Friends group becomes charity to bid for Highgate Bowl land

A community group determined to keep a prized piece of land known as Highgate Bowl out of the hands of developers is to become a charity in a bid to try to buy the green space.

The Friends of Highgate Bowl was set up earlier this year to put an end to more than 50 years of schemes to build housing on the land.

Its charitable status will allow the group to raise the millions of pounds potentially needed to buy the land for community use.

The Friends hope to build a “mini Eden project” – an education centre teaching people about the environment – and to expand the Harington Scheme, which runs gardening courses for young people with learning difficulties.

However, its efforts to save the Bowl may have come too late as a planning inspector is due to rule in the coming weeks on plans for three luxury homes on the former Highgate Garden Centre site, which forms part of the Bowl.

Friends of Highgate Bowl chairman Martin Adeney said: “Over the last century, there have been repeated efforts to develop it and so far they have been turned down but we can’t rely on that forever.”

The Friends of Highgate Bowl is supported by the Highgate Bowl Group, made up of the Harington Scheme, Highgate Society and Highgate Neighbourhood Forum.