Creswell, Ashfield and Mansfield Newsletter Issue 04 Autumn 2013
Barnby Road Community Park opens
Inside this issue... page 2 Autumn Footprints Walking Festival 2013 reviewed page 3 Local Cuckney school sees completion of new garden page 4 Dry stone wall training days take place page 5 The Willow Works agricultural open day page 6 Introduction to Marion Farrell, Health Worker
The new play area and community space at Barnby Road in Newark has been officially opened to the public On 1 November, the new Barnby Road Community Park was officially unveiled to the public. Representatives from Newark & Sherwood DC and Groundwork joined members of the public and the local school to see the ribbon to the park cut. The event sees a major phase of the park’s development completed. Work to transform this unused patch of land into a green space for all to enjoy has been going on since 2010.
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Groundwork has worked in partnership with Newark & Sherwood District Council to design and implement the project. NSDC is the owner of the land and has been very active in getting the project off the ground. It is located straight opposite the Barnby Road Academy and next to a large residential area of
throughout the park.
Groundwork has worked with the local community through a seires of consultation events to prepare the final design. The Barnby Road Community Association was created as part of this process to ensure the park was created with the full involvement of the local community.
There is a large swinging climbing frame, rocking crocodile, traditional swings, tower with slide, basket swing and mini spring rockers. Seats, picnic benches and bins have also been installed around the site.
Crestra Limited was the contractor that then carried out the physical works to the site. The space is now fully grassed with planting beds and a footpath around the perimeter. Fencing, gates and paving have also be installed to improve access and security to the site. Play equipment, in a safe, contained area, has been installed. Local children have been heavily involved in the designs, with their drawings installed on signs
There is now a further plan to plant trees that will establish the park further as a green space. Speaking at the opening, Trevor Witts said: “After years of hard work, it is wonderful to see this project completed, and being fully enjoyed by local people. It will provide an excellent resource for the area for years to come.”
Wildlife pond filled by fire brigade! Early on a fine Saturday morning during the Summer, the Friends of Carr Wood and the Groundwork Conservation Volunteers gathered at Carr Wood Local Nature Reserve, Ripley, in anticipation of a visit from Derbyshire Fire Brigade who were helping to fill the, newly dug, wildlife pond, with water. Carr Wood is a popular local reserve managed on behalf of Amber Valley Borough Council, by Groundwork with the invaluable assistance of a local Friends of Group. Many hours of hard, physical work had been involved in digging out and shaping the pond, part filling with a protective sand layer and getting the heavy duty butyl liner into position.
restaurant and the volunteers stopped on into the afternoon to trim and cover the liner, shape the banks and create a small wetland area alongside the pond. Funding for the project was provided by Amber Valley Borough Council and a grant from Derbyshire County Council.
Ten enthusiastic volunteers turned up on the Saturday to complete the final preparations and then watch the fire brigade run their hoses through the wood and fill the We have since purchased aquatic and wetland plants pond with thousands of gallons of water in under an hour. and the pond is already providing a home to local wildlife, including frogs, pond skaters, water boatman and We celebrated the filling (topping up) of the pond with dragonflies. drinks and snacks provided by the local McDonalds
Annual walking festival for 2013 sees 800 people take part in walks throughout Erewash and Amber Valley.
The Walking Festival has proved to be very popular with both inexperienced and experienced walkers. The walks, led by volunteers and staff from over 20 organisations, took place in Amber Valley and Erewash. These two areas are well known for their natural beauty, superb scenery, industrial heritage and attractive towns and villages. All the walks were free of charge, and took place in areas of local heritage and natural history interest, taking walkers alongside rivers and canals as well as through towns and villages. The walks are of varying lengths and gradient, ranging in length from one mile to twelve miles, offering something for everyone no matter what their interests or abilities. They were all led by knowledgeable local people who are enthusiastic to show off their local patch.
The annual Autumn Footprints Amber Valley & Erewash Walking Festival set in the heart of picturesque Derbyshire has had over 800 people take part. This sixteen day festival ran from 14 September to 29 September 2013. It offered 39 walks of different distances, pace and themes. Most of the walk leaders are volunteers and without their enthusiasm this walking festival would not be possible. Brian Key, one of the Volunteer Walking Leaders said “I have really enjoyed leading the walks over the years and this year has been great fun even the weather has been kind to us”.
Walking Festival Co-ordinator Marion Farrell from Groundwork, said: “I am really pleased how well the festival has run this year, it is a credit to our volunteer walk leaders. The festival helps to promote our geographical area both nationally and locally and so helps to promote a sense of pride. It also helps to promote knowledge and awareness of rights of way, the countryside code and where to find electronic or printed walk leaflets. Walking in a group not only is good physical exercise but provides good mental stimulation too. We are looking forward to next year’s festival.”
Cuckney Primary School Groundwork and Crestra have helped a local school to redesign its garden area for children to learn about the environment An exciting outdoor learning space has now been completed at Cuckney Church of England Primary School.
quite uneven and was a trip hazard.
