Cherry Tree Wood

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Cherry Tree Wood in autumn

Cherry Tree Wood is a 5.3-hectare park in East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet. It is a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation.[1][2] Located opposite East Finchley Underground station, it contains woodland and grassland, a playground, tennis courts, a cafe and toilets.[3]

Its history may date back to prehistoric times, and the park was part of the hunting grounds of the Bishop of London in the 12th century.[4] It is a remnant of the large medieval wood called Finchley Wood,[5] which was shown in Great Hornsey Park in Rocque's map of 1754. It was later known as Dirthouse Wood because the night soil and horse manure from London's streets was brought to the Dirthouse, now the White Lion pub next to East Finchley Station, as fertiliser for hay meadows.[5] In 1914 it was purchased by Finchley Council from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to create a public park.[3]

Until it became a public park, hornbeam trees were cut back every few years to provide wood for charcoal, while oaks were allowed to grow to their full height for timber. Now that coppicing has ceased the hornbeams have grown tall and rangy, and the wood has grown shaded. Wood anemone and other ancient plants can be found in the spring, and nuthatch and great spotted woodpecker are often seen.[1]

Mutton Brook rises in Cherry Tree Wood,[5] and the Capital Ring between Hendon and Highgate passes through it.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Cherry Tree Wood". Greenspace Information for Greater London. 2006. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  2. ^ "iGiGL – helping you find London's parks and wildlife sites". Greenspace Information for Greater London. 2006. Archived from the original on 2012-10-15.
  3. ^ a b Cherry Tree Wood, London Gardens Online
  4. ^ Friends of Cherry Tree Wood - History of Cherry Tree Wood[permanent dead link] accessed 03/01/2009
  5. ^ a b c Cherry Tree Wood, Barnet Online Archived December 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Capital Ring, Walk 11, Hendon to Highgate Archived 2007-02-21 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading[edit]

  • Hewlett, Janet (1997). Nature Conservation in Barnet. London Ecology Unit. ISBN 1 871045 27 4.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°35′09″N 0°09′35″W / 51.5859°N 0.1598°W / 51.5859; -0.1598