Back in Manor Park working with the community to make our lovely space that little bit nicer….
The weather forecast was looking good for our February Volunteer Morning, and it didn’t disappoint. Saturday 5th February started bright and brisk.
The Friends team set up the gazebo and he tea station just after 9am. Always nice to see the team and catch-up.
The gloves, gardening tools, litter-picks, wheel-barrows were lined up and ready. Fiona was poised with the council’s design plans for the playground, which we were hoping to show to the park users.
By 10am a group of about 30 volunteers had appeared, which included many of our regulars, and was bolstered by the presence of 4 prospective council candidates for the forthcoming May elections.
We ran through the tasks for the day, which included: improving the boggy areas around the path that runs parallel with the railway line, by adding word-chip; hedge planting towards the car park; widening an opening between the adult football pitches and the rear meadow; and litter-picking.
Elliot Newton, who is responsible for Kingston Council’s bio-diversity activities, joined us and amongst other things, started us off with a tool safety talk.
We then split into groups and headed off to embark on our tasks.
Fantastic progress was made. The wildlife hedge grew by another 20 metres.
The cut-through was widened. We’re trying to create clear sight-lines into the rear meadow area.
The boggy area along the pathway was filled in, helped by our uniformed friends.
The police arrived shortly after we started, and joined in with the tasks. We love it when the ward team help out. Always interesting hearing about local crime. A few good stories.
Meantime at basecamp, Annabel marshalled park users over to the gazebo to look at the playground plans and give feedback to Fiona, who’s been leading this project for the Friends team.
Tea break was at 11:30am. It’s always a great opportunity to get together to chat with our neighbours. Elliot Newton gave a talk on the wildlife in the park and the borough. The gathered children peppered him with interesting questions.
One of our local parents, Yvonna, arrived with her boys and a painted bat box they’d assembled. We mounted this in one of the trees in the Bluebell Copse. Hopefully, this will become the home to a few of our local bats. We have a good few in the park.
The final hour of the workday saw all tasks completed. We packed away the gazebo, the tools, and headed our separate ways.
A massive thank you to all our wonderful volunteers, and to Elliot Newton for supporting the event.
Our next workday is on Saturday 12th March. More information.
If you’d like to get more involved with Friends of Manor Park, please do drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Photographs courtesy of James Campbell Insta @jamesryancampbell)