February 2016 ....

Making connections ...

Click on map for larger view with caption

Eastfield Wildlife Corridor

Eastfield Park lies in a strategic position within Northampton's green infrastructure. The map shows the Park in relation to other green spaces in the area. Bradlaugh Fields to the west, and Billing Arbours and Lings Wood to the east, as well as Eastfield Park itself, are Local Nature Reserves. Together with other public open spaces (Lodge Farm Park, Arbours Park North and Parklands Park) they form a chain of green spaces across this part of the town. Some 'gaps' the chain, such as the school sports field next to Booth Lane and the leafy suburbs around Hillcrest Avenue, are relatively green and it is possible to recognise a 'Green Band' from Kingthorpe to Lings. Other green spaces, including allotments and shelter belts, help to create a matrix of habitats in which Eastfield Park forms a central part.

The management of the Park should take account of the importance of its position within this infrastructure. Access and connectivity for both wildlife and people should be major factors when considering connections within the Park and links between the Park and other parts of the infrastructure.

The 'Wildlife Appreciation Zone' in Eastfield Park (click to download map) stretches from the western to the eastern limits of the Park and connects the Western (Squire's) Spinney, the Pond Area, Lakeview Spinney and the Lake and Lake Margin. The mainly east-west alignment of this zone also helps to strengthen the mainly east-west linkages within the green infrastructure band referred to above.

The routes of the proposed new all-season pathways for the Park are intended not only to make it easier to move around within the Park but also to provide links between Eastfield Park and other green spaces. The paths within the Park would provide routes connecting the various Park entrances and therefore much better linkages between footpaths HW38 (from Lings Wood / Goldings) and HW1 (Kettering Road to Moulton Park) or HW2/HW3 (Kettering Road to Kingthorpe).

Click on link for map showing footpaths in the area:

Other News ....

Annual General Meeting

The 2016 FoEP AGM took place at Broadmead Baptist Church on the evening of 16th February, following a public talk given by Dr Janet Jackson, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management & Ecology at Northampton University, on "Green Infrastructure: What is it? Why is it important? What has it to do with Eastfield Park?"

At the AGM, the current FoEP committee was re-elected to serve another year, the Chair's Report and the Treasurer's Financial Statement for 2015 were approved and a new lone worker policy agreed. The new policy and the Chair's Report can be obtained by clicking the following links:

Number of Patrols: Fourteen
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.
Vehicle on the Park incidents: Evidence of continued motor cycle use causing minor damage. Police aware.
Anti-Social Behaviour: Continued signs of alcohol consumption. Incident recently with an assault on a male resulting in a broken arm. The perpetrators were a gang of males with dogs who then ran off the Park onto the Kettering Road. Comments on Facebook are warning people from going onto the park in late or early afternoon. Police aware.
Length of Grass: Acceptable, in view of the wet underfoot conditions.
State of the litter bins: Largely acceptable with two reported as unacceptable.

February has been a busy month with a minor drop in patrols compared to last month but still averaging at least three a week. Concern still exists with the continued use of motor cycles on the park and the anti-social behaviour of a few.
Dog owners are very largely picking up their dogs mess, levels of walkers down possibly as a result of very wet underfoot conditions. 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.

Eastfield Park Ranger's Report

February 2016

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