June 2016 ....

Progress with Play ...

Work on Phase 1 of the new Junior Play Area has been progressing well throughout June and should be completed soon. The Area will be opened by Michael Ellis MP for Northampton North on Saturday 16th July at 2.00 pm. This date has been deliberately chosen to coincide with Love Parks Week (15th to 24th July) but also to be within the school term before many go on holiday.

Northampton Borough Council has allocated £46K of S106 money to Phase 1 of the project. (S106 agreements are negotiated between developers and councils to help make new housing schemes more desirable; the money is used for social and community projects in the development area.) This funding has enabled the purchase and installation of a 'Little Miss Muffet' unit with slide (ages 2 to 4); a 'Mordred Castle' unit with slide (ages 8 upwards); a 'Viking Swing' with two bays: one with two cradle seats, the other with two flat seats (ages 2 upwards); a 'Swirl Roundabout' with easy wheelchair access (ages 5 to 12); a 'Buddy Board' (ages 6 to 16) and a trail with a 'Switchback Run' and an 'Alpine Crossing' (ages 5 upwards) along with a Keyston bench, a Keyston seat, a litter bin, a fence with self-closing gates and safety surfaces.

Little Miss Muffet unit
Mordred Castle
Viking Swing
Swirl Roundabout

The play area that the Friends of Eastfield Park wanted would have cost £60K. We were, however, unsuccessful in obtaining a grant from Veolia Environmental Trust for the extra £15K needed for the desired option so we decided to go ahead with the present £46K scheme as 'Phase 1' and to apply to the Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ programme for funding for a 'Phase 2' that might enable purchase and installation of a further three pieces of equipment. If we are shortlisted by Tesco we are guaranteed £8K but we will need your votes to obtain the maximum funding (£12K) for all three desired items: a 'Rock n Bowl' Roundabout (ages 2 to 10), a 'Cockerel 3-way' bouncer (ages 2 to 5) and a non-bump seesaw (ages 8 to 14).

Rock n Bowl
Cockerel 3-way
Non-bump seesaw

To enhance the project, the FoEP hope to create a 1m wide garden around the play area with wildflowers, insect-friendly and sweet smelling flowers, but to do this we need volunteers to remove turf, dig, add compost and plant flowers. If you are will to give anything from 1 hour to 1 week of your time please let us know through the 'Contact' page of this website.

Artists Impression of Play Area for Eastfield Park
Site Plan with Flower Beds - shading & labels


Other News ....

This month we say 'Farewell' to Kevin Skerry who has been the Eastfield Park Ranger for the past couple of years and will be moving on to work with a different authority early in July (see below).

It has been a pleasure to work with Kevin and benefit from his experience in dealing with those who fail to keep to the rules imposed by society. We will miss his monthly reports about the Park and I'm sure we all want to wish him the very best for his future in a new situation.

Farewell to Kevin

Number of Patrols: Six
Dog Issues: None Reported, fouling is evident but at a low level.
Littering Issues: Medium Level with bin capacity not exceeded.
Graffiti Incidents: None reported.
Anti-Social Behaviour: None Reported.
Length of Grass: Acceptable, at the moment but under continuous review. I continue to receive one or two complaints and these complaints seem to be from individuals who have unrealistic expectations. Generally the grass on the park is managed to an acceptable standard.
State of litter bins: Largely acceptable with two reported as unacceptable.
June has seen the work commence on the new children’s play area and it is progressing well. The Park has looked good and the Litter Bin removed from the lake has remained in place. Dog owners are very largely picking up their dogs mess.

This will be my last Rangers Report for Eastfield Park as I finish as a Park Ranger fairly early in July to take up a post with another local authority.

I would like to thank The Friends of Eastfield Park, Eastfield Park Management Committee and in particular Dr Vic Smith for his help, enthusiasm and great patience, in dealing with a very inexperienced Ranger who despite experience in dealing with our less appealing community members needed much advice on park related matters. Eastfield Park and the surrounding community that benefits from the parks existence have an outstanding champion in Dr Vic Smith.

Thank you all once again.
Kevin Skerry
Park Ranger

Eastfield Park Ranger's Report

June 2016

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