The Friends of Mill Hill Park (FMHP) is an Association, established in 1997. Our role is to work with the Council of the London Borough of Barnet, the residents, general public and all interested persons to protect, develop, conserve, and enhance the historical, architectural, horticultural, educational and environmental benefits of Mill Hill Park within the the London Borough of Barnet.
What we do?
Giving park users a voice
Working with Barnet Council to ensure the views of Park users are heard
Promoting park facilities and activities
Organising and and raising funds for activities and facilities e.g. summer ‘Theatre in the Park’, playground equipment and new park benches
Enhancing the park environment
Auditing the park with Barnet Council, ensuring facilities are in good conditions and determining where improvements can be made.
How it started
We owe our existence to the vision of David Bailey, a local Mill Hill Resident, who in the 1990s realised that although there were good individual interactions between residents and Barnet Borough concerning the development of Mill Hill Park, the interaction would be much more effective if the residents could come together in a Friends of the Park organisation to provide a collective voice for those who use the park and who wish to enhance this community asset. He shared his ideas with several other residents and in 1997 the Friends of Mill Hill Park was set up. The members of the first committee comprised: Ted Anderson (chair), Joanne Anderson (secretary), Joan Telfer (Treasurer), with David Bailey, Marion Dewing and Jim Rea (Parks and Countryside Officer, Hendon Constituency, Recreation and Parks Service, Barnet) as additional committee members – so the Mill Hill community/Barnet Borough collaboration was embedded in the committee membership. A constitution was drawn up and the Friends of Mill Hill Park was formally established as an unincorporated Association on 22 February 1997.
Our Work & Achievements
The Friends of Mill Hill Park has flourished during the past 25 years, working with Barnet Borough to enhance the Park’s facilities – the playground, table tennis, many additional benches, the design of the Memorial Woodland, as well as more mundane but equally important activities such as litter picking and the twice-yearly parks audits to identify areas in need of attention. A twice-yearly newsletter kept members up-to-date with activities, issues and progress. The complete set of these from 2005-present provides a wonderful historical record of the Friends of Mill Hill Park’s activities and achievements
More recently, the Friends of Mill Hill Park has extended its range of activities, collaborating with the Mill Hill Residents Association and Barnet Borough Arts Council to run a Theatre in the Park summer season in 2020, 2021 and 2022, engaging several touring theatre companies to perform plays for children and for adults (for example, in 2022: Peter Rabbit, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Importance of Being Earnest) as well as a Teddy Bears’ Picnic with singing, dancing, magic and a Punch and Judy Show. Other events are planned throughout 2022 (see ‘Events’ page of this website). Planning for 2023 is in progress and dates of performances will be given on the ‘Events’ page as soon as they are available so that you can put them in your diaries.
This year – 2022 – is therefore our 25th Anniversary! We hope to celebrate this with all our members – now ~100 – at our AGM and to record this landmark occasion with a new addition to Mill Hill Park’s wonderful arboreal ecosystem.
The Friends of Mill Hill Park are very grateful to all our members who have laid the foundations of our organisation over the years, in particular those who took on the rewarding but time-consuming and onerous job of Chair:
- Ted Anderson, 1997-2005
- Marion Dewing, 2005-2007
- John Smith, 2007-2013
- Philippa Welch, 2013-2020
- Roger Morris, 2020-present
Chair, Friends of Mill Hill Park2020 – Present
Roger Morris has lived in Mill Hill continuously since 1978 with his wife Mary Ritter and their three sons educated at St Paul’s and Mill Hill Country High, where he served 6 years as a Parent Governor. Originally from Australia, he came to do a PhD in Oxford funded by a Commonwealth Scholarship and has stayed in the UK ever since. He was a Senior Scientist studying neurobiology at the National Institute for Medical Research on the Ridgway 1978-1995, then Professor at King’s College London 1995-2020 where he Headed the School of Biomedical Sciences and restarted the Department of Chemistry. He retired in July 2020, and was elected Chair of the Friends of Mill Hill Park in September later that year.
Secretary, Friends of Mill Hill Park2021- Present
Mary has lived in Mill Hill with her husband, Roger Morris, and their 3 sons since 1978. Now that she has (partially) retired, she is enjoying working with the Friends of Mill Hill Park – she has been secretary since September 2021 – and spending more time enjoying this beautiful part of Mill Hill. Originally an academic, Mary was appointed CEO (2010-2014) of the EU’s EIT Climate-KIC – Europe’s largest public-private partnership addressing climate change – guiding it from inception to a pan-European cross-sectorial innovation community of >200 partners from academia, business and regional/city government, working to innovate for net zero-carbon prosperity and climate resilience. Since then she has been the KIC’s International Ambassador looking to connect with key climate innovation ecosystems globally for accelerating and scaling impact. She led a team in Australia to develop the independent ‘Climate-KIC Australia’ – launched in 2017 and now providing a collaborative innovation platform in the Asia-Pacific region. She was awarded an OBE in the UK 2014 New Year Honours for her services to scientific research and innovation.
Treasurer, Friends of Mill Hill Park2022 – Present
I have lived in Mill Hill for 33 years, on both sides of Mill Hill Park. Many changes have happened in the area since then,...
I've lived in Mill Hill for over 40 years and bought up two boys who regularly used the park and now I enjoy taking my...