Daisy Bank Pocket Park

Daisy Bank Pocket Park History
The story of the origin of Aston le Walls own Pocket Park; with photographs, minutes of meetings and much more.  Click here to view the Pocket Park history.

The Daisy Bank Pocket Park is situated to the West of the Village running parallel to Welsh Rd.  It is long and narrow with three fairly flat areas of grass which in the summer are allowed to grow, to facilitate the wild flowers that appear there.

June/July 2021
At last we were able to meet as a group on the third Sunday in April when we were able to do some more work on the area near the swings.  This has now been completed by Sue and Ralph and they were able to seed it a couple of weeks ago, so with this lovely weather recently, for growing grass that is, we are hoping we will have another area of grass to mow which will give an area near the swings that the children can use for play.

In April we also tidied up under and around all the Picnic tables and cleared the Pathways where necessary.  The mowing continues apace and I am sure Charles would welcome any help at this time of year especially.

We have not met this Month due to the inclement weather, but plan to meet on the 13th of June as the 3rd Sunday will be Fathers Day.  Please join us if you would like to help in any capacity; we meet at 10.30am.  We will probably be cutting back any vegetation encroaching on the pathways among other things.

Please Note:
Artist wanted to redo the Pocket Park information sign, painted board or composite panel will be provided.  Please leave a comment here if you are interested.

Apr/May 2021
We still haven’t been able to meet as a group.  Hopefully this will change this Month and we will be able to meet on the third Sunday in April.  The Volunteers have been keeping an eye on the Park as individuals, and as the weather gets a little warmer the Grass is beginning to grow.  Although the last report I had was that it was still a little wet in some parts.

It was lovely that some of the children from the School were able to Visit the Park the other day, I hope that they enjoyed themselves.

The Snowdrops that are planted through the copse to the side of the entry path have come and gone but there are Primroses, Dog Violets and the odd Cowslip to replace them. There also daffodils in bloom by the Brook and along with the Blackthorn Blossom the trees are coming into leaf.

We are still looking for volunteers to join us either occasionally or regularly, 10.30 am, usually the third Sunday of every month when Covid Rules permit.

We could also do with help with the mowing soon and that can be done at any time, just get in touch with Charles Lees on 07971 141956.

Feb/Mar 2021
We have been unable to meet as a group for some time now, however we Volunteers have been keeping an eye on the Park as individuals, all I can really report at the moment is that like everywhere else it is very wet!

Hopefully soon the Snowdrops that are planted through the copse to the side of the entry path will be in flower followed by the primroses and celandines.  The catkins on the Hazel have been there for a while.  It won’t be long before the trees will start to come into bud and the Grass start to grow!

We are still looking for volunteers to join us, either occasionally or regularly, 10.30 am usually the third Sunday of every month when Covid Rules permit.

We could also do with help with the mowing soon, and that can be done at any time, just get in touch with Charles Lees on 660502.

Nov 2020/Jan 2021
Since the last report we had a lovely bonfire at the October session, burnt all the hedge clippings and other wood from other tree trimming.  This month some volunteers have cleared the ditch a little to allow water to run into the Pond.  This time of year the Park looks after itself to a large extent, although we check that everything is OK on a regular basis.

We are still looking for volunteers to join us either occasionally or regularly 10.30 am usually the third Sunday of every month.

We could also do with help with the mowing and that can be done at any time, just get in touch with Charles Lees on 07971141956.

Oct/Nov 2020
Over the last two months our small band of Volunteers have managed to keep the grass mown in spite of a very temperamental mower.  If anyone has a mulch mower lying around doing nothing we would be pleased to hear from you. 

All the Meadows have now been mowed and the grass raked off over the last months.  Last weekend we have trimmed the hedge that was laid a couple of years ago and pulled all the cuttings into one place.  Then we had a nice Socially Distanced coffee and chat in the sunshine.  It has been a lot of effort over the last couple of months but the reward is the Park is looking lovely at the this time of year with views over the countryside especially now the hedge has been trimmed

We are still looking for volunteers to join us either occasionally or regularly, 10.30 am, usually the third Sunday of every month.

We could also do with help with the mowing and that can be done at any time, just get in touch with Charles Lees on 07971141956.

Covid 19
The Parish Council and Pocket Park Management hope you are enjoying the Pocket Park.

We will continue to mow the paths and play areas and let the Meadows flourish.

We have attempted to keep all safe and meet Government guidelines with regard to the swings.  Unfortunately a person or persons unknown to us has cut the padlocks used to secure the swings. So now the swings are free. Regretfully the onus now has to fall on parents to keep themselves and their children safe.
Whilst in the Park please maintain your social distancing as per Government guidelines.

Aug/Sept 2020
Over the last two months our small band of Volunteers have managed to keep the grass mown in spite of a very temperamental   mower. If anyone has a mulch mower lying around doing nothing we would be pleased to hear from you. 

