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The is a registered charity formed to “assist with the maintenance
and improvement of the open space known as Hadley Common for the benefit of the public
(Hadley Common is also known locally as Hadley Woods; its official title is Monken Hadley Common.)

Hadley Common was created by an Act of Parliament - the Enfield Chase Act of 1777 - when most of the medieval hunting forest of Enfield Chase was enclosed (turned into fields), and an area at the western end was given to the villagers of Monken Hadley to compensate them for the loss of their right to graze horses and cattle on the Chase, by providing the village with grazing of its own. The Common has been a feature of life in the area ever since, and is the only remaining part of Enfield Chase which hasn't been enclosed.

Photo: Alan Magnus

Gates near Monken Hadley Church. Restoration part-funded by
the in 2008

Photo: Les Bedford

The grazing of horses and cattle on the Common continued for nearly 200 years. But, with the coming of the railway in 1850, the surrounding area began to be developed for housing - a trend which continues to this day - and it became more and more used for recreation. At the same time the importance of the grazing which it provided steadily diminished, to the point where, about 50 years ago, grazing ceased completely.

Three field maple trees were planted
near the top of Hadley Road in 2000
Photo: Les Bedford

The Common has a considerable amenity and recreational value, especially to the communities which surround it; surprisingly, however, it is not supported by any regular local, regional, national or, indeed, EU aid (though it did received grants from English Heritage to match the money raised locally towards the cost of the refurbishment of the five gates). The Local Authority Grants which it received for forty years from both Barnet and Enfield were withdrawn in 1996, and this led directly to the formation of the the following year.

Though the Common itself does have a small amount of income from things such as rents and wayleaves, this is nowhere near enough to cover the running costs, and it is therefore heavily dependent upon charitable donations. And as a charity, the are able to reclaim tax on Gift Aid donations, which significantly boosts the financial support which they are able to provide.

Photo: Alan Magnus

Hadley Road gates before restoration (above)
and during restoration in 2011 (right).
This project was funded by the , with the help of a grant from English Heritage.

Jack's Lake
Photo: Les Bedford

Photo: Les Bedford

New noticeboard at the bottom of Baker's Hill - sponsored by the .

The Common is managed by a Management Committee, and maintained by the Conservation Volunteers, both on an entirely voluntary basis. The Conservation Volunteers meet every Tuesday morning, and do most of the day-to-day work involved in keeping the Common in good working order. No-one is paid for time spent working on the Common, although contractors do need to be employed for things like mowing the grass and attending to large trees to keep them safe. The contribution of the many people who give their time, effort and devotion to running the Common simply would not work without the financial support for the unavoidable expenses involved in running 70 hectares of public open space - financial support that has been consistently provided by the since its formation.

Since 1997, the have raised more than £100,000 towards the maintenance and improvement of the Common, and we are always looking to recruit more people to contribute to its upkeep.

Hadley Common is not a privilege for the few but a very necessary source of "quiet recreation" for the many: walking, dog walking, birdwatching, angling, playing cricket, flying kites, watching the rabbits and the birds (and if you are very lucky, the deer)
- and just sitting quietly listening to the wind in the trees!

If you value Hadley Common, and you are not a already, PLEASE JOIN!!