FoEP: Improving the Park for the benefit of the whole community
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In 2017 an initiative was launched by local churches aimed at celebrating and inspiring the ways Christians in Northampton show the love of Jesus to others. Under the banner of 'Loving Northampton' a target was set to register 1,000 hours of volunteer time in a 10 day period. The response was amazing. Around 25 churches and organisations registered their hours and overall a total of 3000 hours was reached in the 10 days. Included in this total was a project at Eastfield Park involving 16 volunteers and around 45 hours of effort. Excluding the members of the FoEP who took part (some of whom are members of local churches) three churches were represented: Broadmead Baptist, the Community Church and Living Grace Church (see June 2017 News for more information).
The success in 2017 inspired the churches to achieve even more in 2018. A target was set to pledge 10,000 hours of volunteer hours over the month of June. Broadmead Baptist Church, working with the FoEP, arranged to carry out a project in Eastfield Park under the banner: ‘Loving Eastfield’. The project had two main components: one included cutting back an overgrown hedge, the other involved engaging with park users by offering them free hot or cold drinks and biscuits while providing water for their dogs. A few bags of litter were also collected.
'LOVE PARKS WEEK - 2018'
Love Parks Week 2018 is from 13th to 22nd July. We will again be organising a kite flying activity after school on the Wednesday although this year we will not be making kites, only flying them. We will, however, have a few simple kites for sale. For more information see the poster below (click to enlarge).
Earlier on the same day we are delighted that a team from NBC will be coming to carry out a series of tasks in the Park to make it more attractive.
The Seeded Meadow
The seeded meadow near Eleonore House is looking much better than it did this time last year. It has a greater variety of plants and pollinators. The picture clearly shows the difference between the seeded area and the non-seeded adjacent set-aside area. Both areas have been deliberately left uncut so far this year but they will be mowed later to prevent the area turning into scrub.
The turnout for the project was not as good as last year with only nine people taking part. For this reason the team selected two short hedges for the work. Instead of the long hedge to the south of the football pitches originally chosen for the task, the group decided to work on the hedges alongside the ramp from the Booth Lane entrance to the Park down towards the football pitches. This worked out well because, in addition to providing a more manageable undertaking, it meant that team members working on the hedges could speak to people as they entered the Park, inviting them to meet with those giving out the free drinks.
Drinks being served
Dogs were not forgotten
Tackling the hedge
Mowing the verge
A job well done
Also during June, students from Northampton College had their last sessions in Eastfield Park for the term. Among their achievements they weeded a substantial part of the Crescent Rock Garden. Chris Freeman continued to weed and dig part of the 'back' of the Crescent Rock Garden ready for planting with bulbs in the autumn. We are looking for volunteers to continue this work.
On 4th June the new NBC environmental services contract began and Veolia took over from Amey/Enterprise as the new Contractor. They have, however, subcontracted grounds maintenance in Parks to another company, idverde (pronounced 'I D Verdy'). Grass cutting was neglected throughout the Borough during May and it took a few weeks for idverde to get going in Eastfield Park. Now they have, the Park is already looking much neater.