News - February 2008
Commercial Filming

Avenue House is proud to be the location of the latest Malteser advert. It was Shot during March 2008 in the Avenue House grounds. We look forward to seeing it on our tv screens soon.
Ghost nights

Ghost nights are becoming a regular feature. The House will be visited more than ten times this year by para-normal groups looking for ghosts and other unusual phenomena. Two ghosts have already been reported from these night-time events: a man in the Turret Room (who didn’t like women!), and a child who appeared to be locked in the Basement.
February 2008
Thanks for your Help

First of all, a big thank you to everyone who has signed up to our donations direct debit scheme. So far the money raised from this has paid for a new litter bin on the Terrace, at a cost of £582, and a number of plants including rhododendrons, pyracanthas and pond bank plants. Two camellia bushes were also purchased but unfortunately these have been stolen.

We rely heavily on public support to maintain the Grounds, which generate no regular income for the Trust. Making a donation under direct debit and gift aid is of enormous help – if you are not already signed up and would like to do so please obtain a form from the Kiosk or House Reception.

February 2008
Compost Bonanza!

Lots of free compost is being delivered thanks to the Council’s recycling of green waste. This is being used all around the Grounds. Eroded areas have been treated and other areas are being prepared for planting up later in the year. Some areas have been fenced off but these will not be completed until next year. On advice from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, large circular pits have been created around many of our trees. These have been filled with compost to improve drainage, feed the roots and encourage worms to aerate the soil. Please avoid walking on these areas.

Some of the problems with our trees have been caused by compaction of the soil, partly caused by the playing of ball games. Ball games are not allowed in the Grounds and this rule will be strictly enforced through the spring and summer to keep our trees healthy.

To find out more about the very special trees of Avenue House Grounds, you can obtain a copy of our booklet Discover Our Unique Species of Trees (price £5) from the Kiosk or House Reception.

February 2008
In the Grounds

The Kiosk is open from 9.30am to 5pm, weather permitting. The closing time will be later (up to 7pm in May) as daylight stretches into evening.

Following an incident involving a pit bull terrier, which involved the Police, we would be grateful if anyone seeing a pit bull terrier in the Grounds could report this as soon as possible to the Kiosk or Reception in the House. These are dangerous dogs and are not allowed in the Grounds.

As the world over, the climate at Avenue House is hotting up. Spring seems to be earlier each year. Our moorhens are already nesting in the pond.

February 2008
Happenings in the House

On 7th February BTCV hosted an Environmental Groups Network Day at the House. This was a big gathering of many groups from all over London who came to hear about new green initiatives and funding opportunities, to learn from each other and enjoy a walk around the Grounds.

The Drawing Room has been refurbished with new lighting and new curtains and the piano has been removed. It has made this beautiful room more spacious and attractive. The capacity has now increased and it can hold up to 80 people seated or 100 standing. The new-look room will be formally launched on 13th March, together with our new website.

February 2008
The Bothy

Following the departure of the Finchley Arts Centre Trust (FACT) from The Bothy in January 2007, we have been the target of a number of false accusations. We are still awaiting a formal report on the condition of the building and its financing, undertaken by Officers of the London Borough of Barnet at the request of the Leader of the Council, Cllr Mike Freer. Our own independently commissioned professional and technical assessments support our position that the building is not safe for public use. We have continued discussions with Hampstead School of Art about their possible restoration and occupation of The Bothy and this follows on from Mike Freer's very reasonable proposal of last May that FACT should operate under the umbrella of HSA. It is regrettable that an arrangement could not be agreed between them but it is to be hoped that work to properly restore The Bothy can start before too long.

You can now visit The Bothy garden any Friday between 10.30am and 1pm. Volunteers, who have put in a huge amount of work over a number of years, will be there to show you round.

February 2008
Stable & Garage Roof Plundered

Last summer thieves ripped 105 feet of lead from the Stable and Garage roof. We were able to claim most of the cost of repair and replacement work from our insurance company, but this incident has left us with a £6,000 shortfall. And then, in January the thieves returned and stripped more from the Garage roof. No one has been caught.

February 2008
Solicitor Needed

We are looking for a volunteer solicitor who could work for us pro bono on drawing up a lease. If you could help do this, or know someone who might be able to do so, please get in touch.


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