It’s baby bird time!

Despite the delightful bank holiday weather (yeuck!), our local birds will still be getting on with sitting on their eggs, tending to their chicks and raising the next generation of birds for the park and the surrounding neighbourhoods. From small to large (including owls and woodpeckers), the birds love our park!

Over the winter, the Friends have been providing wild bird food (seeds etc) from several feeding stations in the park; these are much appreciated by our ‘feathered friends’ and you may notice that the feeding stations will be getting extra attention, during this crucial season! If you would like to be involved in this work, do get in touch with Rosemary (gardening@rowntreepark.org.uk).

Offering bird food in your own backyard or garden will allow the birds even more support, by expanding their foraging area, but please do ensure that your feeding station doesn’t make the birds vulnerable to the local cat population. The RSPCA says:

A cat’s natural instinct is to hunt it’s prey but there is a real concern domestic cats are impacting the welfare of local wildlife. To help prevent your cat bringing home unwanted surprises, and to protect local wildlife, we recommend:

  • Restrict outdoor access at dusk and dawn when wildlife is most active, at least an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise.
  • Restrict outdoor access after bad weather such as rain, to allow birds to come out and feed.
  • Attaching a bell to a quick-release safety collar.

It would also be great if someone knowledgeable could volunteer to keep a regular bird count, for the park. As we have been moving the geese on for several months, we’d like to be sure that this hasn’t had any negative impact on the ducks, coots etc. Get in contact by info@rowntreepark.org.uk

Off now, to splish-splash-splosh through the puddles!

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We’re in the news!

Our lovely Easter Egg trail was covered in the local paper: many thanks to Christine and the Younger Friends group for all their hard work – and especially to Hilary and family for getting stuck in (and wearing the bunny ears!) : http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/16126840.Easter_gets_underway_in_York_park/

 


Artist in Residence 2018

artist in residence discussions

Cath, Nick and Michele (with Lisa and Rosemary, disguised on the left) discuss ideas and arrangements for Nick’s residency at the park

We’re delighted to announce this year’s Artist in Residence is Nick Booth, a MA student studying Fine Art at York St John University. We met up to discuss his ideas on Saturday, and we were intrigued by his proposals. Partly inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, Nick wants to explore some of the historical aspects of Rowntree Park, from its foundation in the aftermath of World War I, through the inter-war years and onwards, encompassing some memorable elements such as the swimming pool, the aviaries, skating on the lake and the millennial renovations. Perhaps Friends and other local people have ideas for what “absolutely has to be included” in a portrayal of the park? Nick will be spending some time in the park itself, getting inspiration, and will also be warmly welcomed in the Reading Cafe, where his art will be displayed in an exhibition this summer. We’re looking forward to seeing what he produces.

It’ll be a summer of Art (amongst other things) in the park, as we are also working with Sculpture students from York St John University, who are proposing some temporary installations for the park for the weekend of July 7th/8th (to coincide with the Bloom Festival). A curator from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park is helping with this project.


Application deadline extended

We have extended our deadline for applications for our “Artist in Residence” opportunity; please do pass on this information to anyone who might be interested.

The Friends of Rowntree Park are looking for an artist who is studying in York (at post-16 level), who would like to spend time in Rowntree Park and express their experiences in some form of art, to include material displayed in an exhibition at the Reading Cafe.

Do you know a new or emerging artist who would benefit from this opportunity?

  • Application is by email (info@rowntreepark.org.uk), attaching a written proposal (maximum 1000 characters including spaces) as a pdf. In your email, please state your name, the art course you attend, and the school/college/university you are studying at. If you are under 18, please state your age. Your proposal can also include a single image, also as a pdf.
  • We are looking for applications from students studying in York at AS/A2 level, foundation or degree level.
  • Your proposed artwork(s) should be new and site-specific, relating to the park in some way. Your proposal should make it clear how the work would relate to the park. You will probably wish to visit the park (and the cafe) before applying, if you do not already know the space concerned.
  • We have three local artists lined up to consider the applications, in the context of the park and the cafe.
  • We expect the successful artist to spend further time within the park, in order to engage with the space – and be ‘in residence’, as the title suggests; the amount of time will be agreed with the artist. We will be able to organise an area within the cafe, where you could work in the warm and dry – with coffee supplies nearby!
  • The proposed art works can be of any media, within the practical constraints of the display space; it may be that some pieces would be suitable for outside display. Art works must be suitable for all ages, as the exhibition space is open to all.
  • Application deadline is midday on January 26th: the winning artist will be announced on February 16th 2018.
  • The successful artist will be offered an exhibition in the Reading Café, Rowntree Park, with the local press being invited to attend the opening/private view. Dates of the exhibition to be confirmed, but we anticipate that it will be in summer 2018, and that it will last at least a month.
  • The successful artist will be offered a grant of £250 towards materials and other expenses.

