Table Tennis and new paths

Development of the facilities at Onchan Park in March 2021 included installation of two new table tennis tables and a new accessible path from a new gate to allow wheeled users to access the MUGA, tennis court, table tennis and children’s play equipment.

New gate and path small

The new gate is a little bit further up the hill from the old pedestrian gate on Onchan Avenue and allows easy access for pushchairs, wheelchairs, mobility scooters onto the middle level of the park.

Previously upper levels of the park were inaccessible unless you could use steps without handrails. Now the new gate and path provide access for all.

path before after small

The path next to the tennis court has been repaired so that the edges are firm and stable.

path repairs before after small

  • Anyone can turn up to play table tennis with the bats and balls provided by Friends of Onchan Park. Please leave the bats and balls at the park for the next people to use. ***Bats and balls coming soon!***
  • Sycamore Table Tennis Club based at Carlton Le Willows Academy school site will be running some outreach sessions at the park this year.

table tennis 2 before after small

Please park responsibly if you visit Onchan Park by car, to respect the neighbours of the park and other road users.

Friends of Onchan Park are working on a funding bid to level and resurface the green space at Onchan Park and connect the paths between the top and bottom areas of the park. We also plan to apply to FCC Communities in the autumn to refresh and replace the children’s play equipment.


Transformation of the MUGA

Works to transform the Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) on 1st March 2021 and by April the newly resurfaced court was being well used by groups and individuals for basketball, hockey, training and more.

The funding bid made jointly by Friends of Onchan Park and Gedling Borough Council last year successfully received a grant in 2020 from FCC Communities Foundation so that the sporting facilities could be re-developed and improved for the community. The works were delayed over the winter due to the lockdown situation, but by spring the new facilities were opened.

muga 2 before after small

The project included planting a laurel hedge along the east boundary to screen noise from the playing surface. Multiple lines were painted on the court so that a variety of different sports could be easily played. The MUGA can be accessed through 4 entry/exit points, one at each side of the space.

court lines small

  • The MUGA has been used by Nottingham Wolves Ball Hockey Club for outdoor urban hockey training as lockdown was lifted.
  • Tonic Fitness will be running a bootcamp style workout sessions on the MUGA – more details coming soon.
  • Notts Wildcats basketball club hope to be running some sessions at Onchan Park this year. The basketball court will be registered with Basketball England court finder so that people can find the new facilities.
  • The MUGA also has markings for a cricket wicket and a stumps board fixed to the fence within the court. Just turn up and play cricket!
  • 5-a side football can also be played in the newly resurfaced court, which is much more playable than the old bowling green space.

Friends of Onchan Park are working on a funding bid to level and resurface the green space at Onchan Park and we hope to apply to FCC Communities in the autumn to refresh and replace the children’s play equipment.


Onchan Park receive funding for sports facilities in the heart of the community

After 4 long years of community support, consultations, events and funding applications the Friends of Onchan Park have finally succeeded in securing funds to begin the first phase of transformation on Onchan Park also known as Oakdale Road Recreation Ground. From the early days of saving the park from being sold for building development, the friends group and the local community have worked to raise funds to create a space to meet the communities’ needs.

“This is wonderful news,” Chair of the friends group Alison Pritchard commented, “It has truly been a full community effort with support from primary and secondary schools, playgroups, local and county councillors, local businesses and the community all supporting the project with funding and involvement in events.”

The recent funding will provide a multi-use games area on the disused court space, two table tennis tables and disabled access for all. FCC Environment have approved funding of £74,450 towards the project with Gedling Borough Council providing a further £8,003 towards the funds raised by the community to make it happen. Once finished, there are plans to run cricket, table tennis, basketball and keep fit sessions.

Work on the park is planned to begin in December 2020 with the official opening expected in early spring of next year.

Thank you to all the supporters of Onchan Park, without whom none of this would have been possible.

Committee Sept 2019


New Year 2020 Update

Dear Supporters and Friends of Onchan Park

As the year draws to a close we wanted to keep you up to date with what’s been happening in 2019.

We haven’t held an event this year for two reasons;

1 – The green has been in such a poor state that it hasn’t been usable due to the holes in the ground.

2 – We haven’t had the time to organise events as we have been working very hard on finalising bids and applications for the MUGA; Table Tennis and disabled access and with trying to get match funding for bids approved by Gedling Borough Council.

The good news is that GBC seem to have had a change of heart towards Onchan Park in the last month.

GBC agreed to fund close to £5,000 to match with £70,000 that we are hoping to raise through funding applications with Sport England and FCC (formerly funding provided by waste recycling scheme).

We also tried for months to get council approval and support to resurface the old bowling green.  In the last month they have agreed to support us and offered £6,492 to support our application for a further £25,000 funding from the ‘Pocket Parks’ government fund.

