Read about our most recent news, activities and wonderings on our blog below…
You can read our members newsletters using the months below. The newsletter goes out in the first couple of weeks of each month to keep our members up to date with what is happening in the park. This includes volunteering, events, projects, activities and also any other news relevant to Rowntree Park and it’s users.
Read our December 2020 newsletter here
Read our November 2020 newsletter here
York Mind are running a Mental Health and Well-being Activities Programme that is funded by City of York Council.
York Mind is working in partnership with a number of groups including the Friends of Rowntree Park to provide a programme of activities for people to get involved in. These sessions are free to take part in but must be booked in advance. The Friends of Rowntree Park are offering the following sessions:
-Family Forest School Sessions
-Woodland Crafts for adults
-Green woodwork sessions for 18-25-year-olds
There is also a range of other activities run by other partners including Guided learning, such as Mindfulness, Managing Anxieties, Building Confidence and Resilience, Creative Journaling, Arts and Crafts, Theatre for Well-Being and Green Woodworking. We also deliver a range of well-being activities including Yoga, Nordic Walking, Swimming, Climbing, Walk 2 Jog, Peer Support, Carer Well-being sessions, Gardening and Outdoor crafts.
Partnerships are with Kyra, York Carers Centre, York Theatre Royal, York LGBT Forum, The Wilberforce Trust, Dandelion Arts, TCV-The Conservation Volunteers, York Travellers Trust, The Friends of Rowntree Park and GLL-Better York. This programme is 2021-2022.
Mind’s brochure can be viewed here:
More details from York Mind on their Mental Health and wellbeing programme:
The following is from Mind’s website and also includes links on how to enroll. You can follow these links or head to Mind’s website:
Covid 19 Programme Response-Please Read
It is important that we deliver safe and effective activities, which benefit our participants but also safeguard participants and our staff. During Covid-19, our new activities programme has been developed to offer a blended model of delivery; online and face to face groups, tailored to support participants and ensure safety. We recognise that for many, the last year has caused anxiety, so we want to ensure people can choose the delivery option which suits them currently.
We do not wish online delivery to create a barrier to access, for our participants. We recognise that for some people accessing groups online, will not be your preferred choice. You may also feel you do not have the skills, or knowledge to engage online.
We are happy to offer support and basic training to anyone willing to engage in our online activities. We hope this will help build confidence and skills, and enable increased participation during this challenging period.
How to enrol:
Please read our enrolment guidelines before completing the enrolment form (below), as this will help you to complete the form and ensure we understand your individual needs:
What will happen next:
We (Mind) aim to contact you, within 3-5 working days of receiving your enrolment form.
For further information, or for support to refer, please contact the York Mind Activities Team on 01904 643364-Option 5, or email email@example.com
From Monday 17th of May 2021, the Environment Agency are scheduled to change access to Terry Avenue whilst flood defence work is carried out at Clementhorpe.
This work will mean that parts of Terry Avenue are closed for around 12 months. Vehicles, pedestrians and bikes will no longer be able to access town via Terry Avenue from Millennium Bridge – this river side path/road will not be in use for through traffic and pedestrians. There is more information below from the EA, the following summary is regarding accessing Rowntree Park only and its implications.
In order to access Rowntree Park via a car, you’d need to go down Butcher Terrace and along Terry Avenue to Rowntree Park car park. The same route is to be used for the Caravan site and Roomz Hotel. There are strict speed limits on this road and speed bumps installed. Vehicles will then access the carpark back this way and out via Butcher Terrace.
Therefore pedestrians accessing Rowntree Park via Butcher Terrace Gates/Millennium Bridge will need to be cautious of traffic as there will be construction traffic as well as hotel, caravan park and park traffic travelling down Butcher Terrace and past the park gates.
It is important that Rowntree Park is not used as an alternative access route for cyclists. There are approved EA routes on the maps below, careful cycling is allowed in Rowntree Park but cyclists are asked to take extra caution as there are a number of people who have raised concerns about not hearing bikes behind them and bikes going too fast. Similarly, the new electric scoots need to be used in consideration of park users.
To find out how the closure of Terry Avenue affects vehicles, bikes and pedestrian access to the area (including Rowntree Park) please do read check out the information shared by York Flood Plan:
Any questions about the flood defence work to York Flood Plan.
Some of the poems in the children’s collection have been inspired by the work of Valerie Bloom.
A fox as red as the ripest cherries,
It barely eats any ripe berries,
As strong as an ox,
Even though it’s a tiny little fox,
As sleepy as an owl,
Listen to its little growl,
It cannot fly,
It is really sly,
As fast as lightning,
It’s barely even frightening.