We managed to all meet up for the third Sunday in July and enjoyed a coffee and chat, at a safe distance of course along, with digging up more nettles and blackberries and making the Willow by the pond safe.

It was decided to mow the top and bottom Meadows which Charles did that week with the Allen Scythe and last Sunday it was raked off and later re mowed.

This all takes a lot of effort and we really do need some younger people to step up and help even if you could only manage the odd Sunday morning especially in the summer. We know people have very busy lives but a few hours here and there would really help.

We could also do with help with the mowing and that can be done at any time just get in touch with Charles Lees on 0791141956.

June/July 2020
We have been unable, as Volunteers to have our normal get togethers in the Park because of the ongoing situation; however the Volunteers have been individually taking care of the mowing, maintenance and pruning.  This has allowed, we hope, easy access for the Villagers on their walks and/or daily exercise.

The Cow parsley has been in full bloom and many other Wild Flowers and by the amount of Blossom on the Apple trees we may have a good crop this year.

Hopefully we will all be able to get back together soon and enjoy the company, as we keep the Park safe for everyone.

Please check the Village website and Facebook for any further news, in the hopefully, not too distant future.

April/May 2020
Please note that due to the current situation regarding Coronavirus, the play swings are now closed. Please do not let your children use them.

To protect the health of everyone, please ensure that the social distancing 2 metre spacing is maintained during the use of the Park.

We were unable to do much down the Park as a Group since our last visit in February where we cleared an area near the swings of Brambles, as on our designated day it poured with rain.  As the Park was already a bit soggy, it was decided to cancel it.  We were hoping to get some of the bramble roots out to prevent re-growth.  We will carry on with this and other tidying as soon as we can.  Please check the Village Facebook page for the latest information.

There is a mown path all around the park which has had its first mow of the year thanks to Charles and the “trusty” Pocket Park mower.

The mixed Hedgerows and Mature trees such as Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Ash, Oak, Guelder Rose etc are coming into leaf.

The Park is maintained by a small group of Volunteers who meet once a month, usually the third Sunday in the month at 10.30am for about an hour and a half, where we spend the time keeping the Park a safe and pleasant place to be for all who wish to use it, this usually includes mowing, weeding, cutting back etc, NO previous experience required! So if you would like to join us please contact:-

Charles Lees 07971 141 956 or csalees@btinternet.com

or just wander down to meet us.

May I remind everyone if you take your Dog down the Park please keep them on a lead and

PICK UP THEIR POO.

Daisy Bank Pocket Park Feb/Mar 2020
The team of Volunteers who maintain this area met down the Park on Sunday the 19th of January.  The Snowdrops are beginning to appear and will be looking their best in the next couple of weeks.  The paths are walkable and clear.  We have plans for tidying a couple of areas on Sunday Feb 16th when we next meet.

The Daisy Bank Pocket Park is situated to the West of the Village running parallel to Welsh Rd.  It is long and narrow with three fairly flat areas of grass, which in the summer are allowed to grow to facilitate the wild flowers, some of which have been planted by previous volunteers.

There is a mown path all around the park and the whole Park is surrounded by mixed Hedgerows and Mature trees such as Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Ash, Oak, Guelder Rose etc and of course as it is a wild area, lots of Brambles.  There are places to just sit, tables and benches for picnics, swings for the children and at the moment, as we have cut and raked the grass in the last month, lots of areas for children to run around in.

The Park is maintained by a small group of Volunteers who meet once a month (usually the third Sunday in the month) at 10.30am for about an hour and a half, where we spend the time keeping the Park a safe and pleasant place to be for all who wish to use it, this usually includes mowing, weeding, cutting back etc, NO previous experience required!  

Daisy Bank Pocket Park Dec 2019/Jan 2020
Nov 24th 2019

The Daisy Bank Pocket Park is situated to the West of the Village running parallel to Welsh Rd, from the 30m sign to Wash-brook Farm towards Lower Boddington. It is long and narrow with three fairly flat areas of grass, which in the summer are allowed to grow to facilitate the wild flowers, some that have been planted by previous volunteers appear at various times through the season.

There is a mown path all around the park and the whole Park is surrounded by mixed Hedgerows and Mature trees such as Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Ash, Oak, Guelder Rose etc and of course as it is wild area, lots of Brambles. There are places to just sit, tables and benches for picnics, swings for the children and at the moment, as we have cut and raked the grass in the last month, lots of areas for children to run around in.

The Park is maintained by a small group of Volunteers who meet once a month, usually the third Sunday in the month at 10.30am for about an hour and a half, where we spend the time keeping the Park a safe and pleasant place to be for all who wish to use it. This usually includes mowing, weeding, cutting back etc, NO previous experience required! so if you would like to join us please contact:-
Charles Lees 07971 141 956 or csalees@btinternet.com

Or just come down and join us when you can. Our next meeting will be Jan 19th 2020 and there will be Coffee and biscuits too!! At the moment the Park is a bit damp but all the paths are walkable so feel free to explore.

