New Playground Equipment

Friends of Onchan Park aim to renew and refresh the playground equipment at Onchan Park over the next few years.

This will be a big project and we will need some serious funding. We want to know what the community would like to see on the playground area of Onchan park.

Last year in the survey that we conducted many people wanted to see new play equipment, outdoor fitness, trampolines or zip wires at Onchan Park. We wanted to know a bit more about what equipment the community want. At the Summer Fun Day on 16th July 2017 grown ups and children took part in an interactive display. First they voted on which new area of the park they would like to see developed first. (Results here.) Then they had the chance to look through a brochure of play equipment, which included traditional play, themed play, urban climbing structures, rope climbing structures, fitness, multi-sports and park equipment and vote for their favourites. Many children and adults had strong ideas about what they would like to see at Onchan Park. Themes running through the responses included:

A child who has autism would like to play in a basket swing and also would like sensory toys- noisy e.g. drums, chimes or bouncy e.g. trampoline in the ground, also they would like a trim trail.

“Something big and tall that is really adventurous for children to climb up.”

“Value for money, something that would be amazing and special.”

“Something unique that would make the park stand out and that people would drive to.”

Suggestion of building two MUGA courts by splitting the current one in half.

“Keen on the idea of a MUGA because teams of children can play together in comparison with tennis when it’s only up to 4 children.”

Suggestions for play equipment:

We also have to think carefully about how to tackle the varying levels and steps at Onchan park. One idea to improve access between the two main play areas is to provide a bridge or an elevated board walk to allow pushchairs and wheelchairs to move freely between the older child play area ad the toddler play area. This would create a more inclusive playground.



Plan for the future

The ‘Friends of Onchan Park’ plan to create new areas for play and recreation at Onchan Park by using some spaces that have been underused in recent years.

New playground equipment, outdoor fitness, trampolines or zip wires were popular choices in our survey from last year. Survey park facilities graph snip

People also wanted to see table tennis, a picnic area, a multi-use games area (MUGA), a garden or wildlife area and better ramp access to the play area. After many discussions, we have settled on an initial plan to develop several areas of the park to accommodate these activities. The new tennis net which was replaced in spring 2017 allows people to play tennis at Onchan Park for the first time in a few years. It has been well used over the warmer months. Football is played in all areas of the park- on the old bowling green, on the two hard courts, and even between the courts on the slope.

park new areas snip

The multi-use-games-area would include basketball facilities and could be located on the court alongside Greenhill Road. This may cause noise or disturbance to local residents. Before the Fun Day residents of Greenhill were consulted. Alison and Terry met with each household individually to talk through the plans for the MUGA. All residents were happy for the MUGA plans to go ahead.

Friends of Onchan Park are a relatively small group of volunteers and we would like to work on one project at a time. At the Summer Fun Day 2017 visitors could vote on which was their ‘most wanted’ area, activity or project. Visitors had three tokens and then could vote for their top three or most favourite project. The tokens were counted up and the results were:

muga graph snip

So our sample of 87 people have chosen the MUGA as the first project to be developed.


Fun Day Sunday 16th July

We can now announce our schedule for the Summer Fun Day on 16th July at Onchan Park (Oakdale Rd Rec) 1-5pm.

Our raffle has some amazing prizes on offer:

afternoon tea for 2 at The Good Food Guide Gold Winning Elwes Arms,

a cash prize of £25 donated by the Friends of Onchan Park,

£40 Cineworld voucher,

£20 High Street Voucher,

£15 ITunes Voucher,

£10 Love2Shop Voucher,

donations from local supermarkets,

Wine donated by Jazz,

a Costa Gift set

and much more!

Tickets are available to buy from Friends of Onchan Park committee members or you can buy them at the Fun Day on Sunday at £1 for 5 tickets.

