The Rock Garden volunteers

volunteers

The photo shows from the left, Alison Anastasia Hugh and Trixie.

Here are the volunteers who work hard in the Rock Garden every Wednesday from 10am to 1pm. The volunteer group was started around four years ago with Trixie as the founder member. After several short-term volunteers Anastasia joined the group then Alison and finally, last year, Hugh joined the volunteers.

Andy Jeavons, the garden Manager, says ‘The garden wouldn’t be a fraction of what it is now without their help. Although much of the work involves weeding, the volunteers enjoy planting many of the spring bulbs and herbaceous perennials, edging up the beds and screes and even decorating the chalet on wet days.’

The volunteer also have occasional visits to gardens. Outings have included RHS Wisley, Denmans, The Prairie Gardens, Parham House and Great Dixter.
Andy says ‘A huge thank you to the Rockery’s unsung heroes.’ And we second his appreciation.

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Spotlight on the Harvest Garden

harvest garden

That’s the veggie garden area near the Rotunda, also called the demo garden. We thought you’d like to know a bit more about the area and the volunteers that work it so we asked Caroline Whiteman, volunteer co-ordinators, a few questions:

Q. When and how did the garden start?

It started in March 2010 with just 4 raised beds and a few containers. The Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, which is a local non-profit registered charity, asked the council for permission to build a demo garden in the park as a flagship for their ‘Harvest’ project. The project was aimed to promote food growing in the city. Many local volunteers helped to build it and continue to maintain it.

Q. There have been changes to the garden, tell us more about that.

This year the garden has doubled in size so we’re able to demonstrate perennial planting. Fruit bushes, trees, vines and herbs have been included. And the larger area enables wheelchair access to allow involvement by those with limited mobility.

Q. Are there opportunities for new volunteers?

The popularity of the garden means that we’re currently not taking on new volunteers. However there are around 70 community growing projects in the city, many of which would welcome new volunteers. For more info contact jo@bhfood.org or visit www.bhfood.org.uk or call 01273 431700.

Q. Where does the Demo veggie garden fit in with the wider Brighton Food Partnership?

The partnership works on all aspects of food: helping people learn to cook, eat a healthy diet, grow their own food and waste less food. This garden is still the flagship project but it’s also a great way to start a conversation about cooking, composting, volunteering or other fun food activities in which people can get involved around the city.

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Update on parking monies

Here’s the latest news from our Chair:

We have recently met with the council to discuss how the surplus parking monies have been spent this year, and what the plans are for the future.
So far this year, money has been spent on installing a new artificial cricket wicket and making improvements and repairs to the fencing around the cycling track. This spend was approved through a public consultation exercise this time last year. However, the proposed repairs to the flint walls around the cycle track have been deferred because a better understanding of the costs and benefits of this work needs to be established.

The parking scheme is currently producing an estimated surplus of about £37k per year and the good news is that by the end of this financial year (March 2015) there could be around £59k available for projects and improvements in the park.

As you might imagine, there are many competing demands making a call on this money, including the need to make some repairs to the toilets adjacent to the two cafes. The Councils Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee will consider using some of the surplus to fund these repairs. The council committee will make a decision on 7 October.

Looking to the future, the council plan to prioritise projects in the park. The council is keen to develop a 5-year ‘masterplan’ for the park, to help inform the priorities and this is an idea that we broadly welcome. This is still in the very early stages so we don’t know yet what projects will be included, or how public consultation will take place. Officers from the Parks Department are keen to work closely with us on the development of the masterplan and consultation. We will let you know more as the detail emerges.

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Brighton Pride – Public Meeting

pride_poster

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Parking in the park

Many of you have been in touch to express dismay to see cars in the park – and the problem seems to have grown. (No cars should be in the park except for blue badge-holders who can park in designated bays and display their badge.)

We have met with council officials and councillors to come up with a solution that would mitigate the problem. You may remember we gained an agreement for bollards to be installed at the north east entrance – to allow for access to blue badge-holders but to provide a deterrent to others – for clear signage at that entrance to explain that cars are not allowed and for the wooden posts which line the grass to be repaired or replaced. Work should start installing these very soon.

We have also succeeded in ensuring that parking enforcement officers are in the park on a regular basis and at times when the most cars seem to be in the park. (Also, at the time of writing, bollards are being installed near the Chalet café; this barrier should be fully effective once the wooden posts are repaired.) Hopefully these measures will help prevent unauthorised car access – we’d hate to see an accident.

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Vatican cricket team at the park

Vatican cricket

On Sunday St Peter’s (Preston Park) played host to St Peter’s cricket club from the Vatican. Apparently the Vatican cricket club were on a short tour of England, and interestingly all of their players are originally from either India or Sri Lanka. The Vatican team members are actually seminary students, training to be priests. They very definitely loved their cricket.

Here’s the two teams at the end of the match, lining up together for a presentation and group photograph. The match attracted a good number of spectators on what proved to be a lovely warm ‘Indian Summer afternoon.

For the record, St Peter’s of Preston Park won by 54 runs.

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Feedback on this year’s Pride

Next month Pride is holding a debrief meeting with councillors. We’d really like to hear your views so that they can be taken into account for that meeting. So please let us know your views on the following points before Wednesday 27 August (of course we’ll ensure anonymity):

1. Was communication adequate – did you know what was going to happen when?

2. Did party-goers trespass on your land? Was this any different to past Pride events?

3. Were you disturbed by people leaving the event? Was this any different to past Pride events?

4. Was the clean-up good enough?

5. Did you think the park was properly protected?

And let us know of anything else you’d like to comment on.

Please send your comments to info@friendsofprestonpark.org or use the contact page on this site.

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A walk on the wild side

bat

Join us for a Bat Walk in Preston Park on Monday August 11th. Bring a torch and suitable clothing.

Only a few places remain. Please book by contacting Emma Keane, the Park Ranger: emma.keane@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

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Picnic-in-the-park CANCELLED

A terrible weather forecast for Saturday has forced us to cancel this event. Thunder and rain do not make for a good picnic. We just don’t seem to have any luck.

Thank you for your support

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Picnic-in-the-park July 19th

picnic-in-the-park

Latest news: There will be a special park quiz for adults and children running throughout the afternoon.

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