Monday 18 September 2017

Buy your Goldfish at Finchley Nurseries *** Not an advertising feature ***

Psst..... Wanna buy a cheap Goldfish? Want a nice bowl to sit on the mantelpiece?

If you do, I'd suggest you don't go to Pond Life, the aquatic shop at Finchley Nurseries on Burtonhole Lane! Why? What have they done to upset the Barnet Eye? Well firstly, there is a Tottenham Hotspur FC flag flying above the gaffe. Clearly as a Manchester City fan, I would not enter such an establishment. Secondly, the owner, a certain Mr Bard takes his job very seriously and as such doesn't sell Goldfish to customers who do not have a proper environment for them to live. Goldfish bowls are too small a space for a cold water fish of the size of a goldfish. Without proper filtration, aeration and cover (rocks, plants etc), the fish will be subjected to a long, cruel suffocating, miserable existence. If you have/want a suitable tank which provides such an environment, then that is a different matter. You will find him most accommodating. The same is true for ponds and tropical fish.

I was talking to Mr Bard yesterday. As well as being Mill Hills premiere reputable goldfish salesman, he's also a specialist in pond/wetland/river maintenance. He has a very impressive catalog of projects completed and maintenance contracts. He explained several local projects he's done and showed pictures of his work. Two issues came up. The first was Angel Pond, at the top of Highwood Hill. This Pond is currently plagued with an invasive weed. Despite a lot of money being spent, the Pond is still being clogged up. Mr Bard explained how his advice was ignored, therefore the money was wasted. In short, the weed needed a proper long term strategy to address. His view is that the problem could have been resolved, for less money, had his advice been followed. As a Mill Hill resident, who walks past the Pond on a daily basis, he exclaimed his frustration that so much was spent to such little good.

The subject of Darlands nature reserve was also raised. Strangely, given his experience, client base and proximity of his business to the site (he's next door), he has not been consulted. He walks his dog around the site most days and is friends with Clive Cohen from London Wildlife Trust, who he often discusses conservation issues with.

I must question why such local experts are not involved with the project. Surely we need to involve local experts and local business in such schemes. Has conservation in Mill Hill become like the premiership, where local talent is viewed as 'not sexy'? I really can't see what the proposed Darlands Trust needs to be such an exclusive club. Do you?

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