December 2015 ....

Looking ahead

Rather than looking back over the last month, as is usual with this monthly news item, or looking back over the past year as is often done as this point in the calendar, we are taking the opportunity to look forward to some of the exciting developments that we hope will be taking place in Eastfield Park over the coming months.

We expect to hear whether our bid for extra funding for the children's play area from The Veolia Environmental Trust has been successful around 7th March 2016. If the bid is successful there will be a delay of some weeks during which the appropriate contracts between Veolia and NBC/FoEP are drawn up and signed. The contract for the play area will then be awarded to NBC's preferred contractor. (A competitive bidding process involving two NBC officers and two FoEP representatives has already taken place and a preferred contractor chosen.) If the bid is not successful it will be possible to go ahead and award the contract earlier but it will be for a play area with fewer pieces of equipment (though space will be left for possible additions in future years). In either case it is hoped to have the play area ready for use at, or very soon after, the start of the summer holidays.

Part of the plan for the play area involves surrounding it with a narrow garden includ-ing sensory, bee-friendly and wild flowers. This garden will be created by voluntary effort; this being part of the proposal submitted to Veolia. While it is hoped to have a team of volunteers from business and industry (Lloyds Bank has already shown an interest in returning to Eastfield Park) it is hoped that local residents will also make a significant contribution to the work.

During the next few months we also expect to have a number of additional litter bins installed on the Park. There is also the possibility of moving one of the dog bins near the Lake to a more suitable location. This matter is now in the hands of NBC and Enterprise who will carry out the installation. The Friends thank Cllrs Gowen, Hallam and Lynch for supporting us and providing funds for this improvement to the Park.

The FoEP also has plans to create a small 'wildflower meadow' in front of the north-facing fence separating the Park from Eleonore House (where the wildflower border was planted in 2015). However, this project demands a considerable amount of work stripping the turf from the area and will not be possible unless we attract sufficient volunteers to work in the Park. There is also the need to carry out routine voluntary activities such as pruning trees and bushes, weeding and litter picking. NBC will be promoting Keep Britain Tidy's Clean for the Queen campaign in March and we have already indicated that the FoEP will do its bit!

NBC is expected to publish the final version of its Green Infrastructure Plan sometime during the next few weeks and Eastfield Park will figure prominently within the Plan. As usual, our AGM in February will be preceeded by a public talk and the topic for the talk will be "Green Infrastructure: What is it? Why is it important? What has it to do with Eastfield Park?" We are not yet sure who the speaker(s) will be but keep check-ing Facebook and the 'Welcome' page of this site for forther information.

Finally, public consultation regarding the provision of new pathways in the Park begins on 1st January 2016 and continues until the end of March. Information sheets with an attached questionnaire will be given out at the public talk preceding the FoEP AGM but can also be down-loaded for printing by clicking on the link in the yellow box at the top right of this page. However, there is also a Survey Monkey version of the questionnaire which contains the same introductory material. You may find it more convenient to use this, particularly as it can be completed on a mobile phone.

Other News ....

Public Consultation : New Pathways

January to March 2016

Information sheets with the questionnaire can be downloaded by clicking the following link:

Completed forms can be submitted at the FoEP AGM or send to the address on the form. They may also be handed to Vic Smith or his wife at the St. Alban's Church 'Drop-In' on Friday mornings or scanned and sent to Vic as an email attachment to vicsmith.foep@gmail.com.

To go to the Survey Monkey Questionnaire click this link:

:

Number of Patrols: Twenty
Dog Issues: Good number of walkers, fouling seemed to be at a static level.
Littering Issues: Medium Level with bin capacity not exceeded.
Graffiti Incidents: None reported to me.
Vehicle on the Park incidents: None reported to me this month. However, one individual who lives nearby is being watched by the Police.
Anti-Social Behaviour: Continued signs of alcohol consumption. Two incidents of fly tipping, Skiddaw Walk and Greenside near Coniston Avenue, reported to Northampton Borough Council and cleared.
Complaints received from the public: None.
Length of Grass: Acceptable in view of the wet underfoot conditions.
State of the litter bins: Appeared to be managed.

December has been a fairly quiet month on Eastfield Park.
Patrols continue to increase
Dog owners are very largely picking up their dogs mess and levels of mess indicate the colder weather is beginning to persuade some owners not to venture out onto the park. Owners who fail to pick up their animals mess will be dealt with by the Ranger when witnessed. I am continuing to carryout spot checks on dog walkers and asking individuals if they have dog bags on them. This challenging process hopefully will encourage people to carry bags at all times.
Patrols are up as compared with last month, but is a flexible issue but hopefully it will be sustainable.

Eastfield Park Ranger's Report

December 2015

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