridge Residents’ Association on:

[email protected]


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