We have a display of photos of Onchan Park over the years, some press cuttings from the Save Onchan Park Campaign from last year, and we’d like you to vote on the next project you’d like to see at the park – choices are between a picnic area, Multi-use-games-area, table tennis, an accessible ramp and play facilities or a wildlife/garden area. We would also like to know what new equipment you’d like to see on the park – whether it’s a trim trail, outdoor fitness, traditional play equipment or something a bit different. The display and voting will be on the Old Bowling Green all afternoon, so come along and have your say.

There will be refreshments and toilet facilities so you can enjoy the whole afternoon at the park with your family and friends:

Dave from The Inn at the Bank will be providing hot food and drinks,

The Scouts will have a candy floss stall,

There will be an ice cream van on the park for the afternoon,

We will have an amazing cake to guess-the-weight.

Have a go on one of the many traditional stalls – tombola, cake sale, water-to-wine stall, guessing games and much more.

This year we have a bouncy castle, an inflatable football game and hook-a-duck on the Old Bowling Green. The police are bringing a patrol car and a PCSO will be giving out freebies. A fire engine will be arriving at 1pm and will park on Oakdale Road. You could collect a smoke detector or climb inside the cab. The unit may have to respond to a call out, so don’t be late!


The raffle will be drawn at 4:30pm, just before the Fun Day closes at 5pm.

Face Painting

Face Painting

Cake stall

Cake stall

Bouncy castle

Bouncy castle

We have had some really successful events over the last year, please come along, enjoy the afternoon and help us make this one a great success.


Survey and Plans

The future plans for Onchan Park will be discussed at the Public Meeting and AGM on Tuesday 27th June 6:30pm at St John’s Church Oakdale Rd.

It is a year since our group was officially formed! We are holding a public meeting and AGM on Tuesday 27th June at 6:30pm at St John’s Church. Everyone is invited, so come along and hear about the past year and our plans for the future of the park.

Survey park facilities graph snipThe survey that we conducted online and face-to-face last year will help us to plan the redevelopment of the park. Over 500 people completed our survey, either online, in local streets (Onchan Drive, Southdale Drive, Douglas Avenue, Oakdale Road and Cliff Road) or in a focus group at Parkdale Primary School.

You can see the full results of the survey here: survey-graphs. We are aware that the responses of teenagers were not well represented in the survey and we take every opportunity to speak to teenagers whenever they use the park.

plan of the park snipWe have made a plan of the park showing the roads bordering the park, the access points and steps and the main usage of the areas within the park: Onchan Park Plan PDF version

At committee meetings in May and June, we discussed in detail the many possible layouts and potential ways that the areas could be used, based on the survey results and our own observations.

We have come up with a very ambitious overall general plan which will transform the park into an accessible, engaging, comfortable, sociable space to promote health, happiness and well-being. The details of the plans will be discussed at the public meeting. At the Summer Fun Day you will have the chance to vote and comment on the plans.



Spring Festival Success

The Spring Festival at Onchan Park was an amazing success, in more ways than one!

winners ACS and PaulA celebration of brilliant artwork by local schoolchildren, dance, theatre and poetry brought the community together on St George’s Day. Street artists Dak and Dash transferred A4 designs on to the walls of the pavilion using spray paint funded by Nottingham City Transport. Anthony Carver Smith from NCT and Paul Goodson, OP Events Coordinator stood with the winning children on the steps in front of the pavilion. The sun shone in Carlton for Nottingham Theatre Dance and Bear Left Theatre Company as they performed on the Old Bowling Green. Chairperson Alison Pritchard wrote a set of clues for the dragon egg treasure hunt in rhyming couplets, which had the children running all over the park.  Local councillors Nicki Brooks and Paul Wilkinson, who had judged the winning designs, were at the park once again to show their support. The celebrations were slightly dampened because the pavilion roof had recently suffered from mindless vandalism by local children who damaged 40 roof tiles.

