We knew that the wildlife pond was going into an area of the park that had been used as a dump. After about 20cm of top soil, we were into a layer of dumped domestic debris – bottles, jars, bits of twisted metal, part of a doll’s face, even a chunk of hymn book. Most of this is clearly of 20th century date, and we’re hoping that local people will be able to tell us their memories of some of the evocative-sounding brands.
A lot of the debris were glass bottles and jars, many of which were at least complete enough to see what they had been used for. The brands discovered are from local firms from York, Selby and Hull, as well as more well-known firms such as Heinz.
On Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th November 2011, we created a new wildlife pond in Butcher Terrace Field. Rachel Simpson (the Park Ranger) had spent hours finding all the resources that we’d need, and discussing utilities, diggers and other matters with all and sundry, and the Friends had got the funding from the York Community Pride Challenge Fund (administered by the Two Ridings Community Foundation).
Richard the digger driver quickly created a big hole.
He also shaped the bank which the tansy plants are going to be planted, so that tansy beetles have a suitable potential home.
The following day, a group of Aviva workers came on a team-building day out, and helped us shape the pond, line it with carpet and underlay, and then the pond liner itself. It was tiring work, especially for people who are normally indoors all day, but the group were very cheerful and hardworking throughout.
The end result we hope will delight both wildlife and humans …
At the AGM in October 2011, it was agreed to put the subscriptions up to £5 a year, per household. This was mainly because the costs of producing and circulating paper copies of newsletters had increased.
The autumn leaf colours have been fabulous over the last couple of weeks, but several trees have also needed attention from the tree surgeons, to make them safe. The most noticeable was the large horse chestnut near the tennis courts, after a large branch fell onto the tennis courts during high winds. This tree has now been reduced down to a tall stump, with the hope that this will re-sprout, and so not need complete removal. However, this is one of the bigger, more mature trees, many of which are suffering from various diseases, and so we can only hope for the best! Many thanks to the tree surgeons who left a pile of wood chips for use in the wildlife area.
The Friends received a £2000 grant from the York Community Pride Challenge Fun, adminstered by Two Ridings Community Foundation, to make a pond, as part of our work to enhance the wildlife potential of the park (including making space for tansy beetles). We’re working hard with the Park Rangers and other council staff to make our plans and more information will appear here soon. We hope to break ground in November 2011, probably 23rd/24th, and will need lots of help to get the work done!
The first post to try out this blog is about our wonderful NEW BOOK!
Stories, memories and copious photos about the history of Rowntree Park, from the beginnings right up to the current day. Written by Chris and John Dowell, based on their research, and on interviews with many park-users. Available at the Pig and Pastry (Bishopthorpe Road) or from Naomi Whittaker, 104 Bishopthorpe Road, York YO23 1JX (635278) firstname.lastname@example.org
£12 per copy. Only £10 per copy for members of Friends of Rowntree Park (via Naomi only) – yet another good reason to join the Friends! (£2 postage and package, if required)