The refurbishment of the green will include removing the conifers between the grassed area on Onchan Avenue side of the park and the bowling green, raising the level of the old bowling green to join the 2 areas together, creating one large green space for general play, 5-a-side, ball games etc and for event and community space for the future.  Mature trees will be planted to make up for removing the conifers.

We have, this week, finally submitted all our bids and will await news in the New Year.

This leaves us to work on getting funding for refurbishment of the play equipment in 2020, and finally, the following year we will address the issue of what the community wants for the pavilion.

Thank you for your continued support for Onchan Park.  We look forward to having celebratory events on the park in 2020.

If anyone would like to join our committee and have an active role in supporting the development of Onchan Park, please get in touch.  We are always open to welcoming new committee members.

Happy New Year to all our supporters.

Alison, Maria, Terry, Pia, Valeria and Sheelagh (Friends of Onchan Park)


Paths made safe at Onchan Park

The hot dry weather in the summer caused the clay soil to dry out and contract which caused cracks to open up in some of the paths at Onchan Park. Did you notice them? The Friends of Onchan committee raised this issue with Gedling Borough parks department at one of our regular meetings and we stated our concern about this health and safety issue.

path before

The area was cordoned off and remedial works took place. The paths are now safe and completely level.

path after

Thanks to Gedling Borough for fixing the paths. For more information about Gedling’s parks click here.


Survey at St John’s Playgroup

Survey from St John’s playgroup Summer 2019

Friends of Onchan Committee visited the last day of the summer term at St John’s Playgroup on 18th July 2019 to survey the parents about their use of Onchan Park and how they would like it to be developed in the future. Surprisingly one person was unaware of the location of the park- she had never visited it and did not know that it was only a few hundred meters down the road from St Johns playgroup.


Do you use the park?

  • Yes – 14
  • No – 3


Reasons for not using the park

  • No children
  • Not well kept – too much rubbish on the park
  • Would use if it was tidy
  • Only just realised there is a park


What you’d like to see on the park

  • Children’s play equipment (8) – Slide; swings; roundabouts; zip line; floor trampoline; see saw;
  • Toilets (7)
  • Ground is uneven, level footpaths
  • Cycle track
  • Coffee shop (6)
  • Improved cleaning
  • Outdoor gym on bowling green
  • Basketball area
  • Family activities community events – craft days; fun days; talent shows
  • Summer clubs for kids
  • Exercise classes
  • Pavilion in use
  • Picnic benches (2)
  • Sensory equipment and trails
  • Football pitches


The Friends of Onchan park committee are saddened that once again the condition of the park is putting people off. We bring this up at our regular meetings with the parks department officers. We would also encourage people to use the Gedling Borough “Report It” portal to report any issues with rubbish, dog poo, vandalism etc at Onchan. The link to the portal is here.


Information Stall– St John’s Summer Fair 2019

Community Consultation at St. John’s Church – Information Stall at Summer Fair on 22nd of June 2019

FoOP had an information stall at St. John’s Church. Initially, Terry and I were at the stall. Later on, Alison and Sheelagh came as well.

The aim was to show the community our work and plans for the future. We have spoken to members of the public about our work and wanted to have some feedback. It was a good way to promote our park. We publicized our AGM on this occasion.

It took a while until people came to us, because we didn’t sell any food and drinks. We “only” had to offer information about the park. Later, we approached the people a bit more purposeful and the result was that kids and a few adults came to us with some feedback. They were writing it on post-it notes. One lady didn’t know that the park existed.

What would you like to see on the park?

  • cricket green for playing cricket
  • birds houses / tables
  • nature plants
  • “Nice” plants
  • white lines sprayed on the grass (to play football)
  • picnic tables
  • “A see-saw please”
  • “Place to lock our bikes”
  • “Fantastic idea MUGA TT” (table-tennis)


“Very good idea” (the suggestions)
“What a wonderful park”

Two people complained that the park is dirty and covered with broken glass

P Alimonti, 9th of September 2019


2019 AGM- Update from the Chair

Since the 2018 AGM, we have worked so hard and we are making progress, unfortunately, little progress is visible to the community, because we’ve focused on the Sport England bid and moving forward with MUGA, disabled access and Table Tennis Tables project. We’ve upped our game with the council and diverted our time from fundraising events to active applications for funding. We’ve also pushed for work on the Green (improvements to the surface) and consolidated our 5 year plan – MUGA, Green, Playground, Pavilion.

We started compiling the specification for MUGA, TT Tables and DDA footpath with Jane Richardson at Gedling Borough Council in August 2018. The specification allowed us to request soft quotes and feed into the bid for Sport England. This year we upped our meetings with council and developed a portfolio of evidence. Evidence includes: 5 year plan, donations summary, community consultations, letters of support from schools, clubs, councillors, police, Mr Coaker MP, medical practices, etc.  Work is still on-going.

