Tea and spiced apple cake; rewards after gardening!

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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.


AGM 2017

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.

International Picnic (with gardening, obviously!)

FRP_YUMI_International Picnic Flyer

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.

You can also follow our new Children’s Trail (leaflet at Cafe, or at the Picnic, suggested donation £1), by artist Gerard Hobson and check out the Brilliant Birds yarnstorming installation.

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.

Playground consultation

The Young Friends would like to know what local people think about the playground in the Park. Give us your ideas! There is an online form here:



Volunteer gardening

March 2017 general gardening

The volunteer gardening group have been very active recently – and we have big plans for the next few months. The group takes on a wide variety of tasks, after discussion with the gardening team at the Council. More volunteers are always welcome.

We started off the new year by planting eight trees in the avenue that leads to the rose pergola; these replace trees that were planted during the Lottery-funded renovations, but which did not survive repeated floodings. We hope that the new ones (which include silver birch trees) will flourish.

This week, the volunteers worked on the long borders, and on the area around the maze and rose pergola. Also, a cherry tree was planted and a new bird box fixed in place (in the woods). Dozens of tiny plants are now the room under the cafe, which has been temporarily adopted for gardening purposes (it’s normally used by the tennis club).

The Urban Buzz project paid for large numbers of bulbs which we planted up on ‘the bank’ (near Cameron Grove entrance) with the help of lots of young helpers, during the October half-term. These are now coming up, and we’re delighted to have a bit more colour in this area. We have been allocated yet more money from this project to buy dozens more plants which are suitable for the bugs and bees. And yes, all of these plants will need to be planted by volunteers!

Currently, the gardening sessions take place on Tuesdays, with the next planned date being April 25 (further dates in the Newsletter). Meet at 9.30 below the cafe, bringing gardening gloves if you have them. A technical knowledge of gardening is not essential, just a willingness to dig and improve our lovely park. A cup of tea is provided at the end of the session, as a reward for your effort. Contact us here, or by Facebook.

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.

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 www.buglife.org.uk/urban-buzz/york  or contact Andrew Cutts Andrew.cutts@buglife.org.uk