July 2014 ....

BRINGING THE PARK BACK TO AN ACCEPABLE STANDARD ...

In June News we reported that we had received many complaints about the poor level of maintenance of Eastfield Park, particularly with regard to inadequate grass cutting and fallen trees not being completely removed from the Park. We had referred these issues to Councillor Mike Hallam (NBC Cabinet Member for the Environment) who took them up with EMS (Enterprise Management Services) the company responsible for the maintenance of Northampton's parks. EMS had said that their staff had been unable to carry out work on the Park because of the wet weather and the waterlogged nature of the ground, adding that, for this reason, Eastfield Park is the most difficult Park in the Borough to deal with.

Long grass in the middle of June

Long grass on the Park in mid-June.

Branches removed & grass cut near Skiddaw Walk entrance..

Grass cut and tree branches removed

Cllr Hallam also arranged for a Council Officer to carry out an inspection of the Park in the company of Vic Smith, Chair of the FoEP. Together they identified the most important tasks that were necessary to bring Eastfield Park back to an acceptable standard. These tasks included removing the remains of the fallen tree close to the Skiddaw Walk entrance, cutting back vegetation encroaching on the woodland trail through the spinney and the new cross-park pathway by the Lake, repairing the electricity box close to the MUGA (which was in a dangerous condition) and mowing the grass again. The grass had been cut a few days before the inspection took place on the 1st July but it needed repeating to ensure an even sward and to disperse the grass clippings from earlier mowings which had formed dense clumps of hay in patches across the Park.

Grass cut across the Park by mid-July.

Grass cut and 'monster mound' strimmed

Encroaching vegetation cut back on woodland trail.

Vegetation encroaching on woodland trail cut well back.

Encroaching vegetation NOT cut back on new path by Lake.

New path by Lake urgently needs attention

We are pleased to report that during July most of the tasks have been completed. As the photographs on this page show, the grass has now been cut to a uniform standard across the whole Park, the remaining branches from the fallen tree near the Skiddaw Walk entrance have nearly all been removed (a few remain close to the wooded area and the FoEP will deal with these), the encroaching vegetation along the woodland trail has been cut back leaving a wide clear area on either side of the path, and the electricity box has been secured. However, the encroaching vegetation along the new path by the Lake has not been cut back and this now requires urgent attention. Needless-to-say, while this work was being carried out, the Friends of Eastfield Park have not been idle. We have been doing our own bit to bring the Park back to looking its best. On 12th July a small group of volunteers removed some large items from the Lake (a shopping trolley, two chairs and the casing from a TV), weeded the 'Sunflower Garden' and planted some Michaelmas Daisies in it. We also did some tidying up around the top pond.

Secured electricity box near MUGA

Secured electricity box near MUGA.

Click on any picture for a larger view not obscured by caption.

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