Reprinted from Friends newsletter, in case there are subscribers who are not members of the Friends:
As you will be aware, the council approved plans to turn the old park keepers flat above the cafe to a holiday let. The original planning application was withdrawn at the start of this year from a number of reasons, but it is likely it will be submitted soon with amendments. The Friends of Rowntree Park committee would prefer the flat to be utilised in some way for the community and we are working on an alternative proposal. Your view on this issue matters to us.
We’d be grateful if you could complete this very quick survey regarding the lodge. We encourage you to share the link with others too.
Important info – Closure/changes to Terry Avenue and Butcher Terrace
On a separate note, engineering work to help prevent flooding in the Clementhorpe area is likely to cause disruption to the area immediately around the park, particularly Terry Avenue and Butcher Terrace. Many local residents were unaware that the plans would require Terry Avenue (the riverside road) to change from a ‘byway to a highway’, for up to 18 months. Access to Terry Avenue would blocked at the bottom of Clementhorpe (for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians); instead, all traffic that needs access (construction vehicles, Roomzzz hotel deliveries and taxis, caravan site, park) would be routed via Butcher Terrace and the southern part of Terry Avenue.
The Environment Agency has applied for planning permission for these works, details of which you can see on the council planning portal: https://www.york.gov.uk/SearchPlanningApplications (use the code: 19/00570/FUL).
Comments about the plans were to be registered by 17th of May but we have been told that late submissions are still read and considered.
If the portal has any issues, you can use this email address: email@example.com
There is further information here: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/yorkshire/yorkfasclementhorpe/ with maps showing the areas concerned. You can contact the EA directly for further info, and you can submit comments to them, using this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is also useful to share any views with your local councillors.
We care about our local wildlife and know you do too! The park has a vibrant mix of birds, animals and insects and we love them all! Come along to our Wild Life Day in Rowntree Park to find out more about the types of wildlife we have in the park and engage with our range of family-friendly activities.
The event will run between 12-3pm on Sunday 9th of June and is free to attend. We have a range of groups coming with information and activities including:
- Owl adventures who will run some displays
- Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
- Butterfly conservation trust
- St Nicks
- Bumblebee conservation trust
- The conservation volunteers [TCV]
- East Yorkshire Bat Group
- Askham Bryan wildlife and conservation park
- Hedgehog group
- King of the Birds Trail
- More TBC
There will be a range of ‘drop-in’ children’s activities including (minimal charges may apply):
- Wild Art
- Bee finger puppets
- Bee walk
- Bird feeder making
- More TBC
In addition, we are running Pond Dipping sessions*. The Pond Dipping sessions need booking in advance as numbers are strictly limited for this popular event:
|Members Ticket – £2||Non Members ticket – £3|
|12pm-12.45pm||SOLD OUT||SOLD OUT|
*Parents/careers are expected to stay with their children at all times, but tickets are only needed for the children involved in the event. Most suited to 2-13-year-olds (approx)
There is no physical ticket. You have your Paypal receipt and we have a list of names. We will email you a few days before the event with details on where and when to meet.
The main event will take place on the large field near the playparks. This event has been organised by Friend of Rowntree Park. We are a group of volunteers who care about the park and community. The event is non-profit making and any money made/donated goes back into the park. We appreciate your support and know you share our love of the park and its wildlife.
Please see our Facebook events page for updates.
Park location – YO23 1JQ
There is a cafe on site run by York Explore (with toilets) and also a toilet block near our location. It is advised to bring a picnic as the cafe may be very busy. Alternatively, Bishopthorpe Rd shops are nearby for food and Cycle Heaven cafe (across the Millenium Bridge) – all within 5 mins walk.
The carpark at the park is small and there are council parking charges. You can walk to the park from town (15 mins) or get a Bus to Bishopthorpe Rd. You can access the park from Bishopthorpe road via Clementhorpe, Vine Street, Charlton Street, Richardson Street, Cameron Grove, and Butcher Terrace. In addition, across the Millennium Bridge from Fulford.
