Enfield Council ban tree climbing and flying kites

Tree climbing and kites banned in parks as Enfield council ‘killjoys’ bring in 40 rules

Barking: children “must have a reasonable excuse to climb”

Mark Blunden
30 April 2012

Town hall chiefs have been branded killjoys after banning children from climbing trees or flying kites in their parks.

More than 40 rules are being introduced by Enfield, including a ban on model aircraft and roller-skating in an “annoying” or dangerous way.

Adults caught breaking the new rules could face a £500 fine while children will be dealt with under “anti-social behaviour laws” meant to stop vandals and noisy neighbours.

Rules include: “No person shall without reasonable excuse climb… any tree.”

Riding bicycles anywhere other than the correct cycle lanes is also prohibited. Angry parents claim that the ban on tree-climbing and other outdoor activities will keep children locked indoors.

Amy Bhatti, 48, a mother of three, said: “We’re meant to be encouraging people to be active and get kids playing, so how is this going to help? They’re just being killjoys.”

Emily Attwood, 25, a sales manager, said: “Some of my best memories are with my mum and dad climbing trees in the park. How would they be able to enforce these? You think they’d have something better to spend their time on.”

The new rules replace 50-year-old bylaws and include a camping ban to prevent it during the Olympics.

People also face being fined for swimming in lakes, playing golf, “riding a horse in a way that endangers others”, using a metal detector or roller-skating in an “annoying” or dangerous way.

Model planes are only allowed in one park. Challenged by the Standard, Chris Bond, the Labour-run council’s cabinet member for environment, defended the rules.

He said: “Enfield is the greenest borough in London, we are proud of our parks and would actively encourage our residents to enjoy these fantastic facilities. If park staff think trees are being damaged or the individuals doing so are likely to injure themselves we’ll ask them to stop, but we certainly aren’t advocating a ban on tree climbing and having fun.”

Last summer, Peter Antoniou was given a dressing down by a police community support officer for flying his £1,000 model plane at an Enfield park.

Mr Antoniou, 49, said he felt a blanket ban had undone earlier promises by the council to open up their airspace. He said: “The council is spoiling people’s enjoyment of parks and this contradicts what we were promised.”

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