I am indebted to that local champion of public footpaths, Libby Martin, of the North London South Herts Ramblers. She has recently informed me that this footpath is now open again, having been closed earlier this year for re-seeding.
It was also Libby who alerted me to this temporary closure. I remain grateful to Mary Field who told me of the first closure of the footpath in 2013 by the company rebuilding the house at the far end of Lime Grove.
In Volume 2 of ‘Rambles Round Barnet’, Walk 6 provides a detailed description of the footpaths in the Darlands Nature Reserve and surrounding area.
The corresponding App on the Geotourist.com site has several photographs of these footpaths and the lake itself, as well as an audio guide to the walks. This is worth looking through at home before setting out on a walk there but more difficult to use while on the route.
At the time of writing, 21st September 2017, the footpaths are all reasonably dry but some stretches are most safely traversed wearing walking shoes if not boots. Ramblers who have walked through the Reserve after periods of heavy rain in winter will know that wellies are often preferable to walking boots as the sticky mud on the footpaths can be very deep.
On the 4th September this year, a Trust was established to manage the Reserve, one of the involved groups being the Totteridge Residents Association. They aim to make the area both more attractive to wildlife and accessible to the public.
The Association’s website is easily reached via Google and provides more information about the Trust. It has a nice photo of some of the Snakes’ Heads (or Fritillaries) that can be seen in flower in the Spring. Fig. 4 in Walk 6 of Volume 2 also shows these graceful members of the lily family.
I will then check out the route concerned and let other local readers of the booklets or users of the Apps know about this issue in the ‘Rambles Round Barnet Updates.’ These can be found on the Barnet Society ‘News’ section of the website:http://www.barnetsociety.org.uk
Owen Jones 22nd September 2017.