Post lockdown, our parks are as important as ever

October 02 2020
Post lockdown, our parks are as important as ever

News and views from the Friends of Eastville Park

IT wasn’t so long ago that hardly a moment went by when our conversations didn’t include an observation like "the air is so much cleaner", "there’s much less noise – you can really hear the birds singing", "something’s changed – we’re all being so much more friendly towards each other" and "there’s a real sense of community spirit".

The roller coaster ride of COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions, alongside the uncertainties and fears of many who have been most affected during these turbulent times have certainly taken a toll on our local community. We hope that, just because the conversations may have changed, we will continue to care and look after one another as we face yet more difficulties over the coming months.

One thing is for sure, however: while the roads become busier and the scent of fresh air slowly wafts away out of reach, our green spaces and parks are as important as ever.

Eastville Park’s eighty or so acres faithfully and unselfishly offers themselves up to help and support us all. Whether it’s soothing worried minds or aching bodies, providing space to run, ride or relax, there’s so much here that will make just that little difference to each of our daily lives.

Adventures in the playground and in the woodlands, where the trees once again announce a new season with a riot of new colours, are food for the soul. The flowers all around us will soon have fallen and are already being replaced with an exciting array of seeds, nuts and berries, which will fuel the wildlife for the winter coming. Come into the park whenever you can, experience something that is special for you and take it home with you to help you to get through the days ahead.

If you’re looking for something to really look forward to in 2021, the Friends of Eastville Park calendar has arrived! Full of stunning images of the park and some fascinating little stories from a hundred years ago, you certainly won’t be disappointed with this little gem- still only £5 and available from the usual outlets.

Speaking of times gone by, our comprehensive A History of Eastville Park, a 40-page document lovingly compiled by Pam Bush, is complete, and we’re currently looking at ways to make it widely available.

As the days draw in and the uncertainties around covid remain, our programme of activities around the park are slowly winding down. We’ve had a great run over the last few weeks with a wide variety of regular and one-off sessions, which have all been very well supported.

We’re hoping to revive the pop-up café at the Nissen hut in the coming weeks. We usually get a lot of Parkrun visitors but with no runs likely, we’ll be especially dependent on regular park users to make a success of it, so please come along and enjoy some Autumn yummies!

We have been hard at work applying for various grants and have had some good success – news to follow soon.

We are slowly but surely rebuilding the bowling club and have held several taster sessions which have been extremely popular and a good sign that success is on the horizon. The season has ended now but we are well-placed and optimistic for next May, and a bright future.

We recently held two meadow scything workshops in Everest Road field, which provided a fascinating insight into this old traditional skill, and we’ll hope to be putting it to good use as we prepare our wild flower meadows for a summer flowering next year.

The Frome Fairies have also been back in action in the river, with a good haul of litter that’s left the river looking quite pretty once again. Despite the increased use of the park by visitors over the summer, we haven’t noticed a significant uptick of litter, which is quite surprising but re-assuring.

More information and details of everything we’ve done, do and have plans for can be found on our Facebook group or by visiting our website. We are also on Instagram at #eastvillepark.

The Parkie