FoEP: Improving the Park for the benefit of the whole community
Click pictures for larger view.
Visitors to Eastfield Park during April may have noticed tree surgeons removing epicormic growth and dead or diseased branches from many of the trees in the Park, particularly lime trees. This is all part of an on-going programme being carried out by tree specialists from idverde, the sub-contractors responsible for maintaining Northampton's parks and open spaces. Eventually, all the trees owned by the Borough Council will be surveyed to determine what work should be carried out. The survey will take at least a year to complete but urgent work will be carried out while the surveys are being conducted.
Before any work is started a rigorous risk assessment is carried out, not only to ensure the safety of members of the public and the workers themselves, but also to protect wildlife including bats and any birds that may be using the trees as nesting sites. The long-term growth of the trees also has to be considered and when the specialists decide not to carry out work on a particular tree this is always for a good reason.
The Annual FoEP 'Spring Clean' on 6th April was one of the most successful since we started holding them in 2007. Forty-three adult volunteers, plus two Park Rangers and a number of children, joined together to help make it such a great success. Overall, the combined adult community effort was over 70 hours. Of particular note was the huge contribution made by teachers, parents and students from Saint Gregory's Catholic Primary School in Grange Road (above). The volunteers collected 63 bags of rubbish (including 15 black bags for recycling) plus an assortment of other rubbish including car tyres, tins of paint, a small child's bike, a table top, cupboards and chain link fencing (see photograph). The FoEP wish to thank all the volunteers and the rangers for their effort in helping to make the Park a better place.
Two new information boards have been installed in the Park, one near the Junior Play Area and the other close to the ha-ha on the northern perimeter of the Park. The board near the play area is a notice board intended for information from the Borough Council about using the Park and notices from the FoEP about events and activities in the Park. The board by the ha-ha is for information about the Park's history and heritage.
During April part of the reedbed at the east end of the Lake was destroyed by fire. Although the fire was probably started by vandals, people should not be too concerned about the damage. The reeds will quickly grow back from undamaged rhizomes below the soil surface and the removal of accumulated plant litter could even be advantageous. Hopefully, there were no birds nesting in the reeds at the time of the fire.
There is also good news concerning planting new trees in the Park, particularly in the parkland area between the Lake and Cedar Walk (leading to Apple Tree Walk). Idverde's policy is to replace trees that have to be removed, with new trees but they are also willing to consider planting more trees than have recently been removed. The FoEP would like sufficient trees to be planted to bring the number back to the level it was about ten years ago. However, trees will not be planted until the new tree planting season begins in the autumn. The FoEP will therefore not be maintaining or replanting the whips that were planted in autumn 2017, nor will we be planting any new trees in the parkland area. We may, however, plant some trees in the spinneys where idverde have no plans to plant new trees.
Tree Surgeon at work in Eastfield Park:
Sacks of rubbish awaiting collection:
Other rubbish collected during the 'Spring Clean':
Reedbed damaged by fire:
Board by the Play Area:
Board by the ha-ha:
We hope to get notices on the board by the play area in the very near future but it may take a while to get the art work for the heritage board completed.