We’ve gathered support for Groups Involvement:

  • Wildcats Basketball Club – provision of outreach sessions
  • Sycamore Table Tennis Club – provision of outreach sessions
  • Cricket Nott’s cricket board (Street Cricket)– provision of cricket equipment and training for a community volunteer
  • U3A – Still working on

Match funding:

  • September applied to Aviva Community Fund to resurface the green – unsuccessful
  • LIS funding to resurface the Green – considered part of Gedling maintenance so we did not apply.
  • Applications have been submitted to Building societies Nottingham & Skipton – Spring 2019
  • Co-op application for Table Tennis bats and balls – Summer 2019
  • Jigsaw Foundation/Gedling Homes – we will resubmit the bid in the Spring 2020


Contact with Gedling Borough Council

  • 4 – 6 weekly meetings with Jane Richardson and Fiona Hextall to progress the project
  • CIL funding little prospect, feedback from Lewis Widdowson
  • Resurfacing bowling green Melvyn Cryer – 2 quotes -£3k seeding £10k turfing
  • Freedom of information requests GBC getting somewhere – latest is
    “The Council is usually minded to match fund successful funding bids”
  • Having to contact Highways to ask for clearing paths, continually having to contact GBC over maintenance – grass cutting – litter.

Community Involvement

  • Meetings open to all and published on website.
  • Publicity from BBC Inside Out program – September 2018
  • Spooktacular event – October 2018
  • Local door-to-door survey for Sport England bid (residents’ consent for MUGA)- March 2019
  • Stall at St John’s Church Summer Fair -Community consultation – June 2019
  • St John’s Playgroup ‘Last Day” – consult parents at playgroup – July 2019.
  • No summer community event at the park
  • Tried to establish contact with community groups to support development of the pavilion, put on hold as minimal interest at this stage – We visited Eco-house/ Passive – St Ann’s Allotments.


Funds update

Friends of Onchan Park are very grateful to our local councillors for generously donating from their discretionary funds. Paul Wilkinson, Jim Creamer, Nicki Brooks and Errol Henry have supported Onchan Park activities since the very beginning of the campaign to save the park. Their support has continued up to the present day task of developing the facilities.
Local Gedling Borough councillors Paul and Nicki judged the pavilion art competition in 2017. Here is a link to the original winning artwork.
Nottinghamshire County councillors Jim and Errol presented a cheque at our Summer Fun Day in 2018. Jim+Errol+ Alison Summer fun cheque

We have also received funds from local businesses:

  • AW Lymn Foundation,
  • The Inn at the Bank in Netherfield
  • Lindley’s Auto Centre on Oakdale road.

Nottingham City Transport also contributed to the Pavilion Art project when they bought paint for Dak and Dash to complete the artworks. We were so grateful when NCT agreed to support the pavilion project – read about it here.
The Aviva Community Fund donated £500 when the Table Tennis project was a finalist in the awards in 2018. Read about this exciting news here.
We have also received donations from kind members of the public. Anyone can donate via the ‘Friends of’ page using paypal or send a cheque to the Treasurer – details on the Foop page.
Currently, Friends of Onchan Park are working with the council to prepare funding applications to Sport England and other bodies to fund the MUGA, Table Tennis and Disabled Access Path project. Our research using the survey and petition identified a community needs for a multi-use games area, table tennis for use by all ages and abilities.

Watch this space, we are hoping to be able to announce some more good news soon.


Pavilion Project Update

The pavilion project is still in the very early stages of planning. Find out what the Friends of Onchan Park committee have been doing to get this project started.

Interest from local groups

Friends of Onchan Park have been contacting local groups  who may wish to use the building in the future to put on events or run clubs or groups. Fitness instructors, childminders, a church youth worker have all expressed an interest. In particular local nutritionist, Louise Carney-Stillie, is planning to host a women’s wellbeing group to discuss health and nutrition. Have a look at her website here: www.nutritionwithlouise.co.uk/

Pavilion Floor Plans

Terry and Alison measured the existing rooms inside the pavilion and Terry drew up this detailed plan. You can see from the plan that the main hall is 6.6m x 5.5m. However, there is potential to increase this by removing some internal walls and extending out to the porch.

2019 01 pavilion plan

What would you suggest to improve the layout and functionality of the Onchan Park Pavilion?

St Ann’s Visitor Centre Site Visit

We were invited to tour St Ann’s Allotments Visitor Centre by the Site Tenancies and Gardener Engagement Officer, Nicola Hinton. Alison, Pia and Maria  inspected all the eco-friendly features of the building such as – green roof, rain-water harvesting and under-floor heating. They were shown the security shutters, internal layout and handy lockable storage cupboards. There were loads of other useful features to think about when we come to re-design Onchan Park pavilion.