Friends’ AGM: Thursday 6th October

Everyone is welcome to the Friends’ AGM. Come and let us know your thoughts for the next year … 7pm at the Reading Cafe. Entrance via Richardson St. If you are running late, after 7pm, ring  551489 for entry.

Where have all the Conkers gone?

A guest blogpost by Christine, of the Very Young Friends

My own very young friend of Rowntree Park and I love to go out collecting things.  We’ve found pine cones, seed pods, brown leaves, green leaves, red leaves, orange leaves and all the colours inbetween but NO conkers!

We searched the woods area.  We searched the play park trees.  We searched all the trees and found nothing.  Had all our other very young friends beaten us to it?  Maybe it was the squirrels hiding them away for winter?  Or maybe there were no conkers?

A search under the trees found nothing (except in the play park where there were a few chewed up little bits of conkers) and a look up into the trees found no conker pods waiting to fall.  We did find some brown shrivelled up tiny seed pods on the trees which had never made it into conkers.  Sadly there are no conkers in the park this year.

Back home we checked it out on the internet.  We found a whole range of things which might have upset the trees.  We found there is an insect call the Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner which attacks the leaves of the horse chestnut. The larvae mine within the leaves which then fall off.  We also discovered another illness called Leaf Blotch where a fungus infects the leaves.  We’re just hoping that it was caused by the floods last winter and that the conkers will be back next year.

For this year though, we’re looking elsewhere for our conkers.  If you know of any good conker trees around York, let us know!

Getting Rowntree Park buzzing

Guest post from York Urban Buzz:

York Urban Buzz is taking York by storm, making the most of the city’s untapped potential for bee-friendly parks and gardens. Soon Rowntree Park and along the river by Millennium Bridge will be bursting with even more flowers, buzzing with bees, butterflies and many other pollinating insects. If you look carefully, you might also spot some bees relaxing in their boutique bee hotel.
We have specifically chosen these sites to be flagship ‘Buzzing Hotspots’. Over the summers to come, there should be a riot of colour, making it a more vibrant and inspiring place to be. The new developments will provide vital new food and nesting places for our pollinators, so that they will be happy and healthy – just like the spaces are loved and used by local people (at the centre of this project is making our parks and gardens better and more enjoyable for us too). Work at Millennium Bridge has already started with wild flowers being planted with the fantastic help of local people and plans are being made for Rowntree Park.

As well as being very good news for us, this is good news for our buzzing buddies too. They have been having a really tough time lately and some species of bumblebee have even gone extinct. What a lot of people just don’t realise is that we depend on insect pollination for much of our food and that around 80% of wildflowers rely on pollination. So, without our buzzing buddies, butterflies and other pollinators our food would be boring and our parks and gardens dull.

So, over the summer when you’re enjoying your strawberries and cream tea, take a minute to thank our tiny pollinators busily buzzing about their day!

York Urban Buzz is a Buglife project. To get involved and support  or contact Andrew Cutts

Creative Portraits!

Great prizes to be won, for a creative portrait taken in the Park. Entries for the ‘Best Selfie’ category, or for a portrait by a photographer aged 0-6, 7-15 or 16 and over. Closing date is 10th July. More details here:


Plant sale! May 7th

Everyone is invited to a plant sale at Rowntree Park, on Saturday May 7th. It will run from 11am to 2pm, and will be located close to the Reading Cafe – look out for our tent! There will be seeds for children to plant (free for members of the Friends). There will be plenty of plants, covering a range of interests, provided by Brunswick Organic Nursery.

meredith stewart 2008

Foxglove: Meredith Stewart 2008

Online tennis court booking

The tennis courts at Rowntree Park are now being managed by the Rowntree Park Tennis club, under an agreement with the council. The public are now able to book and pay for use of the courts online, using the tennis club’s booking system.

Birthday Party 2016

The Birthday Party (aka the Summer Fair) will be on Sunday 17th July. We’re looking forward to another great day, with lots of community stalls, interesting activities, delicious food, fabulous music and much more. If you are interested in organising a stall or having an activity at the Party (or volunteering), please sign up by following this link . For any additional enquiries, please contact Christina, the event manager