Lest we forget

November 2018 marks 100 years since the end of WW1 (1918). Rowntree Park was opened as a memorial to the First World War in 1921 by the Rowntree Family.

On the park’s opening in July 1921. Joseph Rowntree stated that the park was “intended to serve as a perpetual memorial to the members of the Cocoa works staff that fell and suffered in the War” and how he hoped the park would “afford many rest and recreation from the turmoil and stress of life, and bring health and happiness to a large number of young lives”.  Seebohm Rowntree followed on from his father’s speech by stating that he hoped that the park might ‘keep green’ in peoples memories at the time, and in times to come to the high ideals for which England had entered the war including making the world a better place to live in.

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We have a range of displays, events and activities planned for Rowntree Park through the coming months from art installations, Remembrance Rocks, Poppies in the Park and a poetry/art/music collaboration by a creatives ‘Northern Electric’ that will bring memories of the park alive via an online app.  Some details are below and further details will be shared here and on Facebook where we list our events.

Poppies in the Park

Calling all crafters! Help the Friends of Rowntree Park mark the centenary of the end of WW1 (1918) with fantastic crochet, knitted or felted poppies that will be displayed in Rowntree Park.  Our aim is to create a wall of poppies spilling down the wall of the steps leading to the cafe, that can be seen directly from the lychgate.

If you can knit, crochet or sew, we’d love your help. Join us at one or more of our craft sessions (dates and places below) or make your own at home. We are after poppies that are red, white and green(!)

We’re holding drop-in craft sessions on:
Mon 17th Sept 2-3pm at Rowntree Park Café
Wed 3rd Oct 7.30-8.30 (ish) at the Winning Post Pub (Bishopthorpe Rd)
Tuesday 16th of Oct 7.30-8.30 (ish) at the Winning Post Pub (Bishopthorpe Rd)
These sessions are aimed at adults (or skilled teens).

Sat Oct 20th 1-3pm – Poppy craft event for children (aimed at 3-14). This includes making felt poppies and also helping create a large piece of wall art.  Meet at the Young Friends Clubhouse under the cafe). There is a small cost for the children’s activity to cover resources (£1 per child for Friends of Rowntree Park members and £1.50 otherwise).

The poppies display will start to be installed on Oct 20th.

Adult/teen craft sessions are free of charge, just bring needles and wool if you have them or borrow some from us. Poppies of all sizes and shapes welcome, you can use your own pattern or there are some suggestions here: http://support.britishlegion.org.uk/app/answers/detail/a_id/1346/~/knit-or-crochet-a-poppy

If you make your own poppies just get in touch with us and we will give you an address to drop them at.

Remembrance Rocks

Rowntree Park Rocks has successfully been running over a year.  The aim being for adults and children to decorate rocks and leave them in the park for others to find.  It brightens people’s day and gets people out and about exploring the park.  However, to mark the centenary of the war, we are encouraging people to create ‘Remembrance Rocks’.   This is aimed at young and old and Remembrance can be linked to the First World War, wars since or for anyone who we have lost in our lives.

 

A few thoughts…

All our events for the centenary of the end of the First World War are not a celebration of war but are to remember those who gave their lives for what leaders believed was right at the time, to remember all those then and since that have had their lives touched by war, and in a wider sense, remembrance of anyone you have lost who we were close to. We hope the displays and events we have on in the park through October are talking points for people, and parents can engage with their younger children on the topic of war and remembrance, in general, taking the chats in whatever direction they seem fitting.  We hope you enjoy what we have planned and we’d love for you to be involved.

 

 

 

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Enchanted Woodland Event

Join us in the ‘Enchanted Woodland’ area of Rowntree Park. If you listen quietly you will hear whispers…it is rumoured that elves and fairies live here!  Our event is taking place on Thursday 9th of August in the morning (see below).

We’d love you to join us for crafts and activities in the woods. Make your own mystical woodland creatures and create them a home!

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The event is suitable for 2-10-year-olds and is £2 per child for Friends of Rowntree Park members and £3 per child for non-members. Little ones (and big ones) are welcome to dress up! We have a staggered start – you can buy a 10am ticket or a 10.30 ticket.  The event lasts around 1 hour and 30 mins.  Bring a picnic and stay around in the park!
Join is in the woodland area near the Cameron Grove/Butcher Terrace entrance. Wind your way through the woodland path to the log story circle, but look out for homes of ‘little people’ on the way!