If any other wildlife-related groups are interested in being involved, or you require further information – contact Ruth: email@example.com
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!
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! Follow the trail and find the doors of our magical woodland folk. Unlock your little one’s imagination with us!
Saturday 25th May – 10am or 10.30am start
The event is suitable for 2-10-year-olds: The event lasts around 1 hour and 30 mins.
£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!
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.
Join us 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.
Join the Friends of Rowntree Park and unlock your discount!
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.
Any queries please contact Abigail at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Friends of Rowntree Park Members -£2||Non Members – £3|
|Enchanted Woodland event ticket – 10am start||Buy||Buy|
|Enchanted Woodland event ticket – 10.30am start||Buy||Buy|
*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.
How to find us:
There is a carpark at the park – Terry Avenue. However, it is a lovely 15 min walk/scoot/bike from town along Skeldergate or catch the bus to Bishopthorpe Rd shops and walk down to the park via Clementhorpe/Vine Street/Richardson St.
Other facilities/things to do:
The park has a library cafe and is perfect for lunch and snacks, as well as reading with the children. There are also numerous picnic benches and spots around the park. There are play parks, a skatepark, basketball courts and you can feed the ducks on the pond with duck food from the cafe.
Over the past 12 months, our income has increased quite substantially due to grants, increased membership and income from events we run for the community. We are now in the happy place of having to apply to formalise our position with an application for charitable status as an Incorporated Organisation. We would like to do this as soon as possible after the next Friends meeting.
We have used standard documentation from the Charity Commission to put together a constitution for the Friends and which we would like to discuss and approve (possibly with minor amendments) at the meeting on Thursday. You can see this document here FRP constitution 20 03 2019.
We have defined our objectives as being to:
1 promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of Rowntree Park as a place of environmental interest and amenity value
2 advance the education of the public in relation to the history, biodiversity and other aspects of Rowntree Park and related Issues
3 work with others on the provision of facilities for public education, recreation and other leisure interests within Rowntree Park
4 Promote civic responsibility, volunteering, health and well-being among the users of Rowntree Park.
We do need some Friends of Rowntree Park members to help with the organisation of this, as Trustees. 5 – 7 people are needed for this, and we hope they will step forward/ be selected on Thursday. If you cannot attend the meeting but are interested in putting yourself forward as a Trustee, then please let us know. Similarly, get in touch if you’d like to find out more on what being a Trustee involves. General information on becoming a charity trustee is here.
The Friends of Rowntree Park meeting takes place on Thurs 11th April at 7pm in Rowntree Park Reading Cafe. All members are welcome.
Rowntree Park is so important to many of us, and a great place to spend time together as a family, relax and unwind. The park has changed many times over the years since it’s opening in 1921. We are inviting children aged 6-13 (approx) to join us for an interactive History session about the park where we can explore it’s past, present and possibly it’s future.
The session will lead to children starting to plan a way they’d like to share their findings with the public. This may be a though a piece of art, a story, a poem or making a short film. Their work will be displayed in the cafe and used on social media (films).
This is a session for children to really get to know their local park and what it has meant to people over time – they can find out about the music that used to happen weekly, the aviary, the swimming pool, the boating lake, the colourful characters that were the park keepers and more!
The session takes place on Sunday 24th of March 10-11.30am in Rowntree Park Cafe. The ticket price includes a drink and a pastry for children. All events are run by volunteers, and children remain the responsibility of their parents/carers. Abigail who is running this event, and involved in many of our children’s events, is a qualified teacher (history specialism). Parents can have a relax in the cafe whilst the session is on – a perfect Sunday morning!
|History Project Members Ticket -£5||Buy Now|
|History Project Non-Members ticket – £6.50||Buy Now|
Not already a member? You can join Friends of Rowntree Park for just £5 a year per household. As well as priority/discount entry to events, you also get 10% off at the cafe for the year, monthly newsletters and the knowledge you are supporting our volunteer work in the park.
