UTCF latest news

36 UTCF trees have been planted and 5 more have just been delivered. These trees add to the variety we already have in the park and they have been specially chosen to cope with the climatic changes that are taking place. You can admire the lovely avenue of hawthorns along Preston Road and dotted around the park are new magnolias, redwoods, black and white mulberries, a few catalpas, two Norway maples, a European beech and a chestnut, to mention but a few! A full list and a map will be published shortly to help with identification.

Display Boards

Friends of Preston Park’s  display boards have had a long awaited renovation last week. The board near the Chalet Cafe suffered regular acts of vandalism and the wear and tear on the board near the Rotunda cafe made it difficult to see the information displayed. Both boards have now thick and strong polycarbonate covers and a QR code, which will provide more information about FoPP and what is happening in the park.

Toilet petition

Brighton Council are proposing to close the toilets (including the disabled access toilet) at the Chalet Café, with effect from 1st April 2023.

This will have a major impact on all users of Preston Park. This is part of a wider programme of proposed public toilet closures across Brighton and Hove, including the closure of 14 disabled loos.

The Council committee that will make the decision is meeting on 17th January to discuss this issue. A petition has been set up set on the BHCC website.

We ask that you give your view on this by signing the petition.

https://democracy.brighton-hove.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=870&RPID=58410632&HPID=58410632

We need a bricklayer!

The FoPP are seeking a kind brick layer to build a small plinth in Preston Park. We will provide the materials if you can give us your free time. We promise refreshments and volunteers to help. The plinth will form the base of the blossom tree plaque. It is hoped that the plinth can be built once the weather improves – March time. If you would like to help with this please contact us at: info@friendsofprestonpark.org

Our very own printer

We are ever so grateful to Brighton and Hove Food Partnership for donating FoPP a printer, which will help us reduce costs with posters and leaflets. This comes at a time when many charities and community groups are fighting with spiralling costs and the savings we will be making  will enable us to invest more in plants and trees. Thank you to all members of the public and companies, whose generous donations help us continue taking an active role in the maintenance of the park and provide creative and fun events for children and adults.

Seasonal Rockery vandalism

We would like to report that The Rockery has once again sadly been vandalised. Whilst this behaviour is sporadic and not every day, it is frustrating and upsetting for those who not only work in the park but also for the volunteers and park dwellers who enjoy their surroundings without destroying them. Two young trees were snapped, the grass bank was used as a sledge run that has ruined the grass and, worst of all, the pond has been covered in twigs, branches, litter and anything that could be thrown onto the ice. However, what these people don’t seem to realise is that what they throw onto the ice will stay in the pond. Parents were seen encouraging their children to throw items onto the ice. This seems to happen whenever the pond ices up. We politely ask that they refrain from doing so. As demonstrated in the photo, the result of their actions is not a good one. Wildlife is also negatively impacted by their ill thought ‘fun’. Please respect the park. It belongs to us all.

Preston Park Wildlife Pond – an update

The Preston Park wildlife pond sits at the north end of the park right next to St Peter’s churchyard. It is set in a wildlife area that has been adopted by the St Peters Churchyard Volunteers. The pond had a leak for some years which got progressively worse, to the point where it dried out each year before its inhabitants could complete their lifecycles.

After over two years of hard work by CityParks and multiple volunteer groups, the new wildlife pond with its woven Hazel fence was completed on 10th December. Here follows a very brief overview of how this was done:

Summer 2021 – Community Payback team dig out the old leaky concrete liner.

September 2021 – CityParks agree to supply ballast and cement for new liner.

October 2021 – Friends of Preston Park agree to supply edging rocks and sealant.

February 2022 – New granite pond edging laid by St Peters Churchyard Volunteers.

October 2022 – Corporate volunteers from Responsible Travel and CityParks Ranger volunteers lay the new concrete base. Sealed later that month by Preston Park and St Peter’s Churchyard volunteers.

November 2022 – CityParks Ranger volunteers spend several volunteer days in Stanmer woods harvesting Sweet Chestnut and Hazel with which to build the new pond fence.  

December 2022 – CityParks Ranger volunteers construct the new woven Hazel fence.

Planting has commenced and we hope some new residents will be moving in very soon.

A big thank you to all those who helped bring our pond back for wildlife!

Elm tree drawings

Mary Anne Aytoun Ellis has been working on a number of drawings and paintings of trees throughout 2022. The first drawing of the series of fourteen is our own ‘Preston Twin’. Mary Anne will be exhibiting this work and others at Sotheby’s.

Wreath Making in the Rockery

christmas wreath making in the rockery

FoPP successfully held their annual Christmas wreath-making event this week. Residents were invited to buy materials collected locally, and make their own seasonal wreath. With music and mince-pies, the event was very Christmassy! A big thank you to all the volunteers who made it a great day!

two ladies holding christmas wreaths
one lady holding a christmas wreath
two ladies holding a christmas wreath