April News ....

Pathway Consultation

The FoEP public consultation about possible new all-weather pathways for Eastfield Park has now closed and we have almost completed collating results prior to writing a report for the Park’s Management Committee (EPMC). Altogether, 133 responses were received: 73 online via SurveyMonkey and 60 as paper copies or email attachments (Fig. 1). An over-whelming 74% of those responding thought that it was a good idea to create additional paths, more or less as shown on the map accompanying the survey; 6% thought that no paths should be constructed, while another 6% considered that the proposals did not go far enough and that even more paths should be provided. The remaining responses favoured only some of the suggested pathways or else suggested alternative routes (Fig. 2). The opinions of all respondents will be reflected into the final report submitted to the EPMC for consideration.

Postcodes of 121 Respondents in Pathway Consultation - 1
Opinions Q1 to April 08

Fig. 1 Map showing distribution of respondents' postcodes (where given).

Fig. 2 Percentages of respondents giving statements a to f as closest to own opinion.

Set-aside Grassland

Part of the grassland in Eastfield Park has been classified by the local Wildlife Trust as species-rich lowland meadow habitat. Unfortunately, the MUGA and the 'Monster' play area were both built in this sensitive area. The EPMC, in consultation with the Wildlife Trust, have arranged for a small area (about 1/4 acre) within the species rich area to be excluded (set aside) from the usual mowing regime and treated more like a hay meadow and not mowed until summer. This will give a chance for wildflowers to grow and flower before the area is cut. The area will be monitored by the Wildlife Trust and observations and conclusions fed into future park management plans. We really do need to know more about what is in the Park!

Area set aside within Lowland Meadow Habitat

Map showing 'set-aside' area within species-rich lowland meadow habitat.

Junior Play Area

Artists Impresion of Intended Play Area for Eastfi
Artists Impression of Play Area for Eastfield Park

Rough plan of proposed Play Area, including three pieces of equipment that still need funding.

Artist's impression of Play Area, including three pieces of equipment that still need funding.

Work on the new Eastfield Park Junior Play Area should begin towards the end of May. Since the NBC/FoEP bid for additional funding from the Veolia Environmental Trust was unsuccessful we have had to opt for a scaled-down version of the play area. The size of this play area will be the same as for the more expensive option but it will contain fewer and less ambitious pieces of apparatus. Please note that the artists impressions shown above contain three items of equipment ('Phase 2') that we still do not have funding for: the non-bump seesaw, the 3-way cockerel and the rock 'n roll roundabout. We are currently working on a Tesco Community Grant application to pay for these items. We intend surrounding the play area with a garden and a group of volunteers from Business & Industry have already expressed interest in helping. As always, volunteers from the local community are also welcome to help out.

Two bees, or not two bees .....

Bombylius major crop
Eristalis sp. Drone fly

These two pictures of insects taken in Eastfield Park during April may at first glance appear to show bees. In fact, both show true flies (Order: Diptera). The one on the left is a bee-fly (Bombylius major) while the one on the right is a drone fly (Eristalis sp.). The scientific name for the genus to which bumblebees belong is 'Bombus' so even taxonomists note the superficial similarities.

Bee-fly in action

Our Park Ranger is on leave at present so there is no Ranger's report this month.

Bombylius major in action:

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