Friends of Marple Memorial Park Task Days
The Friends hold regular task days in the park on the last Saturday of each month in the winter and the middle and last Saturday from March to November. Everyone is welcome to join in for as long or as short they wish during the specified times. Please note that children and young people under 18 should be accompanied by a responsible adult. The next task day is:
TASK DAYS ARE CURRENTLY RESTRICTED AND AT THIS TIME WE ARE NOT RECRUITING NEW VOLUNTEERS. IF YOU ARE AN EXISTING VOLUNTEER PLEASE CHECK EMAILS FOR MORE INFO.
We like to keep a record of what we get up and here are details of past task days.
Considering only 24 hours notice we had a brilliant turnout
Our Task Day last weekend was cancelled due to the dreadful weather, so when we heard the forecast for today on Friday we decided to squeeze a replacement session in.
It was great to be able to get back on the the Memorial Flowerbeds at last, everything has been so wet, so this was our main focus for the day. Work in other areas included repairs to fencing down by the canal and continuing removal of self-seeded saplings in the canal-side woodland. We also picked litter and swept up glass at the park entrance and the skatepark.
Planting of trees on Tuesday 18 February
Back in February we also grabbed the opportunity to plant nine new trees in the gap in the woodland left by the works to repair Lock 11. The trees were paid for by CRT and our volunteers were helped by the Council's Neighbourhood Team.
Off to a great start with our task day programme for 2020 with a turnout of 22 volunteers!
We tackled a number of activities including redistribution of topsoil, maintenance of the Hollins House shrub beds, clearance of undergrowth to gain access for fence repairs, pulling of self-seeded saplings, tidying up around the library, creation of a wild-life habitat in the woodland behind the library and litter-picking throughout the park. We also organised collection of an old filing cabinet and a steel locker that was surplus after a recent kitchen refit to our Mess Room in the park.
Over the winter period we have also installed 6 new woodcrete bird boxes in the park. We'll soon be installing 6 more and we've submitted a grant application to the Stockport Hydro Environmental Challenge for a further 6 bird boxes and 6 bat boxes.
Visitors to the park must have been pleased to see us back as they popped over £27 in our donations bucket!
Can you support Friends of Marple Memorial Park via their 50-50 Club?
To generate a regular income to help fund projects in the park, this year we set-up a new 50-50 Club. This enables Friends of the Park supporters to make a regular monthly donation of £5 or more and be in with a chance of winning a cash prize each month too. So far, after only 4 draws, we've given away £656 in prizes and raised a similar amount for the park. If you'd like to support the park in this way, please sign-up to the Friends of Marple Memorial Park's 50-50 Club!
Removal of Nativity Sculptures from Market Street
In December we helped Churches Together install the steel Nativity Sculptures created by Wayne Chaisty on the usual bench in Market Street. Having learned how difficult it was to access the storage location in the All Saints' Church basement, we have agreed to store the sculptures at the park and take the lead on installing and removing them at the appropriate times in future.
We were blessed with a beautiful day to blow out the Christmas cobwebs on our last task day of the year.
In 2019 we have worked over 1,000 volunteer hours in the park! Today we cut-back overgrown shrubs behind the Infants Play Area, tidied the War Memorial Beds, continued crown-lifting of low branches on trees and cleared leaves around the Bowling Green too.
It was great to see our request to replace the missing drum sticks on the Pirate Ship has been fulfilled by the council too.
Despite a frosty start it turned into a beautiful day just right for planting over 2,000 bulbs with the help of four Duke of Edinburgh Award students. This kept the photographer busy too, so there are not as many pictures of other activities as usual.
Those other activities included filling ruts with soil in the new wildflower meadow area of the park, clearing and tidying the main flowerbeds and the war memorial beds, crown-lifting of trees to remove branches at eye-level, litter-picking throughout the park and lots of work on the Reading Circle behind the library following completion of the hard-standing resurfacing that we paid for.
Planting of bulbs with the students included Bluebells around the new pine trees near to the Skatepark, a Bee-Mix selection in the canalside wildlife area and daffodils planted behind the three old wooden benches along the main path. Of course that included the obligatory conga to tread down the soil and turf on top of the newly planted bulbs. Bee-Mix bulbs were also planting in the Reading Circle woodland and miniature daffodils and crocuses in the war memorial beds by our volunteers too.
While all this was going on the public in the park kindly donated over £17 in our collection bucket to show their appreciation.
Sadly our task day scheduled for Saturday 26 October was rained off, which allowed us watch the Rugby World Cup final but set us back a little on our preparations for Remembrance Sunday.
In order to catch-up and have the War Memorial and flowerbed areas looking the best they could we were also in the park on Tuesday 5th, when we added new commemorative flags and wreaths to the railings, Wednesday 6th and Friday 8th, when our volunteers worked closely with council operatives who were cutting the grass and clearing leaves from the park.
We were also in the park the week before to fix the Poppy Appeal Team's Street Poppies to the lampposts.
On Saturday 9th, as well as putting the finishing touches to the area where the Remembrance Service will take place, we picked litter, cleared leaves from around the library, mowed the lawn in the Band Room garden, trimmed shrubs and bushes around Hollins House and began work on clearing stones and seeding the the top section of the area used by CRT as their compound during the refurbishment of Lock 11. This is a new project that should see a wildflower meadow in the park next summer.
While doing all this we had a large supply of cooking apples for visitors to the park to help themselves and they kindly left over £33 in our collection bucket to show their appreciation of the work our volunteers do.
Happy to Chat Bench
In addition to all this, following creation of the first Marple "Happy to Chat Bench" on Derby Way in September this year, Friends of the Park have now created a second Marple Chat Bench in Memorial Park. Read more about the Marple Happy to Chat Benches on the Marple Website.
The bench chosen is one of the three on the slope overlooking the Bowling Green, which was felt to be a good place for people to stop and talk. As with all "Happy to Chat" benches anywhere in the country, we now need the community's help to make it work. So if you see someone sitting at this bench in the park please make the effort to stop and say "hello".