The garden was completed in time for the new autumn school term. Plans are in Designed by Groundwork place for the garden to be and constructed by Crestra, fully utilised straight away by works on the garden started the young children. over the summer of 2013. Darren Pollard, Construction Prior to the changes, the Manager, Crestra, said: area was just a small area of land, adjacent to the “We are highly delighted school’s main entrance, that to help a school local to wasn’t really practical for our organisation achieve use with young children. its ambitions in upgrading its garden into a fully It has now been developed functioning and practical into an outdoor classroom.
outdoor classroom. The hard work now begins as the children start to grow and tend to the garden hopefully reaping the rewards in months and years to come.” Outdoor classroom areas prove to be very popular with teachers and children alike. Groundwork has carried out other projects of a similar nature in the past. The outdoor element adds an extra dimension to teaching and learning a range of different subjects.
It now boasts a wooden gazebo area for shelter from the weather, raised beds for growing (one per class) and a wild garden. Access to the pond has been improved. A new shed is also now in place for storage of basic gardening items such as seeds and trowels.
Learning about local heritage
A range of learning opportunities are offered for all ages at The Willow Works
lllRotherham Show Groundwork finished its events prgramme for the summer at the Rotherham Show over the weekend of 7th and 8th September 2013. Clifton Park was the setting for the councilrun annual event. The team was there showing what work Groundwork has been carrying out in Rotherham and what services can be offered. The weather was decent and plenty of visitors passed by. lllBolsover Depot Groundwork has taken up a new lease with Bolsover District Council to rent its Old Depot site in the town. Once opened, the building will be used to deliver training programmes to young people and adults alike. The building has been empty since 2009 and is currently undergoing a re-fit before it opens later in the year. The space is also large enough for other organisations to rent. Any interested should contact Groundwork for info.
The raised decking has improved the use of the site as previously it was
On 29 October, young people attended a heritage event at The Willow Works. The day was arranged by Groundwork with help from the Beckingham and Saundby Local History Group. Freda Proudley led proceedings with a lesson on the history of the building, the surrounding area the importance of willow. Young people had the chance to see willow growing in its natural habitat. They also had a go at preparing willow for weaving using traditional methods. Maddy Holroyd from Groundwork said: “The day was a great success with the young people really interested in the activities provided - it is a great way of teaching younger generations about our
past heritage.” The Willow Works is an excellent site to use for a range of learning activities. The facilities are ideal to use as a base for offering training programmes and workshops. The building itself and the surrounding gardens offer a multitude of educational opportunities. The local history group has been heavily involved in developing resources based on the heritage of the local area. A range of educational packs are available for education leaders to use. See www. thewillowworks.co.uk for further details.
Dry stone wall training
Groundwork arranges free sessions for interested participants On four Thursday’s during July and August, Groundwork was responsible for arranging dry stone walling training days. Attended by Groundwork’s Gary Wain, the day made for a very interesting, enjoyable and informative day out on the traditional countryside craft of dry stone walling.
Crestra about to start major road works programme in Derby Crestra is about to commence on a major new project for Derby City Homes on Harvey Road in Derby. The road is a major highway into the city and is lined with large, semi-detatched properties that are set back from the road. To ensure that the tree-lined street is free from unwarrented parking, a new set of posts and barriers are going to be installed. In the first instance, the exisiting timber posts and concrete mowing strips will have to be removed. Then, over 1,500 new ductile iron posts will be installed, along with 3000 metres of railing. New concrete mowing strips will also be installed to allow the council access to the greens. Crestra has been working with the post manufacturers, Broxap, to design a specification for a better post. Normally, the bollards weigh 30 kgs but this has been brought down to 22 kgs. This makes the posts better for handling and brings the costs down too, without altering the durability of the post. As the post has been made to a new design, they are currently under production and are due to be delivered imminently. Preliminary works are already underway with mini diggers arriving on site to begin the land excavations. The project is expected to be completed by the end of February 2014. Teresa Allison, Crestra Quantity Surveyor, said:“This has been an exciting project to be involved in as we have had the chance to be involved in designing the specification of a product, that we will then use. It is an attractive road and the project will aid the aesthetics of the area.”
The days were arranged at the Wellfields Allotment site in Matlock and were attended by members of the Denefields Rangers, the Wellfields Allotment Association and several other regular conservation volunteers. Dry stone walls, built without any cement, are popular in Britain and can be traced back thousands of years. They are often found where trees and hedges do not easily grow because of the climate. Now they are popular throughout the UK on landscaping and gardening projects. The excellent training was led by Sally Hodgson, an experienced trainer who holds the Dry Stone Wallers Association Master Craftsman Certificate. The funding for the training was part of a Lottery Awards for All grant, secured for a larger project at the allotment site. The training was enjoyed by an overall total of 21 different people with an average daily attendance over the four sessions of nine people. It is now hoped that the newly acquired skills will be used on slowly rebuilding the many damaged dry stone walls around the popular allotment site. This will make the site safer and more secure, while also improving the looks of the area.
