Crafty Crawl

Sunday 6th of December 2020 is the Crafty Crawl. An annual event organised by our friends Planet Southbank. In the local area, many artists and crafters will be selling their home made goods. This is a perfect way to shop for Christmas, and yourself!

The Friends of Rowntree Park Craft group have produced a range of knitted animals, mobiles and Christmas goods for you to choose from. This stall will be in the park near the cafe 11-3.

We will also be selling some Rowntree Park merchanise and gift memberships. Our friends from Catkin & co will also have some of their natured based kits and crafts for children for sale (or they can be bought online in advance and picked up on the day). This stall will be in the park near the cafe 11-1.

We do ask that people maintain social distancing and don’t handle goods unless buying. Cash are card is accepted by the Friends of Rowntree Park. Thank you for all your support of this local event.

You can see the full list of those involved below. Most stalls are open 12-4pm.

Crafty Crawl (addresses in alphabetical order)

144  Albemarle Road– access is from the alleyway between Albemarle Road and Curzon Terrace. Francesca Green  – a selection of Handmade Ceramics – including tiles, earrings, wall hangings and Ceramic Portraits. Also: collection of paintings, cards and prints.

165, Albemarle Road    Jenna and Imogen selling driftwood crafts, clay animals and large drawing maps for children to complete. Fundraising for Imogen’s expedition to Kenya  

Bishopthorpe Road – at the front of  Southlands Church Ingrid Bale – textiles, Donna Taylor – cards, Katie Hill – Christmas decorations, Rebecca Mason – Batik gifts

52  Millfield Road – Jo Yeates      Made at 52 – Gifts, home decor and Christmas   decorations. Crafted from fabric, paper and ephemera for a vintage vibe

Rowntree Park  Rowntree Park Craft Group will be selling crafted toys, decorations and rainbows  on the grass circle at the cascade from 11am -3pm
Also Catkin & co.  will have natured based crafts and kits for Children

79   Russell Street   – Sarah Penn  – funny and fabulous Christmas face masks, tissue   pockets, handknitted cotton dishcloths. Hand drawn and handmade cards and pictures.

11 Scarcroft  Road  – Jo Heath – Oxalis Flower Studio -florist offering seasonal flowers   arranged using sustainable methods. Also door wreaths and macramé plant hangers and gorgeous house plants.

1 Scott Street –  Heather Dawe    Christmas willowy decorations, bird feeders, sculptural baskets and other things!

3 Scott Street  –  Pie Waller   hand carved eraser stamps, beeswax food wraps, daft    badges and Nell’s very Fancy Felt Birds and prints.

3 Scott Street  –  Joy Simpson   Hand painted, bird themed brooches and pendants and other folk art inspired wares. And digital prints from a painter who also crafts

28 Thorpe Street  –  Angie Brown Upcycled denim storage pockets and wall art for flowers, pens, make up brushes and secrets!

30 White House Rise YO24 1EE  Cath Simpkins “Charlie Bravo Cabin”  where she will be selling from her drive  – Unique, upcycled jewellery. Quirky, one-off handbags. Cards and textile items. Having worked for designers Kaffe Fassett and Ann Louise Roswald means that my work is very colourful!


Wreath Making Kits – instructions!

Thank you to all of you who have bought a wreath kit from us. In your bag should be everything you need. However, if you find you need more foliage -you are welcome to take from the park carefully. We’d love to see your photo’s of you creating and the final wreaths – please do share by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or share via email (

You’ll find instructions using the link here

Welcoming the Winter

Now the nights are beginning to start in the afternoon, and with it only 3 weeks away from the longest night of the year, it might be fair to say that some of us are not feeling as warm and fluffy as we may have in previous years. For many, 2020 has been tough. The usual cosy fireside idyls hunkered down inside might not be what everyone is in need of right now. Many families are also trying to cope with unusual distances and separations at the moment, but we could learn from our Scandi cousins over the North Sea because while they are experts at Hygge (that warm cosy feeling when we’re together with our loved ones), they are also high skilled outdoorsy type folks. It’s believed they coined the saying that goes along the lines of: ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing’.

Winter in the UK might not be a dazzling Spring morning, with bejewelled dewy meadows and sweet-scented aromas of flora and fauna. It makes us work harder to notice the beauty of the deep red berries on a damp, foggy morning, or learn to appreciate the rich earthy woodland perfume. Taking ourselves out into nature can truly rejuvenate a tired heart and soul, and it can be even better if we take our loved ones with us. Winter is about restoration, when nature retreats back to enable it to start afresh in the Spring. So what we might initially find ugly, and maybe a bit squelchy, has a beautiful job to do. 

