Strange happenings at the lake

June 01 2019

News from the Friends of Eastville Park

The sometimes strange but remarkable way of nature was particularly noticeable in the park recently with locals and visitors alike stunned by the appearance of the lake. We have become accustomed over recent times to an ever growing problem with the level of silt building on the bottom resulting in a reduced depth of clear water above. A few weeks ago a virulent algae started to appear and within no time had completely colonised the body of water leaving it pea soup green and us wondering just how anything could possibly survive these conditions. No fish to be seen, other than the very rare sight of three quite large pike which glided effortlessly in the few inches of water just below the surface and became superstars in their own right. The surface of the water was a sorry sight with detritus that would normally sink to the bottom floating around and rotting away- not pretty! Of course, the presence of these large predator may well account for the one surviving gosling from a hatch of a dozen or so that we were looking forward to watching grow over the coming weeks. In normal circumstances, the presence of large fish like this is a sign that the river is in good health and fish stocks plentiful but we are concerned that in an enclosed and quite small area like the lake that these big boys might be taking more than their fair share.

And then, just a few days later the algae all but completely disappeared over the course of a day. Various suggestions to explain this from simply a chance of weather conditions or (certainly the most exciting scenario) that the algae had itself been eaten by huge numbers of water fleas or Daphnia. The things that go on under water!

Elsewhere in the news, the Friends Group have teamed up with the Bowling Club to do all we can to ensure that this wonderful game and it’s traditions live long and prosper as part of the park community. We have managed to attract a whole swathe of new members across the age range and there’s certainly a buzz around the green. All matches now played are friendlies but it’s still difficult not to be competitive home and away, win or lose! The club hut and the grounds are in need of some tlc and we’ve embarked on a volunteer led project to spruce everything up with a good clean, a lick of paint and a big tidy up in the garden which we hope to make a focal point for players and visitors alike. We have undertaken to support the club financially and held a very successful pop up café morning in May to raise funds. We have an amazing team who really pulled it off, there was a lovely community  atmosphere and it did very well so we’re not resting on our laurels; we’re doing it again on 8th June between 9 and 1. Please come along and show your support. We have a lovely range of yummies and options for veggie and vegan too. Some fun games happening and, because it’s Festival of Nature weekend we’ll be displaying some lovely pics of park wildlife for all to see. The café will be especially busy (we hope) between 10 and 11 when hordes of ParkRunners descend for their post-run breakfast. Over the summer we’ll have lots to do here and if you’d like to help us preserve both the club and the very special buildings that belong here, we’d love your help. We are currently working on a proposal to use the space and buildings for more community activities- a ‘Hub with Heritage’ alongside the Bowling Club and have great hopes that it will become a fabulous meeting place for the whole community.

You’re never too young nor too old to play bowls so if you fancy giving it a try, come along to one of the Open Days coming up soon. Details here: Bowling at Eastville Park or Friends of Eastville Park FB Pages. Also here: www.eastvillepark.org.uk

The park’s first festival of the year has passed and, whilst not to everyone’s taste or without impact on the local community Love Saves The Day gave a lot of fun to a lot of young people and that’s not a bad thing when there’s so much misfortune, misery and uncertainty at home and around the world. As we do each year, we extend our thanks to the organisers for their generous donation to The Friends of Eastville Park, enabling us to fund improvements and support our community activities around the park.

This week marks the launch of our 2019 vintage Eastville Park Elderflower Cordial! We’ve had a couple of very popular foraging and brewing sessions and it’s all in the bottles now just waiting for the labels to be fixed on. We sold out very quickly last year so we’ve made enough for everyone and you can get details of availability on our FB group.

We are gradually erecting our own rustic style noticeboards around the park where you’ll be able to see lots of information about the group, our events and activities. The first is in place at the Everest Road entrance. Next in will be near the playground/carpark.

One more thing to look out for in the summer; a children’s activity session making hedgehogs from logs. Suitable for all ages and SO much fun!

In the meantime; come to our beautiful park, relax and enjoy the urban countryside on your doorstep.

The Parkie