A Guessing Poem
Swaying in the blue sky,
Like a cup for the bees filled with pollen,
Like a tiny bell in the bright green grass.
A Guessing Poem: Lake
A gleaming carpet of blue,
Swaying in the breeze,
With tranquil surroundings,
Wading through it up to my knees.
Drifting in the breeze
All quiet, all calm
Fast wind running through the sky
Facedown on the ground
On the mountain
It’s all a dream
Like butter melting
I Asked the Mushroom
‘Why do you hide?’ I asked the mushroom
Underneath your speckled umbrella.’
‘I hide,’ the mushroom said, ‘because
I like the dark my good fella.’
‘Why do you stand still as stone?’ I asked the mushroom,
On the forest floor?’
‘Because’ the mushroom smiled,
I like to watch the raindrops pop, you may find it a bore.
A Guessing Poem: dog
I’m a man’s best friend
I’m a park, playing, pet,
Have you got a bone to lend?
When I’m sick I go to the vet
Blue as the ocean
Long and high stems reaching towards the sun
Under the trees a gloomy flower stands
Each flower is a magician’s hat
But why does it look so sad?
Everyday the bluebell greets the sun
Laying in the grass
Longing to be noticed
Sunshine smile upon your face,
Up to the sky so high you race,
Full of joy,
Loving life, never coy,
Others seem so small around you
Wonderful wonder of nature,
Everyone stops to stare at your beauty
Raise your head to greet the sun.
I Asked the Tree
‘Why do you grow so tall?’ I asked the tree,
so tall the top I can’t see?’
‘I grow,’ the tree said, ‘because
up to the sun I want to be.’
‘Why do you have so many branches?’ I asked the tree
hundreds of them grow over time,
‘Because,’ the tree smiled,
‘I grow them for you and your friend to climb.’
I Asked the Bluebell
‘Why do you greet the sun?’ I asked the bluebell,
In the little pond.’
‘I greet the sun,’ the bluebell said, ‘because
we have a special bond.’
‘Why do you play?’ I asked the bluebell
In the green sunny park.’
‘I play’ the bluebell smiled,
To keep away the dark.’
Dancing slowly in the crisp, summer breeze
A ball of butterscotch-yellow
Forever free and completely at ease
Failing to not feel mellow
Over time, its petals started to grey
Drooping and sadly fading
In weeks then, winter returned
Laying out its icy cloak of snow.
I Asked the Green Shoot
‘Why do you wave’ I asked the green shoot
In the wind you face the sun’
‘I wave,’ the green shoot said, ‘because
It makes me greet the fun.’
‘Why do you dance?’ I asked the little green shoot
Swaying to the breeze
‘Because’ the green shoot smiled,
‘It keeps away the freeze.’
Many Colours Form
Into A Beacon Of Hope
After The Thunder
Luscious carpet of blue
Amazing reflection of the sun
Kicking the paddles of the boats
Enjoying the dancing fish
Some of the poems in the children’s collection have been inspired by the work of Valerie Bloom.
Do you enjoy the breeze?
And do you like the bees?
For a small flower just like you
Fields that you live in split in two
Or even parks
Do you ever feel afraid of the dark
I’m never in the dark I keep it away
Love is the key so I never feel grey
Light as bright as the sky
Angels watching above your head
Knite flying across the sky,
Eggs rolling across the floor.
A Guessing Poem
Tall and bright yellow,
Reaching stretching and growing,
Basking in the sun.
Lots of fresh water like drinking from a waterfall.
An amazing stream with a small waterfall.
Keeping treasure beneath me.
Enjoying the beautiful sun.
I Asked the Willow Tree
‘Why do you cry?’ I asked the willow tree,
‘I don’t like to see you sad.’
‘I cry,’ the willow tree said, ‘because
I am alone in this big countryside.’
‘Why do you have no leaves?’ I asked the willow tree.
‘Because’ the willow tree smiled,
‘Because autumn is coming and I have to be ready for the winter.’
A Guessing Poem
Stands tall in the wind
A fluffy head
A thin body
Why do you grow so big?
Is it because you can relax so high
Laying there in the sky
Lying in the grass below
Optimistically the people watch you grow
Why not discover what’s down below?
There could be something good but you don’t know
Rearing for the young birds in their nest
Everything is good to go
Even though you are unsure we love to watch you grow
Dancing in the breeze
Air into the petals breezing past
Feasting on bees
Funny yellow flower dancing in the strong breeze
Open yellow thing in the distance you will see
Dancing in the strong wind at some point you will see
I’m a flower dancing in the strong breeze you will find me in a field next to lots of flowers like a cow
Learning other people getting to know other people what am I?