Daisy Bank Pocket Park Oct/Nov 2019
Sue and Tim Ball, who recently left the village to be nearer family, have, through a lot of hard work, organisation and not least mowing, given the village the Pocket Park we are all able to enjoy today.

I hope to be able to continue their good work with the small group of current volunteers (6). It would be very helpful if anyone else could help us keep the park in such good order for all to enjoy.

We meet in the Park once a month, normally a Sunday morning for 1.5 hours only. Tea and Biscuits after.  However other times can be agreed.

I am putting together a mowing rota and have currently 5 offers of help, it takes about 1.5 hours to mow all areas, every 10 to 14 days in the growing season, could you help too?  The Pocket Park has its own Mulching Mower.

Please contact:- Charles Lees 07971 141 956 or csalees@btinternet.com

Daisy Bank Pocket Park Summer 2019
Did you identify our famous visitor on the scarecrow weekend – we were really excited to have Michaela Strachan from BBC Spring Watch enjoying the views towards the Dassett hills!

We’ve been working hard on the park over the past few months so hope you will find some time to enjoy it over the summer. You can sit and enjoy some time out of your busy life with views over the countryside and the setting sun if you make an evening visit. There are picnic tables and benches with swings, meadow ‘tunnels’ and mown areas large enough for football and cricket for children to enjoy.

After a worrying period of time when we were unsure of the future of the pocket park (as we are moving away), Tim and I are really pleased to let everyone know that we have several new volunteers for path mowing. If the paths were not mown, access to the rest of the park would be lost so we say a big ‘thank you’ to these new people for coming forward.  If you are interested in helping out with this regular task and would like to find out more please contact Charles Lees at Lavender Cottage, Main Street, csalees@btinternet.com.  We’re also relieved to let you know that Charles has agreed to take on the role of Coordinator for the pocket park – at least in the short term – and the existing volunteers have also said that they are happy to continue helping to keep the park as lovely as it is now for everyone in the village and further afield to enjoy.  The program of maintenance and management of this wildlife area will re-commence in September.

Please check the Aston le Walls Facebook page and this website for dates, and let us know if you would like to help with the management or if you have any suggestions for improvements contact Sue & Tim Ball 660489 or Charles Lees 07971 141956.

Daisy Bank Pocket Park May 2019
We’ve been working hard on the park over the past few months so hope you will find some time to enjoy it over the summer. You can sit and enjoy some time out of your busy life with views over the countryside, and the setting sun if you make an evening visit. There are picnic tables and benches; a pond and swings, flowering meadows and mown areas large enough for football and cricket for children to enjoy. One improvement that has been made is the installation of a handmade finger post sign that has been placed at the western edge of the park to encourage walkers to use the path through the park to the village rather than the road. We have another tidying session in the park on Sunday 16 June 10.30am with coffee and biscuits around 12noon. If you’d like to join us please come along and bring gardening gloves, secateurs and shears if you have them. Please check the village Facebook page or astonlewalls.org website for future dates and let us know if you would like to help with the management or if you have any suggestions for improvements. We. You can use the website to make suggestions or contact Sue & Tim Ball 660489

Pocket Park Report for Apr/May 2019
The regular volunteers have been hard at work over the past three months. We have cut back hedges and brambles; removed dead trees and cut the grass so the park is looking at its best. We hope you will visit over the Easter break and after. You can spot primroses and maybe some late daffodils in the wooded areas and banks, and all sorts of wild birds on the bird feeders and in the trees. Parents are encouraged to bring their children so that they can enjoy being outside playing in and exploring the park. The Pocket Park is a ‘managed’ environment; which without regular maintenance would quickly become overgrown with nettles, brambles and Blackthorn making access impossible. We would really appreciate your help with this! Local resident, Tim Ball continues to mow (with the pocket park mower) the paths about every 10 days or so during the growing season. If you could offer to help with this, we’d like to hear from you. The next tidy up will be on Sunday, 28th April, 10.30 in the park. Please feel free to talk to any of us for more information or to call myself or Tim.
Sue & Tim Ball 660489 Susan Kennedy; Sue & Ralph Clayton, Charles Lees (Parish Council).