Join today! http://www.rowntreepark.org.uk/membership
Any questions regarding the project, please email Abigail at email@example.com
Tickets are non-refundable, but you are welcome to sell your ticket on – but please let us know who it goes to so we can get in contact.
*Pictures courtesy of ‘Ruby Florence Lea’ and York Press archives.
Two of the Friends’ committee attended the meeting of the Council’s Executive yesterday evening (14th Feb), and spoke about the Friends’ concerns about the plans to create a holiday flat in the former park-keepers accommodation. We had previously added our comments on the planning application (see the planning portal with the reference number 18/02255/FUL) and these comments are amongst those integrated in the council’s updated document on the application (pages 71 to 85)
We anticipated that the holiday flat plans would be agreed at this meeting, because no viable alternatives have been brought forward, despite a lot of discussion. And so it proved to be. However, it was significant that the councillors agreed with us that the public hadn’t been given sufficient information about the plan, in particular how the money raised would be spent, and how the property would be managed, when the conversion was completed. And the lack of clear communication even meant that members of the public thought that the flat (or in one case the cafe itself) was to be sold – unsurprisingly the word ‘disposal’ in the legal documents led people to assume this. The council’s updated document (see above) does provide answers to many of the questions raised, but it is still not readily accessible, as it is 15 pages within a daunting 342-page document, held on the council’s website.
Besides these issues, the aspects that have caused most debate locally can be grouped under the heading ‘moral issues.’ Would the Rowntree family have approved of (non-local) people holidaying in the park, and paying a lot of money for the privilege? Is it in the spirit of their gift? Would it be more fitting if a council employee was offered the accommodation? Is re-purposing like this an indication that the council would eventually like to sell the property? It is difficult to know the answers (impossible in some cases) but a question-and-answer session – and equivalent published material – would be very helpful.
However, the plans and money weren’t just ‘nodded through’ at the meeting, because (unusually) the council officers were told that they were required to now engage with the public, seeking to clarify plans and allay worries, and then return to the Executive. We will now work with council officers to ensure that there is an open meeting for this purpose, as soon as practical, and will advertise this as widely as possible. As usual, why not follow us on FB or Twitter (better still, join as a Friend, and get our regular members’ newsletters) and keep up to date with the news in the Park?
Meanwhile, the planning application will be re-worked and re-submitted, probably in July, with work on the Lodge (assuming that all goes to plan) starting in the autumn. Again, we make sure that this is advertised on FB, Twitter and via our newsletters.
All the council’s meetings are webcast, so you can see clips of us and Cllr Johnny Hayes speaking towards the beginning of the meeting, and the discussion amongst the councillors 52 minutes later on, using this link.
Join us to hear the dawn chorus in Rowntree Park on Saturday 6th of April 6am-7.30am.
We are running a one-off special event to hear the sounds of the day starting. We will watch and listen to birds, there will be some additional activities for children, a stove to keep us warm and we will be cooking breakfast over the fire. A perfect start to a Spring day!
Bring a chair and a blanket and we (and nature) will do the rest!
The event is open to all ages and there are discount tickets for Friends of Rowntree Park members. Single people, friends, families – all welcome! Bring your own binoculars or borrow some of ours.
We will meet at the Cameron Grove Gate entrance to the park at 6am. Tickets must be booked in advance via the links below.
|Members single Ticket -£4||SOLD OUT|
|Members Family Ticket – £14||SOLD OUT|
|Non -Members single Ticket -£5||SOLD OUT|
|Non-Members Family Ticket – £16||SOLD OUT|
*Family ticket is 2 adults and 2 children under 18 or 1 adult and 3 children
Once you have paid you will receive an instant confirmation from Paypal and within a week a confirmation from us. Tickets are non-refundable but if you resell your ticket, please provide details to us.
Breakfast includes a bacon or sausage sandwich and a hot drink – cooked outdoors! Vegetarian options are available and other allergies/intolerances may be accounted for – but please email before purchasing a ticket.
All events are run by volunteers (with appropriate training and skills) and any profit made from our events goes back into the maintenance and improvements in the park.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.