All our events are run by volunteers, any money raised covers resources for the event and then goes back into the park which is mostly maintained by volunteers. Children remain the responsibility of their parents/carers at all times.

If you’d like to support our volunteers work in the park, you can join online for only £5 a year per household – you get 10% off at the cafe for the year, discount/free entry to the events we run and a warm fuzzy feeling you are supporting the park!  Buy your membership and then purchase a ‘members’ ticket for the Woodland event below.
www.rowntreepark.org.uk/membership

You only need to purchase tickets for children over 2 who will be involved in the activities. No adult tickets needed (more adults the better to help the kids craft!).  If your under 2 year old wants to be involved in crafts, please buy them a ticket so we have enough resources -if they are just ‘helping’  their sibling(s) then no ticket required.

Any queries please contact Abigail at membership@rowntreepark.org.uk

Friends of Rowntree Park Members -£2 Non Members – £3
Enchanted Woodland event ticket – 10am start SOLD OUT SOLD OUT
Enchanted Woodland event ticket – 10.30am start SOLD OUT SOLD OUT

If for any reason the event doesn’t go ahead, ticket prices will be refunded.  However, if you can no longer make the event, I’m afraid we cannot refund the ticket though you are welcome to sell the ticket(s) on – just let us know the name of the buyer.  Many thanks.

 


Orienteering for all ages!

This week has mainly been about orienteering in the park, and there is more to come!  We hosted a Saturday orienteering event in conjunction with the amazing Eborienteers.  It was fantastic to see people of all ages running, walking, jogging, pram pushing around the park – map in hand seeking out those orange and white boxes!  The Eborienteers set up 4 routes in the park, progressively getting harder, and times were recorded with the use of dinky electronic dibbers.

It was lovely to see families and young children attempting orienteering for the first time.   We estimate around 150 people came along a had a go!  The Eborienteers were fantastic in helping people and explaining what to do.  They have even said they’d love to come back again in the next few months, fingers crossed!

The Eborienteers have also recently installed a permanent course in the park.  It’s a fantastic way to explore the park and add a little challenge! There will be some maps available in the Park cafe near The Friends of Rowntree Park duck food display.  Please feel free to borrow the maps and explore the park and have fun at the same time finding the orienteering points – please return the maps after.  You can download the maps for the three different routes here:

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The Young Friends of Rowntree Park’s after-school group – The Nature Ninjas – did some orienteering practice as their meet up a few days before the big event.  They used maps to navigate around cones and collect points, before being unleashed into the park to run along a route and develop their map reading skills.  It was amazing to see them grow in confidence.  Orienteering has definitely been a hit in the park this week and long may it continue!

Find out more about the Eborienteers and their regular meetups and events by clicking the link.

 

 

 


Scarecrow Trail Weekend

The Friends of Rowntree Park hosted our first ‘Scarecrow Trail’ over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of July 2018, and what a fabulous weekend it was!  The theme was ‘children’s stories’ and the trail took people around the streets neighbouring the park.  The local community produced some wonderful, inventive and awe-inspiring offerings.  To name but a few, we had; Room on the Broom, Meg, Mog and Owl, Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter, The Iron Giant, Miffy, Mr Big, George’s Marvellous Medicine, Willy Wonka, Gangster Granny, The Boy in the Dress, Snail and the Whale, the Scarecrows Wedding and so many more!

 

We had 35 houses involved and this included the main trail and a ‘little legs’ trail for smaller children.  At each house, the scarecrow had a question to be answered. Then those completing the trail sheet voted for their favourite scarecrow and got a sticker!

In the park, we had some stalls and children’s activities which included water play, perfect for very hot toddlers!  Two winners were drawn at random for prizes that included vouchers for the Reading Cafe in Rowntree Park.  We also had a prize for guess the name of the scarecrow.

Overall we had a fabulous weekend and we have heard people plotting what scarecrow they’d make if we were to do it again next year.  We have raised just under £500 and this money will go towards our current projects which include more signage/notices for the park with regard to flowers and wildlife and improvements to the wildlife pond.

A huge thanks to everyone who took part, helped and came along and did the trail.

 

 

 


Ain’t that goose news? Man, ain’t that news? (With apologies to the late, great Sam Cooke)

For a number of months, volunteers from the Friends of Rowntree Park (guided by the council’s experts) have been seeking to manage the goose situation in the Park, in a humane way.

