Our Projects in Marple Memorial Park
The Friends of Marple Memorial Park have had amazing success with their projects in the park, thanks largely to the great support from local people, other voluntary organisations and the Marple business community. You can read more about these successes here.
A welcome to Marple Memorial Park
The main road entrance to the park from Stockport Road had significant infrastructure improvements carried out by the council in 2003/4 but by 2010, although the hard landscaping was generally still in good shape, some aspects of the entrance were starting to look a little bit tired, dilapidated and overgrown - especially the pedestrian entrance to the park itself.
Friends of Marple Memorial Park decided that it was time to do whatever we could to tidy things up and make the park entrance a bit smarter and more welcoming to visitors.
A French Boules Court for Memorial Park
At the 2007 Food Festival the Friends of Marple Memorial Park were approached by a lady called Gladys Romm, whose husband Leonard had always wanted to build a French Boules Court in the park after enjoying the game in France. Sadly Leonard passed away before realising his ambition but the Friends thought it was a great idea and agreed to take the project on.
Money was raised with a special showing of the Railway Children film at Marple's Regent Cinema, at local events and an O2 "It's your Community" grant of £1,000. Later seating and interpretation was installed too with the help and support of Marple Civic Society, Marple Business Forum and a private donation by Mr. J. Louth in memory of his late wife, Kathleen.
Basketball Court Improvements
In 2007 users of the Basketball Court asked the Friends of Marple Memorial Park if a fence could be erected around it because it was virtually impossible to hold a full game due to the ball disappearing off down the hillside every time it went out of play.
Throughout 2008 the Friends group worked towards achieving this aim and with the assistance of the council obtained planning permission for a fence on two sides of the court. In November 2008 Marple Area Committee approved the use of a commuted sum to fund the work which was almost enough to cover the cost of the fencing. The Friends were delighted to make up the small shortfall from their own funds raised at local events and the installation was completed early in 2009.
Major refurbishment after arson attack
During December 2006 the equipment in the Infants Play Area in Marple Memorial Park was destroyed by arson. Soon after the Friends of Marple Memorial Park began seeking to replace the equipment, which was sorely missed by the young children of Marple and their parents. It was decided that the bark-filled former boating pond would also have to be filled in, which increased the costs considerably.
The Friends managed to raise £3,363, approximate 10% of the total cost, through fund-raising at local events and donations from within the local community. These efforts inspired Stockport Council to make a major contribution for the balance of the project costs and the installation of new equipment was completed by early 2008.
BBC Breathing Places Reading Circle
In 2007 the Friends successfully applied for a grant of £6,460 from the Big Lottery Fund as part of the hugely successful BBC-led Breathing Places campaign. The campaign, driven by BBC's Autumnwatch and Springwatch programmes, had enthused and energised thousands across the country to get involved in community projects to make space for nature.
Our project was developed in partnership with Stockport Library Services and the Council's Parks and Recreation Team to improve and enhance the woodland area behind the Marple Library for both wildlife and people. The incorporation of a circular reading area with full disabled access penetrating into the woodland created an outdoor 'room' to provide a window into the natural wildlife habitat surrounding it.