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)
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.