The new masterplan for Barnard Park offers a beautiful and well thought out park in Barnsbury, which is desperately short of green space. Barnard Park has many different user groups and the masterplan combines green space with facilities for children and sport. The plan creates a circular ‘village green’ which provides a recreational space for a Sunday game of football, jogging, dog walking or just enjoying the park. Enhanced sporting facilities are included in the plan: a five-a-side pitch, an informal hard-surface area and an open playing green in the circle. A new playground and a square are proposed near the park’s Copenhagen Street entrance. A multi-functional building would be developed near the Adventure Playground with expanded space for youth and community activities and hopefully a cafe. Communal gardens, features to promote bio-diversity and a creative use of water would make the park more inviting. Security would be improved with lighting and the plan’s sight lines would eliminate blind corners and hidden spaces.

Of course, this vision for Barnard Park will be challenging to achieve, particularly in the current economic climate. The Friends support the masterplan because it is good solution to the problems of a deteriorating park, and because it was developed in full public consultation – and approved by the Council’s West Area Committee in May 2009. We believe that the plan can and should be delivered in a phased, cost-effective manner. This will take continued support and creative, budget-conscious steps toward developing the new park.