Derbyshire ROW work Groundwork is working in three separate areas with various groups to improve the rights of way network in Derbyshire as part of a service level agreement with Derbyshire County Council (DCC). (Part of this work is match funded with the National Forest). Marion Farrell is working with a new fledgling volunteer footpath group in Overseal in South Derbyshire. Some members are from a Walking for Health group who had become disheartened that several of their friends could not get over the high stiles and some of the paths were impassable. In response to this, DCC saw the potential to encourage this group of people to take ownership of the problem and asked Groundwork to work closely with the group to organise action days. Starting in August, the first wicket gate was installed, (a great improvement on the previously high rickety stile) and 65 metres of footpath were cleared. One of the footpaths was completely impassable with vegetation, now it provides a good link to the neighbouring village, Netherseal. Richard Fletcher is working on the project at Poulter Country Park, his role is to build up a new volunteer group based in the park and set up action days. The project is going well and he has got a regular group of people involved carrying out woodland thinning and footpath
work. He is working closely with the rangers on site. See photo above. The third area is in the High Peak. Groundwork is currently recruiting volunteers and has only just been given a list of stiles which need replacing with wicket gates. DCC’s access policy is to encourage as many people to get out and enjoy the footpaths and bridleways. Where possible we replace a rickety stile with either a “gap” (ie no furniture, nothing) or a wicket gate so that access is improved. An old stile will only be replaced with a new stile at landowner’s request, if he /she has cattle. We are working closely with the rights of way staff and are enjoying working with enthusiastic volunteers on this project.
The Willow Works Agricultural Open Day
Uniform for Volunteer Rangers
Beckingham and Saundby local history group had a good day for its annual open day, held at The Willow Works on 14 September. The theme this year was ‘local agriculture’ and lots of displays covered both floors of the building as well as displays outside. The event also saw visitors getting a first taste of the Community Garden as the overspill parking was opened and people could walk through the garden. There was a chance for visitors to take part in willow weaving, with
many making baskets. Willow production is what the building was originally created for in its industrial past. Hundreds of willow plants have been put in the new community garden with a view to using them for educational, training and leisure purposes. Old tractors were on display in the car park, along with tools that would have been used to farm the land in the past. It was an interesting day out for all the family. Even an excellent range of food and drinks were provided.
Groundwork recently attended a presentation ceremony with the Matlock Derwent Valley Lions to accept new T-Shirts and fleeces, as a uniform, for the Denefields Volunteer Rangers. Every Thursday, Groundwork works with the Denefields Rangers on a number of Nature Reserves in and around Matlock, utilising a service level agreement with Matlock Town Council. Work has also been carried out on a number of projects, with the Matlock Lions in the past; they thought that it would be nice to provide the rangers with branded clothing. Funding for the uniform was provided by reserves and a grant from Matlock Town Council. The photograph, shows Colin Turnbull, the Lions President, presenting the new uniform to Gary Wain of Groundwork.
Groundwork staff spotlight: Marion Farrell, Health Coordinator How did you come to work for Groundwork and when did you start? I started as a volunteer in April 1996 originally as a three week placement as part of a course on countryside management. Once the course finished, I continued to volunteer at Groundwork and in November 1996 was lucky enough to get the job of Environmental Projects Officer. What does your job involve? My role is now as a Healthier LIfestyles Co-ordinator which includes overseeing the projects funded through NHS. These are cooking on a budget courses for adults in Erewash who are referred by health professionals on to the course. Also working with local schools to encourage gardening (healthy exercise) and make the link also with healthy eating. I attend local health forums and apply for funding. Other projects, linked with health, include co-ordinating the Autumn Footprints Walking Festival in boroughs of Amber Valley and Erewash. This is an annual festival which takes place in September. I help to deliver rights of way work as part of the service level agreement with Derbyshire County Council. I am
working with a new footpath volunteer group in Overseal in South Derbyshire (since August) - we have installed our first wicket gate and have cleared undergrowth along 65 metres. I am helping to promote a new rights of way group in High Peak alongside my colleague Richard Fletcher. I am also working with the National Forest to install the waymarking posts and repair stiles with volunteers along a new National Forest Way, a long distance trail which is due to open next May. Another part of the work for the National Forest is to support eight community groups in the National Forest by making an audit of their current activity and skill levels and then deliver workshops to increase their ability to progress with their projects. What is your favourite part of the job? I really enjoy the direct work with local community groups and find it great fun working with volunteers. It is lovely to see the difference that can be made. What do you hope to do in the future? I hope to continue to have a varied job - a good mix of project work which builds on my experience of working with volunteers, my knowledge of rights of way and management of nature reserves. What do you like to do outside of work? I enjoy walking my dog in the countryside, playing badminton, gardening, visting nature reserves and seeing wildlife and singing.
Key Groundwork contacts... Trevor Witts Executive Director GCAM/ Crestra Ltd Specific enquiries to: Darren Pollard Construction, housing and landscape Ian Stimpson Development and community Caralynn Gale Education, training and skills
groundwork-creswell.org.uk crestra.co.uk crestrasolar.co.uk thewillowworks.co.uk
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