For more information or to apply, please email info@rowntreepark.org.uk


I’ve got a little list

No, not a list of Christmas presents I’d like to have – a list of volunteering opportunities in the park! Well, not so little either (see below), but this gives a flavour of the work that we already do in the park – as well as some of the things that we’d like to be able to do. There’s a huge amount of variety: some of them are one-off or occasional items, and some are much more long-term. Some tasks are seasonal – leaf raking and snow warden – and others can be done anytime of the year. They are on the list in a deliberately random order.

If you would like more details on any of these volunteering opportunities, do get in contact info@rowntreepark.org.uk

Litter pickers
Co-ordinator or organiser of events suitable for teenagers
Poster/flyer designer
Website design
Volunteer co-ordinator
Musical event co-ordinator
Newsletter/leaflet delivery
Event planners
Bird seed topping-up
Duck food provider
‘Snow Warden’ = salt/grit scattering
Leaf raking (and using leaf blower)
Goose herding
Gardening
Gardening info circulation
Younger Friends (assisting)
Very Young Friends (leader)
Very Young Friends (assisting)
Bird recording
Wood-worker

Do you know a potential Artist in Residence?

The Friends of Rowntree Park are looking for an artist who is studying in York (at post-16 level), who would like to spend time in Rowntree Park and express their experiences in some form of art, to include material displayed in an exhibition at the Reading Cafe.

Do you know a new or emerging artist who would benefit from this opportunity?

  • Application is by email (info@rowntreepark.org.uk), attaching a written proposal (maximum 1000 characters including spaces) as a pdf. In your email, please state your name, the art course you attend, and the school/college/university you are studying at. If you are under 18, please state your age. Your proposal can also include a single image, also as a pdf.
  • We are looking for applications from students studying in York at AS/A2 level, foundation or degree level.
  • Your proposed artwork(s) should be new and site-specific, relating to the park in some way. Your proposal should make it clear how the work would relate to the park. You will probably wish to visit the park (and the cafe) before applying, if you do not already know the space concerned.
  • We have three local artists lined up to consider the applications, in the context of the park and the cafe.
  • We expect the successful artist to spend further time within the park, in order to engage with the space – and be ‘in residence’, as the title suggests; the amount of time will be agreed with the artist. We will be able to organise an area within the cafe, where you could work in the warm and dry – with coffee supplies nearby!
  • The proposed art works can be of any media, within the practical constraints of the display space; it may be that some pieces would be suitable for outside display. Art works must be suitable for all ages, as the exhibition space is open to all.
  • Application deadline is midday on December 15th; the winning artist will be announced on January 19th 2018.
  • The successful artist will be offered an exhibition in the Reading Café, Rowntree Park, with the local press being invited to attend the opening/private view. Dates of the exhibition to be confirmed, but we anticipate that it will be in summer 2018, and that it will last at least a month.
  • The successful artist will be offered a grant of £250 towards materials and other expenses.

For more information or to apply, please email info@rowntreepark.org.uk


Tea and spiced apple cake; rewards after gardening!

Image may contain: one or more people, grass, outdoor and nature

10 volunteers came to help plant hundreds of daffodil bulbs this morning, and were rewarded with home-made cake, as well as our normal tea/coffee. I was asked for the recipe for my mum’s spiced apple cake, so here it is (below).

Meanwhile, many thanks to all the hard working volunteer gardeners!

Spiced apple cake

  • 4oz butter/marg
  • 7oz sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 7oz self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of unsweetened apple puree (if home made, then make sure it is reasonably smooth and not too wet)

Cream together butter and sugar, blend in flour and eggs, and then all the other ingredients.

Bake in a greased, bottom-lined  tin, for 60-70 mins, at 350F, 180C or gas mark 4

Top with lemon icing.