This is our first article for East Leake Local News and it seems appropriate to give you some background information about the park and what volunteers do to help maintain it.
Meadow Park is about 18 hectares of open countryside owned by Rushcliffe Borough Council, managed and maintained by East Leake Parish Council. The Friends of Meadow Park are a ‘not for profit’ voluntary organisation that aims to improve facilities, both as friendly habitat for wildlife and as a leisure area to be enjoyed by residents of East Leake. There are six fields between Gotham Road and the railway embankment. Basically flood plain, the fields are bordered by hedges and the grass is cut for hay, usually in late summer. Wild flowers are becoming increasingly abundant (we scatter seed now and then) and we have put up many nest boxes and a few bat boxes. Meadow Park is a valuable asset to the village.
An outdoor gym was erected over the summer. It is near Kingfisher Bridge and half way between the village centre and the Gotham Road estate in Play Field. It is proving to be very popular and those using it particularly like the location as it catches the evening sunlight.
Paths in the Park
The limestone grit paths in the Park have been resurfaced this autumn. The paths were uneven and in some areas allowed rain water to ‘pool’. We put in a bid for funding from Notts County Council Local Improvement Scheme and East Leake Parish Council match funded the bid and a total £28,000 was raised. The limestone grit removed from the existing paths will be left as a fairly large heap (where exactly tbd) and seeded with flower varieties that like limestone.
Kingston Brook continues to concern us. The heavy rainfall this year saw high levels of water and faster flow. The overall effect is to increase the depth and breadth of the channel. The work carried out by the Trent Valley Internal Drainage Board in January did not extend to the brook outside the Park boundary and we have seen a build-up of debris in the brook in the area near the railway tunnel. They only have the resources to do the sections that are most readily accessed. The next big-scale work on the brook will be done in six to ten years’ time. A tree fell into the brook and was removed by Rushcliffe Borough Council in September.
The wet weather earlier this year has helped the saplings/trees in the Arboretum to thrive and all (except the lime) are looking good. We think that the sessile oak sapling may not be what we thought, but another type of oak. Though looking similar to sessile oak, the late-leafing leaves and tasselled-twigs of this young tree don’t look quite right. It has every appearance of being a hybrid. We will consider our options here when we know its true identity.
Bateman Road Boundary (97 metres)
The boundary between Bateman Road and the Park needs to be clearly defined. By the time you read this article we hope to have a fence erected consisting of 40 posts and 400 metres of wire. Squeeze gaps for pedestrians have been carefully sited. The cost of the fence is very modest (under £300) and has been met by membership contributions and money put into our boxes in village shops.
Forest School goes from strength to strength and the children (Lantern Lane year 3) enjoy time spent in the Park and the learning activities they take part in. The children eat their lunch sitting on the log circle near the Bateman Road entrance and recently volunteers put up some strong, tree trunk poles from which a tarpaulin can be erected to keep the children dry in rainy weather.
Stroll in the Park
The Thursday ‘Stroll in the Park’ continues to be very popular. If you want a gentle stroll lasting about 30 mins followed by a tea/coffee turn up a the millstone sculpture at 1.30 pm on Thursdays – but only in good/fair weather. For further information ring Anne: 07913328971.
If you want to find out more about the Friends of Meadow Park visit the village website (www.east-leake.co.uk) and look under ‘organisations’.
We also have a Facebook page. Members get a monthly email update and two newsletters a year. Membership per year costs £3 for an individual or £5 for a household.