A team from East Midlands Today filmed at the festival and the story was the lead item on the news on Sunday 23rd April. Late that evening we received an email from a local roofing company kindly offering to repair the damage free of charge. Jason and Jane Wright from Wrights Roofing live locally and their very generous offer means that the pavilion roof can be made good once again. Friends of Onchan Park are obviously delighted with the offer and it was a very unexpected turn of events which came about after the media attention in the Spring Festival. When we contacted Gedling Borough Council Parks Department, they were astonished and admitted that this has never happened before. Now we can start to work with J Wrights Roofing and Gedling Borough Council to repair the damage so that the pavilion roof will look as good as the walls.


New tennis net at Onchan Park

There is a new tennis net on the tennis court at Onchan Park!  Tennis was a popular activity as recorded in our survey from last year, and now the council have replaced the posts and net. Onchan Park is the local name for Oakdale Road Recreation Ground, the park and tennis court are open all day, every day for the public to play on this hard outdoor surface.

Bus numbers 25, 27 stop at Tesco in Carlton and there is a path from the very top of Church Street straight up the hill to the Elwes Arms pub. From there, Onchan Park is across the road beyond the post box. Alternatively, number 44 loops through Bakersfield, up Douglas Avenue and then stops on Oakdale Road. The park is about a 5 minute walk east past Jazz’s convenience store along Oakdale Road.

By car, the park is accessible from the city centre via Sneinton dale and Oakdale Road or from the Tesco Superstore in Carlton via Southdale Road and Southdale Drive. There is lots of on-street parking on Onchan Drive, NG4 3DB or Onchan Avenue, right next to the park gate.

Friends of Onchan Park are really pleased that the net has been replaced, please let us know if you use the court, we’d love to hear from you.

tennis net


NCT saves the day for pavilion art!

Nottingham City Transport will fund materials for our pavilion art project!

Not only have NCT provided the funds to make the children’s dream a reality, Paul Goodson, events co-ordinator for Friends of Onchan Park who came up with the idea and pulled the project together, works for NCT as does the graffiti artist Dak from In Living Colour who will be transforming the children’s artwork from A4 designs to life size graffiti works of art. The Friends of Onchan Park Group are delighted that NCT marketing Director Anthony Carver-Smith stepped in to provide the cost of materials to enable the artwork to go ahead.

“We couldn’t have dreamt of a better response.  NCT and their employees have really done the community proud!  The pavilion has been looking rather neglected this year since government budget cuts have come into force and this will really brighten up the park space.   The children have been really excited at the prospect of their artwork being turned into giant graffiti art. ” said Alison Pritchard Chair of The Friends of Onchan Park group.

Local people are looking forward to seeing the graffiti art completed. The volunteer group also hope to apply for grant funding to create a community hub and completely renovate the park, working with Gedling Borough Council.



Photos from the Spooktacular

Here are the photos from the Halloween Spooktacular Event 2016

Setting up:

img_6095 img_6094 img_6106

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To all the Onchan Park Friends and Supporters

Fantastic news, Cllr John Clarke emailed a letter this afternoon stating that “The whole park’s future is secure and none of the land will be developed for housing.”  He also comments that he “hopes we can work together to improve the facilities”
A huge thankyou goes out to all of you who have attended meetings; voiced your concerns; completed our survey; signed our petition; come along to our events; entered our mural competition; or supported the park in any way as it is the efforts of all in our community that have enabled us to ‘save Onchan Park’.
Watch this space, as the work has only just begun.  We shall be liaising with the council to provide the facilities and create the park that the community wants.  It will take time as we shall have to bid for a great deal of funding.  However, we shall keep you informed of the developments and ensure that your views will be taken into account when deciding the kind of park our community wants to create.
Thanks to you all,
Alison Pritchard on behalf of Friends of Onchan Park


Spooktacular Halloween Event

Come to Onchan Park on Sunday 30th October between 5-7pm for a Spooktacular with traditional Halloween games, a scary walk through the park and a fancy dress competition. Food and refreshments will be available.

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