A group of residents are hoping to work together with Hillingdon Council to rescue Northwood Recreation Ground, which has fallen victim to drainage problems.
These problems have turned the ground into what can only be described as a swamp in places, making it unsafe for residents to walk on a public right of way and taking away a vital green space.
The newly formed Friends Of Northwood Recreation Ground action group aims to address the growing problems and help to restore the rundown area to its former glory – and beyond.
Ben Rawson-Jones started the group after noticing the impact the dangerous conditions were having on the local community and the lack of response to online reports from residents in Northwood Hills.
He said: “The pandemic and lockdowns have highlighted how important accessible and functional green spaces are for our mental and physical wellbeing. Northwood Recreation Ground could be so wonderful, but it’s become largely unfit for purpose. This must change.
“We plan to harness the spirit of the community to help transform the park from an unusable eyesore into a source of pride. Many exciting ideas are being suggested and we want to join forces with Hillingdon Council. We dearly hope that action to repair or replace the failing drainage system around the park can be authorised and lay the foundations for something special.”
One resident Sally Bird, who inspired Ben to take action, used to treasure the area for her daily walks but now feels she is putting herself at risk of injury.
She said: “It’s very very slippery, there’s a lot of water there. I like to do a circuit round to get some exercise but at the moment I’m in danger of falling over.
“I think drainage has always been a problem there and we’ve been here for years.”
Another resident Rachie Ross, who is passionate about the environment, has noticed the drainage issues become worse over the years and remain all year round, with her niece even losing her shoe to the ‘swamp’.
She said: “The drainage has just got increasingly appalling. It’s impassable in winter.
“The Recreation Ground is where kids play, and people sit in the summer and is just encroaching more and more as this bog.
“It’s such a beautiful resource with potential and it just needs to be worked with.”
The area is beloved by all residents who simply want to collaborate with the council to restore it and add a few finishing touches such as benches around the park.
Resident Josh Doshi commented: “I think it’s an excellent park, it just needs a bit of a revamp. We have been talking about sponsoring a bench so people can sit down and enjoy the park.”
The issues have also affected Northwood Town Cricket Club, who stated: “Sadly in recent years the park’s rapidly deteriorating drainage has become a great concern and is an increasing threat to our ability to stage cricket matches and training for local juniors and seniors in the summer. We would hugely appreciate the issue being addressed.”
Hillingdon Council said: “We are aware of this problem at Northwood Recreation Ground and are investigating. The recent wet weather has compounded the situation, and we are encouraging people to follow the footpaths.”
If you wish to find out more about the Friends Of Northwood Recreation Ground group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or search for the group on Facebook.