Rowntree Park Lake

Bill Beaumont (York resident and friend of Rowntree Park)

(With acknowledgment and apologies to Kenneth Grahame – Wind in the Willows)

In Rowntree Park, down on the lake,

By the grass and trees so tall,

Ducks and coots are a-dabbling,

Up tails all.

Ducks and drakes and coots tails,

Pointing up toward the sky,

Their heads down underwater,

No sound, no call or cry.

Feeding as they float along,

Just where they love to be,

Heads down and tails up,

Dabbling free.

Throughout the park folk come and go,

Children run and play and fall,

And the water fowl are still a-dabbling,

Up tails all.

Through autumn, summer, winter and spring

Katy Brown

Through autumn, summer, winter and spring.

This park brings us joy, in the memories it brings.

Annie jumps in puddles, while Max counts the ducks.

Mrs B at number 6 reminisces old memories, with one of her heartfelt looks.

It’s the crunch of the leaves, the glisten of light on the pond.

It’s the adventures that await our children, which is why we are so fond.

From a child to an adult, I have walked this park.

The sounds of laughter and conversations and a new puppy’s bark.

We share it with the squirrels, the ducks and the geese.

But it’s when we see the white doves kissing, that we really find our peace.

So come sit, come natter.

We are all friends at Rowntree.

Read, eat, drink and play.

Get lost amongst life and just be.

2021 Newsletters

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.


MIND – Mental Health and Wellbeing programme in Rowntree park

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:

Mental Health and Well-Being Activities Programme- Year 5 Brochure

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: 

Enrolment Form Guidelines-Year 5

MHWAP Enrolment Form Year 5

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

Flood Defence work affects Rowntree Park

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:

York Flood Plan Newsletter here
Maps/routes here

Any questions about the flood defence work to York Flood Plan.

Clifton Green Primary School 6PM

Class 6PM

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 

Daffodils moving 

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,

Never gloomy,

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



Clifton Green Primary School 6G

Class 6G

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 

Lollipop like

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

Daniela Nunnari

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.