Doing anything to manage the geese problem does not meet the approval of all – and we do appreciate that we can’t please everyone.  Over the decades, there has been much conflicting debate in The Press and over social media (not to mention nationally/internationally) on this issue. There is no simple solution.

The numbers of geese fluctuate, and along with that, the level of nuisance experienced. However, last summer it had again reached a point where there were regularly over 80 geese in the Park. Many local people we spoke to, and who wrote into The Press, were simply unwilling to come to the Park either because their children were scared of the geese or (more likely) because of the sheer volume of goose poo which is unsightly and unhealthy, for young and old alike.

In our work, we remember that our Park is unique because it’s a memorial to the courageous victims of World War 1, as well as a vital resource for recreation, learning and well-being in our increasingly built-up city. The Park is also an essential component in the City’s flood strategy. So for these and many more reasons, it is massively important that the Park continues to be used and enjoyed, maintained and improved.

With so many local people not wanting to visit the Park because of the geese, and the waning in resources available to our Council, those crucial roles of Rowntree Park are endangered.

There have been many debates and conversations with the council and other advisors about the goose situation. As reported in a previous post, we started a programme of goose management using hand-held lasers, which was largely successful. When the goose moulting season set in (June), we induced the final few to leave on foot.

So as of the last week of June, there were no geese in the Park – a couple have returned now and we are certain a few more will return, when they are able to fly comfortably. In small, controllable numbers that will be fine, but we don’t however want to be so overrun that the very future of our Park is called into doubt.

Meanwhile, we continue to discuss other methods to manage them: artificial hawks, daytime volunteer patrols, small fencing around the lake which will deter geese but not mallards. (Incidentally we have had 24 new mallards this year).

A side benefit of our work on this matter has been the daily presence of FRP volunteers in the Park meaning that we can monitor and be active on a range of other vital issues: vandalism, litter, planting, and so forth.

Many thanks to all our goose volunteers – Tom, Val, Lara, Christine and Ruth – who have achieved such success.

We will continue to monitor the goose situation regularly and humanely in the interests of preserving the unique role of our Park in the life of this city and its benefits for so many…

David Rowsell (Goose Herder General)


Orienteering in the park

The Friends of Rowntrees Park and Eborienteers are running a fantastic orienteering event on Saturday 21st of July. Orienteering promotes physical wellbeing and map reading ability, and most of all it is great fun!

There will be a range of courses to suit all ages and abilities from beginners to the more experienced. There will be people on hand to help anyone who hasn’t done orienteering before, therefore it’s the perfect chance to give it a go!

orienteering

To put it simply, orienteering involves using a map to navigate from point to point.  In this case, finding markers placed all over the park.  For the more competitive, you are given an electronic device to scan the points when you reach them, this records your time it takes you to get from point to point.  You get an overall time and can see who achieved the best times.

There will be 4 courses varying in distance from 1km to 2km. Two courses will be easy (and suitable for buggies/wheelchairs) and two will be a little harder. All will be entirely within the park. People can choose to run as individuals or in groups. We are also hoping to have a ‘string course’ for age 3-5-year-olds.

What you need to know:

Registration and get maps available from 10.00am
Course start time – 11am (finish 12.30pm)
Where – located near the Ping Pong/climbing frame/toilet area
Cost – £3 (includes maps/multiple courses)
Parking information – Carpark, Terry Ave, York YO23 1JQ

More details can be found at http://www.eborienteers.org.uk
Contact The Friends of Rowntree Park via Facebook or membership@rowntreepark.org.uk

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Walking to Wonderland?

As part of the Bloom! the festival, follow our scarecrow trail this weekend, walking through the local neighbourhood.  The theme is children’s stories.  What an array we have with creative scarecrow designs based on Miffy, George’s Marvellous Medicine, The Iron Giant, The Boy In The Dress, The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Aliens Love Underpants and The Magic Faraway Tree – amongst others – it will be great family-friendly fun.  There is a main trail as well as one for ‘little legs’.

Trails are £2, available from Rowntree Park Reading Cafe, Frankie and Johnnies’ and Pextons on Bishopthorpe Road, as well as from our stall in the park (near the cafe) on Saturday and Sunday, from 11 to 4pm.

Completed trail sheets can be returned to the stall in the park and there are prizes on offer for the ‘Best Scarecrow’ and completed sheets draw at random.  In the park we will also have some children’s crafts activities as well as the opportunity to view our plans for the new play park. We’d love to hear your views on the final three designs.

It should be a fantastic weekend!

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