Where better than Rowntree Park to notice the water birds pottering about on the lake, glimpse the sun peer lazily through the pine trees, behold the frost glistening on the statue of Eros right up until lunchtime or catch that amazing heart-shaped puddle in the grass at the Lovell Street entrance. The wonderful thing is: it’s right on our doorstep and (restrictions permitting) you have all the nature and also a cafe that lends books and sells coffee and cake! So wrap up warm, get your wellies on, take a walk and welcome the Winter.

Vikki O’Brien – Bird/wildlife volunteer for Friends of Rowntree Park.

Christmas Craft Packs

Update – Instructions from craft packs further down the page. All standard and luxury craft packs sold out, as did the lantern sets. There are some Santa/reindeer puppets still available.

Santa and Reindeer Set
Build your own Santa and Reindeer with moving legs and arms! Perfect for decorating and hanging in the home. You get one of each in a pack.
Each figure approx 25cm in length.

Packs can be collected from Rowntree Park on Sat 5th December 11.30-1pm (under the cafe).

Lantern Set – £5.50
Sold out
Santa & Reindeer set – £4.50Buy Now
You will receive a receipt from Paypal and we will be in touch before 1st of December to confirm and request the name of your child for the bag label

Nature hunt wreath making kit

Interested in a nature hunt and wreath building kits for children? Check out our friends at Catkin & co – £1 from each sale of the wreath hunt kits goes to us. There are also some lovely nature based stocking fillers and gifts for children. Full details and images on their site. Any items purchased on their site can also be collected on Dec 5th with your FRP children’s craft packs. Please contact them directly.


Below are some ideas/inspiration for the craft activities. For the lantern and Santa/reindeer puppets there are also some ‘how to put together’ instructions. The snowflakes in the ‘luxury pack’ should be self explanatory. You can decorate anything in anyway you like!

We hope you have fun creating and would love to see some photos – please tag us on social media or email us some images of either your children creating or the final pieces (or both!)
Email –

Craft ideas

For the log slice star weaving – you have been given a small skewer to help poke the wool through the holes. You need to think carefully when threading to work out how the star shape is formed. If you search google, you’ll get help if needed! It’s fun working it out and redoing and trying again through!

Craft Instructions – Lanterns

Craft Instructions – Santa/reindeer puppets

Have fun – and have a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas craft packs for children

Have yourselves some festive fun with our Christmas craft packs for children. A range of mainly natural materials to create your own decorations and displays this yuletide period. A fun family activity and festive to boot!

All profits made will go toward our fund raising efforts for a new wildlife pond in Rowntree Park. We are hoping to raise around £6000 over the next year. This will be a fantastic addition to the new wildlife area we are developing in the Park.

There are only a limited number of packs available. There is the standard pack and the luxury pack.

Christmas craft packs for children

Packs include:
Wood log circles, pine cones, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, felt, eyes, pipe cleaners, red pom poms, twine, wool, cotton wool.

Luxury back also includes:
Wood snow flake decoration
Wooden Christmas Key ring
Both to self decorate.

You will need:
Scissors and glue

All packs come in a bag labelled with your child’s name. Further details of what is included in the packs is below.

Buy your Christmas craft pack:

All packs have sold out – but some good news is we have some different packs avaliable. Follow this link to find out more….

Standard Pack – £8Buy
Luxury Pack – £10Buy
Any profit made goes toward our charity fundraising for a new wildlife pond

Once you have bought your pack, you will get a Paypal receipt as confirmation. We will email you by 29th of Nov to request your child’s names and arrange pick up/drop off the packs (see below).
NB: If status shows as sold out, email to be added to our list. We may be able to add more packs or alternative packs and will update you first if so.

Any queries email

Pack Details

All bags will differ slightly , as will size and shape of log slices. The following acts as a guide:
3 x wood log slices – all predrilled. One painted white to create your snowman, one with 5 holes for star threading and one plain to decorate in a design of your choice.
Orange slices (at least 2)
Pine cones (2 large and some small)
Cinnamon Sticks (1-3)
Googly eyes x 4
Red Pom Poms x2
Felt – 2 squares of different colours
Pipe Cleaners – 2 brown

If preferred the following items can be swapped as follows (please email if this is your request):
Googly eyes – cardboard for eyes
Pipe Cleaners – felt
Wool – Bakers twine

How to get your Christmas craft pack:

Packs will be available for pick up from Rowntree Park on Sat 5th of December between 12-2. A time slot will be allocated near the time to avoid all coming at once.

If local to the area, it may be possible packs can be door step dropped between 1st-4th of December if more suitable. Please do email once contacted if this would be your preference – covers Bishopthorpe Rd, Scarcroft Rd and nearby streets and Southbank. Some drop offs on streets near New Walk on the Fulford Side also possible.

Please also keep an eye on our Facebook page for details.

