August 2015 ....

Play Area & Wildflower Meadow ...

It now seems certain that a new children’s play area will be constructed in Eastfield Park in time for next year’s summer holidays. The Friends of Eastfield Park are also hoping to create a small wildflower meadow, an extension of the present wildflower border next to Eleanore House.

Northampton Borough Council has recently allocated a large sum of S106 money for the provision of the new play area. (This is money that developers pay the Council to improve facilities in the areas where development takes place.) The allocation is sufficient for a reasonable sized play area but the Friends of Eastfield Park want the area to be fenced and to include equipment suitable for disabled children. The Council has agreed to this but, without further funding, it would restrict the number of play items that could be installed. With help from NBC, the Friends group is therefore seeking additional grant funding.

Most grant-awarding bodies will expect the Friends to demonstrate a strong local demand for the play area. We can show that, apart from the few pieces of apparatus for older children on the Lakeview side of the Park, there is currently no provision of public play equipment for children within the Eastfield Ward. We can also report that 92 of the 93 responses to our public consultation received so far agree that a play area is a good idea. However, 93 responses represent only a small percentage of potential Park users and a higher response rate would enhance the chances of a successful application. Our on-line questionnaire can still be completed through this website and there is an alternative SurveyMonkey questionnaire that can be completed on a mobile phone. It would help us make a stronger case if readers were to complete one or other of the surveys (but not both) if you haven't already done so:

Initial results from the surveys now indicate that 99% of people are in favour of the play area, 95% think the proposed location shown in the surveys is a good one, 87% think the area should be fenced, 78% think the suggested age range (3 - 8) is suitable and 63% would use the Park more frequently if a play area was provided. Swings and slides are the most popular items to include in the play area while a climbing frame is the least popular. However all items had some support and there was nothing that people objected to. Despite strong support for the 3 to 8 age group it now seems likely that this range will be extended somewhat.

Plan for Eleonore House Border 2015-16

Plan to extend Eleonore House borders - click for larger view.

The wildflower border created by volunteers from Thomson Holidays along the fence separating the Park from Eleonore House has proved popular with some Park users and the FoEP are now planning to extend this much further into the Park as a small wildflower meadow (click on diagram to view plan). We do not yet know when work will start on this but if you see turf being stripped from the ground in that area of the Park please do not think it is the work of vandals!

Other News ....

Number of Patrols: Eight
Dog Issues: Good number of walkers, fouling seemed to be increased.
Littering Issues: Low level litter.
Graffiti Incidents: None reported.
Vehicle on the Park incidents: Two young men witnessed crossing the park greenside to Kettering Road on a motor-cross type bike, identity unknown.
Anti-Social Behaviour: Mindless low level vandalism continues
Complaints received from the public: None.
Length of Grass: Acceptable.
State of the litter bins: Appeared to be managed.

August has been a quieter month in Eastfield Park with no major events. Dog owners are very largely picking up their dogs mess but levels of mess indicate a hard core are not; when failing to do so and witnessed they are being challenged.
Patrols are down as compared with last month by nearly fifty percent due to annual leave. Overall the park continues to draw favourable comments from the public and the Police Motorcycle patrols are a positive and preventative measure.

Eastfield Park Ranger's Report

for August 2015

Many readers will be aware that a group of Travellers camped on the Park overnight on 25/26th August. Although they didn't stay long they left behind a huge quantity of litter including paper, cans, food containers, a plastic petrol can, a Calor Gas bottle and a good table knife!
They entered the Park from the Booth Lane entrance having, it would seem, removed the padlock and damaged the bollard in the process.
The FoEP thank the Countywide Traveller Unit (CTU) for moving the Travellers on, and Rangers Kevin and Jason for replacing the entrance padlock so quickly.
Unauthorised traveller encampments should be reported to the CTU. For more information follow this link:

Travellers on the Park

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