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Activities of the Friends of Onchan Park

We have a dedicated group of committee members and we have lots of help from a wider group. During the last few months we’ve been busy with the following activities:

  • working on the website
  • tweeting @OnchanPark- please follow us!
  • writing a constitution
  • setting up the online survey
  • planning a door-to-door survey of local people
  • meeting with MPs and Gedling Borough Councillors
  • planning media contact- radio, TV, newspapers
  • writing a valid petition to circulate to local people and put in local shops/businesses
  • setting up focus groups with schools and older people and other groups
  • planning events for the Summer months
  • sourcing funding and opening a bank account
  • designing posters and magazine articles
  • writing meeting minutes
  • contacting local shops and businesses to gain support
  • meeting with local ‘friends of’ groups to get ideas
  • surveying the trees and hedges on the park
  • and probably much more! Please let me know if I’ve forgotten anything!

All this is to work up our proposal to put to the Cabinet as an alternative option to the ones they currently have.

If you have any skills you’d like to share, please tell us in the comments or on the contact us page.

Activitie -Measuring trees

Activities- surveying trees

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First public meeting February 2016

Do you remember how it all started? Alison and Jill organised a public meeting in St John’s Church on Oakdale Road. David Wakelin, one of two directors at Gedling Borough Council, and Melvyn Cryer, Service Manager of Parks and Street Care, addressed the packed out church. Councillors Paul Wilkinson and Nicki Brooks also attended. See the article from the Post for more details and a photo.


Here is Jill’s report on the meeting which she first posted to the Facebook group ‘Save Onchan Park’ in February 2016: Read More

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Trees: The many benefits

Friends of Onchan Park are very concerned that the sale of the land including the old bowling green, pavilion, tennis court and football pitch for redevelopment into housing will badly affect the local community in many ways. Here we consider the effect of the loss of up to 45 trees, 360 metres of hedges and flower borders.
Flooding risk to the surrounding houses may increase. The air quality may be reduced if the trees are cut down.
The loss of green space and trees which are used directly by many families and children every day and are visible from Oakdale road by passing cars and pedestrians will result in a reduction in mental health and wellbeing and will reduce the opportunity for physical exercise for local residents. (See references).
When the park was first created in the 1950s, the planting was considered carefully and many species of tree and shrub were included. This makes the park attractive all year round for people and animals, with berries and evergreens in the winter, flowering trees in the spring, shade and shelter provision during the summer and colourful displays of leaves and fruits in the autumn.
Trees catch rainwater and allow it to evaporate or flow to the soil or into drains, this reduces stormwater run-off. Trees remove air pollution and store carbon. Trees reduce the effects of extreme temperatures, reducing the need for cooling in summer and heating in winter.
Friends of Onchan Park hope to put forward an alternative option which will allow the trees and hedges to remain so that the community can continue to enjoy and benefit from this tangible asset.

Holly Tree

References
“Green spaces deliver lasting mental health benefits -Green space in towns and cities could lead to significant and sustained improvements in mental health, finds a new study published in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology.”   Uni of Exeter research
“Trees influence both the physical and mental health of local communities.” Trees in the Townscape- A Guide for Decision makers
Wildlife and biodiversity. “Most species of tree are of significant value to wildlife.” The value of different tree and shrub species to wildlife, K Alexander, J Butler and T Green, British Wildlife, Oct 2006.

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Summary of Meeting with Vernon Coaker, MP for Gedling

The meeting took place with our MP on Friday, 15th April 2016. Those present were Vernon Coaker, his secretary Collette and, representing Friends of Onchan Park, Nicolas Kyriacou and Terry Pollard. Vernon Coaker appeared very well informed about the situation and demonstrated detailed knowledge of Onchan Park and its current condition.

We presented our setup and intentions (constitution, committee, bank account, etc) and informed him of our survey, planned petition, focus groups etc.

Vernon Coaker appeared to be very supportive of our cause and when asked directly, pledged his support to us. When asked what his views were on the way we are approaching the issue, Vernon Coaker confirmed that we are doing everything that needs to be done correctly and that we should continue along our proposed lines. He also stated that we should continue to liaise with our Ward Councillors, Paul Wilkinson and Nicki Brooks and to pursue David Wakelin for answers as and when required.

With regards to our problem of pinning down a timeline in which to deliver our proposals, the secretary informed us that the Council’s Cabinet meetings are published on their website a week in advance. However, Vernon Coaker promised to pursue the issue for us and to inform us directly, when known, of the date of the relevant Cabinet meeting.

The Cabinet meetings are open to the public, however, members of the public are not allowed to speak or actively take part. Once a decision has been taken, the recommendation has then to be presented to Full Council for formal approval (also, a public meeting).

Regarding legal advice, Vernon Coaker stated that we should pursue that with David Wakelin or through our local councillors and that the Council’s Legal team should give us all the legal advice that we require.

Vernon Coaker has a meeting with the Sacred Heart School in “a couple of weeks’ time” and understands that they (together with the other local schools) are on board with us regarding our wish to retain Onchan Park in its entirety.

The meeting concluded after about 20 minutes and Vernon Coaker said that we could telephone or email his secretary at any time that we needed to.

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Carlton Cabinet meeting at CCJS

Last week we met with the Carlton Cabinet at Carlton Central Junior School to hold a focus group to find out what the juniors want to see and do at Onchan Park in the future. CCJS has a lovely big meeting room and we all sat round the circular table. The cabinet ministers had some brilliant ideas which will go towards our proposal to the council.

We met with 12 children; a boy and a girl from each class. Ten children said that they regularly use local parks and four of them used Onchan Park regularly. We showed the children the location maps and a plan of the park. We talked about our favourite parks in Nottingham. We looked at our map showing the locations of road traffic accidents and we talked about the problems that children would have if Onchan Park was taken away. Their nearest park would be much further away and they might not be allowed to cross busy roads to get to it. Their first response to this was that ‘they should build houses on plain fields, not on parks’, and ‘they shouldn’t build on parks’. The children also realised that having more houses on Oakdale Road will increase the amount of traffic on local roads and could make the roads more dangerous. Read More

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Local Door-to-Door Survey

Thanks to everyone who came to the meeting on Monday. 😊
As you know we’re doing a survey of ideas and opinions. So far, the response has been brilliant and we’d like to gather more responses from local people. Many of you have kindly offered to help out and now is your chance!
If you would be willing to help with a door-to-door survey and petition, please leave a comment below. We will contact you to see which houses you can do… once we’ve got a plan we’ll let you know and give you the information pack.
Thanks guys x

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Meeting with Carlton Central Infants

Friends of Onchan Park are planning meetings and focus groups with the local schools to raise awareness of our issues and to gather opinions and views on the future of Onchan Park.
Today we met with the deputy head of Carlton Central Infants who regularly uses Onchan Park with her family. She is very interested in our concerns and is very keen to work with us. We had lots of ideas about work that the infants could do to express their ideas about the park.
We planned a meeting next week and we will have some more firm ideas to share with you after that.

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Welcome

Welcome to the new website for Onchan Park. The site will provide updates on the ‘Save Onchan Park‘ campaign, there will be a history section as more is discovered about the park and it’s development since 1958 and details about events and activities happening in the park or nearby.

Have a look at the photos section for pictures of the park from the past and present and from all seasons. If you have any photographs or memories of the park please do not hesitate to share them with us.