Blue like the sea
Like a cup for a mouse
Under the dark oak trees
Eating water under the trees
Beds for bees
Eating the roasting hot sun
Like a berry blue
Laughing under the sun
Sat with its blue friends
A Guessing Poem
Blur reaching at the sun,
Tiny as a kitten’s paw,
A twisting treasure,
Never stopping to shut the door.
Dancing and swaying in the air
A little dandelion with grey hair
Night time comes say goodbye to the sun
Day time rises a new day begun
Energetic little fly flew on top of her head
Lazy fly made herself in bed
In the morning the wind began to blow
“Ouch!” she cried and then said, “oh no!”
Now her seeds are spreading, making new homes
Scattering away from a cat,
Quickly climbing up the tree,
Unbelievable to climb that fast,
Irritating all the dogs,
Rushing to collect the nuts,
Raindrops make you hide away,
Eagerly dancing for the rest of the day,
Loving to tease all the rats.
Dancing in the wind and welcoming the spring
As slender as a model proud of their mane of petals
Fanfare of golden trumpets playing together
Flowers in a group like they are partying at a festival
On sunny days they are happy watching the winter disappear
Dreaming they will get a visit from the bees soon
Individually very small but all together a sea of bright yellow
Luminous like the warm sun
Summer comes they began to crumble but they will be back next year
The park is closed today, due to flooding.
The gates are shut, but look
and you may see the swans and ducks who still
swim through their watery home.
The tops of trees reach up for air
and everywhere are glimpses of the
swings and slides, the fun that
hides, beneath the surface.
The park is closed today, due to social distancing.
But in the mist, I think I saw a flock of birds.
I guess they haven’t heard because
their wings were touching, huddled close for warmth
in rain slicked trees. And in amongst the leaves the
busy squirrels leap from dizzying heights,
almost in flight, then nestle close in cosy dreys,
away from grey clouds looming.
The park is closed today, due to ice and snow.
We cannot go. Though if we stand here quietly,
we may spy from the balcony, the sly young fox
that skates across the frozen pond, then rests
until its russet fur is powdered white.
The park is closed tonight. They lock it up at dusk.
We mustn’t pry, but if we raise our eyes we’ll see
the sky is moving. Shadows shaped like bats may
squeal and flit and dip to catch an unsuspecting moth.
And do you hear too-wit-too-woo? The owls are up there
too. They search for mice and voles who
hide in holes and undergrowth. But both
the hunter and the hunted must come out to eat,
while we all sleep.
The park is closed today, but those who know
would say, the park is always open.
David Rowsell, Trustee Friends of Rowntree Park
I love Rowntree Park and in particular its lake…
But why at 6.30am on a cold December morning late in 2020 do I find myself flat on my back in its freezing water…?
The answer is flipping geese… in particular Canada geese.
For over three years now I have been volunteering in the park – mainly trying to move on varying numbers of these beasts.
I have nothing against animals, indeed I have, since 2019, been a vegetarian.
I am, however, a keen historian and our park is not only beautiful but a fitting memorial to the many local victims of the First World War.
As such, I’d like to think that as many as possible visit and spare a moment to consider the horror and senselessness of what happened to so many between 1914-18 and is still happening in too many places around our world.
“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows…”
(Martin Luther King)
When my wife and I moved into this area, it was clear that the geese were responsible for many people steering clear of the park – the noise, the aggression and the poo of these beasts is, understandably, a massive turn off for many families especially with young children.
I shouldn’t really know this – but these birds drop 3lbs of poo each per day and when you consider that in the past there have been up to 100 geese in the park at times, that is a huge pile!
So, our valiant team of “goosebusters” work night and day, in a humane way, to persuade the geese to find somewhere else to poo.
These last few months our work has been hindered by floods and Covid – but we will continue to strive to keep our park clean for the benefit of all.
Even if it does mean that occasionally I get over enthusiastic and my chase leads me to end up in the drink!
Alisha Langhorn, age 13
It was one of the sunniest days in Yorkshire, when all the birds were chirping and all the geese were flying around the park.
The geese always love to swim in the pond with their babies which sounds quite nice for them to do during a sunny day. There are lots of things to enjoy at Rowntree Park such as the big park that has for example a zipwire, some swings for the little kids and some for the older kids, there are also some amazing statues around this park like the Viking helmet that you can sit inside. And there are also a lot of benches you can just sit on and relax in the sun whilst your kids are having fun.
The reading cafe is an amazing place to enjoy a nice hot or cold drink whilst reading a book. There is also a tennis court where you can play tennis or even badminton. It’s just a fun thing to have a Rowntree Park.
The skate park is a place where if you have a skateboard this will be something you will enjoy.
This park is also a great place to go on a walk with your pets or your family.
It’s just one of the most amazing places in the whole of Yorkshire.