Pocket Park Report for Feb/March 2019
If you are visiting over the coming weeks you should be able to enjoy the displays of Snowdrops and native narcissus. Soon to come into flower will be primroses, with clumps of foliage appearing along the woodland path showing where the spathes of the Lords and Ladies will be. The pocket park is a ‘managed’ environment. If it was left completely alone the brambles & nettles would grow wild, followed by the blackthorn.  Very quickly it would be impossible to walk along the paths to see the flowers and hear the birds.  Currently five volunteers meet about once a month to keep the paths clear, build homes for local bugs and have a bit of fun in the fresh air.  If you would like to join us please come along on Sunday 24th February 10.30.  An on-going project in the park is to clear dead wood from the wooded areas on both sides of the pathway from the Welsh Road to the top meadow.  This will allow more light into this area which should encourage the growth of a more interesting range of plants including the native wild flowers that have been planted over the past few years.  We’re also creating log piles to create homes for bugs and reptiles.  We made a good start on this during our work session in November last year and will continue in January and February 2019.  All this effort will hopefully culminate in a big bonfire in early March.

Sue & Tim 660489; Susan (Butlers Close); Sue & Ralph (Plowden Close), Charles (Main Street)

Preparing for the big bonfire!

Pocket Park Report for Dec/Jan 2018/19
We continue to maintain the park through the winter months, weather permitting – our next session will be in January 2019. The park is there for all to enjoy – we just ask that you keep your dog on a lead and ‘Poop scoop’ and take any litter home with you.

The site is very sheltered with lovely views to the west. There are several picnic benches and seats together with swings for the children to enjoy. This is quite a peaceful and secluded ‘wild’ area where anyone can go to take time out from the busy lives we all seem to live, and where children can run about in a safe environment.

We usually meet in the park on the third Sunday of the month at 10.30 for maintenance followed by coffee and biscuits, but sometimes this can change so look at the astonlewalls.org website for updates or phone us.

Contacts: Sue & Tim Ball 660489

Hedge Trimming November 2018

Pocket Park Report for October/November 2018

We continue to maintain the park through the autumn and winter months, weather permitting.  The park is there for all to enjoy – we just ask that you keep your dog on a lead and ‘Poop scoop’ and take any litter home with you.  The site is very sheltered with lovely views to the west.  There are several picnic benches and seats together with swings for the children to enjoy.  This is quite a peaceful and secluded ‘wild’ area where anyone can go to take time out from the busy lives we all seem to live, and where children can run about in a safe environment.  We usually meet in the park on the third Sunday of the month at 10.30 for maintenance followed by coffee and biscuits, but sometimes this can change so look at the astonlewalls.org website for updates or phone us.  We’re looking for other people to help to look after the park – maybe you are trying to take more exercise or have an interest in the environment – come along on Sunday 21 October or contact us on 660489

Sue & Tim Ball

You can also use the website to make suggestions (Comments page)

History of the Pocket Park
The Daisy Bank project was commenced in 1993 with the park being officially opened in July 1994.  The pocket park project was instigated as it was felt that Aston le Walls had very few of the open air amenities which one almost expects to find in a rural community.  There is no village green, no playing field, no wooded areas and only a few public footpaths.  Indeed all the footpaths cross arable land or intensively farmed grassland.  Despite being a small community surrounded by countryside there was nowhere that the local people could have contact with nature.  Daisy Bank Pocket Park provides a place to enjoy the countryside and relieve some of life’s stress with some glorious views, particularly of the sunset over the Dassett hills.  It also provides a refuge for wild life from modern agriculture and the opportunity for local people to learn about and become involved in conservation and ecology, also providing a safe place for children to play.  Since the opening of the Pocket Park many improvements have been made by volunteers including laying of stone paths, creation of steps and pond and planting of the new hedge together with many native trees, shrubs and flowering plants.  There are picnic tables and benches, a pond and swings, flowering meadows and mown areas large enough for football and cricket for children to enjoy

In the early days work in the park was supported by a group of approximately 13 people; since then, despite the efforts of the management group, numbers have dwindled to 5 regulars.  Tim and I have been involved for the entirety of the project and leadership of the group has fallen to us.  Until recently we both worked full time and although able to give our time to practical work in the park have not been able to commit extra time to raising awareness within the local community and improving public engagement. (Sue Ball sbcustard@hotmail.com)

Our local WI group kindly agreed to purchase a new bench for the park to replace the one that was given to the park around 23 years ago and was showing signs of rotting.  The new bench is made of recycled plastic and was installed in the top meadow in January.

Feedback and Ongoing Improvements
If you would like to help with the management of the Park or if you have any suggestions for improvements, you can use the website to make suggestions or contact Sue & Tim Ball 660489.

Some interesting feedback was received as a result of the survey sent out in the autumn last year, together with two new volunteers to help with practical work in the park.  Hopefully the results will be published in full soon. You can always contact me using my email address if you have any suggestions of ways to improve the park.

We would like to look at updating and adding to the children’s play equipment in the Pocket Park particularly as we know there is some interest in this within the village. We’d love to hear from anyone who might be able to help us with this; whether it is with practical skills or maybe with applying for grants.

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