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.
Our AGM is on October 19th at 7pm, at the Reading Café in the Park. We’ll be discussing our progress this year, and thinking about next year’s activities and ideas.
Don’t forget, our annual round news is published as A Year in the Park
All are welcome to attend the AGM (not just members), so do come and join us. Please arrive between 6.50 and 7pm, at the Richardson St entrance (the other entrances will already be locked). If you are running late, please ring the café on: 551489 and we’ll come and let you in.
The little explorers and I are always keen to tackle a new adventure so we were very excited to test out the new park trail. We love birds, we love stories and we love looking for hidden things so it seemed like a perfect afternoon adventure. The trail map from the park café (suggested donation £1) only added to the excitement with its beautiful illustrations by Gerard Hobson.
The trail takes you on an imaginative adventure, following the story of the little sparrow who wanted to find out who should be king. We followed the sparrow on his journey to meet all the different birds in the park, each telling him about their special quality which would make them the best king. We loved spotting and identifying the wooden birds in the trees and the littlest explorer had a great time peeking in the bird boxes to find the clues.
There are some steps on the trail so it’s not ideal for pushchairs (though you can avoid that part of the route) but even my little 2 year old managed the walk without any problems – in fact most of the time he was running to get to the bird box before his older brother! The paths are good and the trail takes you through some of the lesser visited areas of the park which only adds to the fun.
Trail complete, we headed back to the café where the lovely staff gave both children a beautiful bird badge (which they are still wearing proudly) and a colouring sheet.
Who was king of the birds? You’ll have to try it out for yourself to find out!
Guest post by Christine, and the little explorers
Between a dog and a three year old, I’m in the park two to three times a day, so I tend to notice the arrival of some new baby waterfowl. A few weeks back, on a trip to the playground, I noticed two baby moorhen near the north island, peeping away in the water while their mother walked along the edge of the island. Before the ramps to the islands were removed during the clearing of the lake a few months ago, baby chicks could easily access dry land. When I walked the dog later in the day, both were beginning to look unwell. Once in the water, they had no way out: they were too small either to get on to the island or out on to the pavement. I made a makeshift raft by tying some sticks together with bits of long grass and managed to scoop one on, but the other was too far away.
Uncertain what else to do, I called the RSPCA – their officer was too busy to get to the park before nightfall, and in any case I don’t think they quite grasped the situation I was describing (they reassured me that it’s natural for moorhen chicks to go in the water not long after they are born; I tried to explain I was less concerned with them being in the water than I was with the fact that they couldn’t get out). They asked me to call in the morning if the chicks were still there and seemed to need help; when I checked on them an hour later, both had already drowned, having swum to exhaustion.
It was at this point that I contacted the Friends of Rowntree Park, to ask what had happened to the ramps. Cath answered my email swiftly and shared my concerns; when a new group of moorhen chicks ended up in the same situation last week, I went straight to Cath to see if the Friends could help. Walking through the park again an hour and half later (armed with sticks and a bit of scrap wood I found on my walk so that, in case she hadn’t received my email, I could attempt to help them myself somehow), I was delighted to find Cath, along with Rosemary and Hugo, mid-rescue operation. They managed to get three chicks back on to the south island, and one on to the north island (a second by the north island had already died). The next day in the park, I gathered some large sticks in the hopes of propping them by the edge of the lake so at the very least they could get a break from swimming, and hopefully on to dry land a bit. As I was doing so, I bumped into Hugo and Rosemary with some new ramps they had made, and Cath made a makeshift nest of sticks on a couple of bricks for them, too. A few hours later I spotted the chicks on Cath’s nest, and a day or two later I spotted them – and one of the smaller ducklings – making good use of the ramp to get on and off the island. After what had happened before, this felt a wonderful success story.
To make a long story short – it was amazing to see such a swift response from the Friends in helping out some of the inhabitants of the park. At a time when budget cuts mean the park depends more and more on volunteers to maintain it, it’s wonderful to see what a dedicated team the Friends are; they’ve certainly inspired me to look into more ways to get involved.
Guest post by Alison
We’re delighted to announce that our first event with YUMI is an International Picnic, on July 16th, from 11am to 2pm. Share international food, learn origami, plant up herb planters for the Cafe and get information about FRP and YUMI activities. Do bring a picnic and join in! Suitable for all ages.
Information about this, and our other activities, is on our latest newsletter. And it’s always worth following us on Facebook and Twitter.
You might be interested in this Learn to French Dance, which is on at the Park, at 3pm on the same day.
We’ve had to take the difficult decision to cancel the Birthday Party this year. This is due to the fact that 1) we do not have enough volunteers to organise it, and 2) we have not raised the money needed for several new ‘essential items’ (eg security, portaloos, a PA system), which are required on top of the usual costs (insurance, printing, licence, publicity etc). We have put out multiple appeals for volunteers and contributions, including crowdfunding and a YorkMix article.
The huge numbers of people (probably 5000) attending last year’s Party meant that we clearly need these additional volunteers and facilities; without them, we cannot run a safe and enjoyable event. Huge thanks to Christina Nichols who has worked very hard trying to resolve these issues, and to all those who offered their time and money, this year. We are sorry for any disappointment caused. NB if anyone is interested in helping a team to organise next year’s Party, please do speak up: planning starts in January, but never too soon to volunteer!
STOP PRESS: DUE TO CRAZY RAIN SITUATION, THIS HAS BEEN RELOCATED TO SOUTHLANDS METHODIST CHURCH We are delighted that the York International Shakespeare Festival are again putting on a show in the park; see the poster below. Many people enjoy coming to these events, and often embrace the whole atmosphere, by bringing picnics, blankets, deck chairs etc.
You can get tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/volpone-or-out-foxed-tickets… Although the show is offered for free, donations are invited.