You can also help support our charity work in maintaining and improving the park by becoming a member for just £5 a year. Find our more here

Goblins in Rowntree Park!

Goblins have moved into Rowntree Park this October half term! A fun family friendly ‘COVID safe’ activity to keep you all amused during the holiday.

Around the park are 10 goblin houses. Your job is to find them and work out the clues to try and help the smelliest goblin remember his name.

You download the trail sheets at home, so can do the trail any time between Sat 24th of October and Sat 31st October. There is also a map to give you clues!

We’d like to thank York Mumbler and Yorkshire Brand Stories for all their work, and also Little Green Rascals Nursery for sponsoring the event. We hope you all enjoy this fantastic halloween event!

Please remember that the Friends of Rowntree Park are all volunteers and there are no staff in the park. The cafe is run by York Explore Libraries and they will not be able to help/assist with the trail or it’s location.

Find the Trail sheet here

Find the map here

Christmas Wreath Making Rowntree Park York

Get festive with the Friends!

For the last few years, the Friends of Rowntree park have run Christmas wreath making workshops. The events have run at the cafe and involve the opportunity to work with friends to create your own wreath made from foliage foraged from the park and local area. This is always a popular event and sells out fast. It’s a lovely community activity and also raises some money for our charity.

This year, we have reviewed the situation with regard to COVID and we have opted not to run a workshop, we don’t feel it’s the sensible option. But the good news is that we will be offering ‘take away’ wreath kits.

With your take away wreath kit, you can opt either to take home and craft in the warmth with Christmas music blaring, OR arrange to meet some friends in the park – hijack a table in the railed gardens, head to the log story circle or bring a picnic blanket and craft outside in your own space in the park. Stick on the thermals and pack that thermos with coffee or mulled wine. Enjoy crafting in nature – brilliant for your health and wellbeing. Obviously in no more than groups of 6 in line with the current guidelines!

Wreath making kits

Wreath kits will include everything you need to create your own fantastic Christmas wreath. Available on Saturday 5th of December:

What is included:
Willow Base
Range of fresh foliage (such as pine, ivy, holly & bay)
Cinnamon Sticks
Dried oranges
Ribbon & Raffia
String and wire

What is not provided:
Artist flair!

Wreath packs will be available to take away to the location of your choice, on Saturday 5th of December between 10am-12pm from the park. We will send details of an approximate time slot and the location for your pick up. Our aim is to not have all come at once. We have a limited number of 30 packs available.

Members (Friends of Rowntree Park) – £13.00 – book
Non Members – £15 – book

UPDATE – All kits sold out in just a couple of hours.
At this stage we cannot confirm if we can add even more, but will update early November if able.

Buy your tickets online. Paypal will send a receipt and we will aim to send further details nearer the time.

All profit goes back into our volunteers work in helping maintain and improve Rowntree Park for the community.

If you’d like to find out about becoming a Friend of Rowntree Park and supporting our charity for just £5 a year, you can find out more here:

Christmas Wreath Making Rowntree Park York

Any questions about to event – then contact us at

Home Education Sessions – Forest School

Calling all you Nature Ninjas!

Let’s go wild in the woods with our Forest School sessions aimed at
Home Educated children.

Now starting monthly sessions running on Friday afternoons. The first session:
Friday 23rd October 2020 12.15pm-2.15pm

UPDATE: Session sold out in 4 hours. There will be further sessions each month. Details will come via FB or email to go on a mailing list to be the first to hear.

Campfire and cooking…

Each sessions starts by the kids cooking their lunch outdoors!

Activities for each session include a range of bushcraft skills. Example activities include:
-Wood work – creating items from natural materials using a range of tools
-Willow weaving
-Foraging and campfire cooking
….and more!

Activities are influenced by the seasons and weather, but we make the most of the amazing outdoors and being at one with nature!
Places are strictly limited to 15 children.
£10 per child a session – SOLD OUT
£8 per child for those with more than one child attending sessions (siblings) -SOLD OUT
(buy one full-price ticket and each additional child gets the discount ticket)

NB: Parent supervision is required. There are a minimum number of parents required at a session, please contact Christine to discuss –

COVID: We have clear number limits and safety precautions in place.

About Rowntree Park Forest School?

It is so important for children, and adults, to spend time outdoors in nature. Forest school is more than just sessions outdoors.  It is a specialised approach that is learner centred and aims to promote the holistic development of the child.  Through hands-on practical learning, Forest school fosters resilience, confidence, self-esteem, independence and creativity and encourages children to take risks within a supportive learning environment set within nature.

Magical moments being nurtured in nature

Rowntree Park Forest School sessions are themed around a nature topic but essentially child-led so they will evolve naturally according to individual children’s interests and abilities.  All sessions are run by our fully qualified Forest School Practitioner, Christine.

Any questions please contact Christine