Parks provide local communities with somewhere green, somewhere to play, to experience sport, to walk, run, exercise, and socialise. They can become a focal point for a local community.
They also play their part in the health of local environment with the potential to enhance bio-diversity.
With local councils experiencing reduced budgets the quality of our parks can suffer. Thankfully communities are looking inward for solutions. They are increasingly organising to look after themselves….and their green spaces.
Friends of Manor Park
Friends of Manor Park was set up in the summer of 2017, by a group of local residents to protect and improve Manor Park for the whole community. Friends of Manor Park may have started with small steps….but its ambition is to make the park something the community can be proud of.
A park for the local community
We aim to ensure that the interests of the broader local community are put first where decisions about the future of the park are concerned.
We want to ensure that our park can fulfill its potential as a place to:
- Take part in sport
- Enjoy nature
We also see our role as dealing with issues negatively affecting the park – such as the privately owned area of wasteland and by the railway bridge, anti-social behavior, or maintenance problems. We will work with the relevant stakeholders to try to get these resolved. More information on troubleshooting.
Promoting the park
We want the community to make the most of Manor Park – promoting the park is an important part in this process. We run an active Facebook group, and send regular emails to our members, and have recently launched this website.
We work to improve the park by raising funds for initiatives, and organising volunteer activities. Our current efforts involve improving the natural spaces, and the childrens’ play facilities. Also on our future agenda is upgrading the pathways in and around the park. More about our work.
Our first volunteer day in October 2017 had nearly 60 local residents helping out picking litter, clearing back overgrowth around our seasonal pond, and restoring an area of wooded copse. The latter was subsequently planted up with 2,500 bluebells.
We’re now working to a schedule of conservation activity for 2018, and we’ve initiated an exciting project to improve the play facilities.
The Friends group is run by a small committee of volunteers from the local community:
- Simeon Linstead – Chair
- Nilesh Methra – Treasurer
- Fiona Sowell – Secretary, Events manager, and Play Project co-ordinator
- Chris Newman – Plough Pond Development co-ordinator
If you’d like to get involved in the Friends group in any way – whether joining in at one of our volunteer mornings, helping with a fundraising project, or as part of the committee we’d love to hear from you. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org
We received seed funding from Kingston Council, and have received a couple of further discretionary payments recently. We have been extensively supported by the Environment Trust, a local charity, who have been instrumental in helping us set up our conservation activities, in particular by Elliot Newton. Idverde, the park contractor, has been very supportive of our work. We’ve also been well supported by local residents and local businesses. See Our Supporters page for a full list of supporters.
If you run a business and would like to work with us please visit our Corporate Involvement page.
Friends of Manor Park is an association of its members. If you’d like to become a Friend – you can do so simply by filling in a form on this website. There is a small annual subscription, which is used to help run the Friends group, and our activities. Join now.