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.
Mushroom compost spread on flowerbeds at last!
Better weather today meant that we could at last get back onto the flowerbeds, where we finally managed to distribute the mushroom compost that was delivered too late to go on the beds earlier this year. We also worked on shrub beds by the side of Hollins House and down towards the band room. The usual litter pick was conducted, two Rowan trees donated by a member of the public were planted and the war memorial and noticeboards given a clean too.
We also managed to get onto the wildflower meadow area at last and get some stone-picking done.
Friends of the Park working on the Wildflower Meadow area (Photo: Chris Paul)
First Saturday back in the Park!
It was great to notch up our first official Saturday Task Day since 14 March, even though we have to restrict numbers to comply with Government guidance. Park visitors must have been pleased to see us too as they left over £30 in our collection bucket!
We focused mainly on flowerbed maintenance and edging of the main pathway through the park. The latter is one of those things that you don't really notice when it's done but certainly do when it isn't. It looks so much better now.
Infants Play Area fence damage
Park users may have noticed that a large section of the Infants Play Area fence behind the swings has recently gone missing. This is due to it being vandalised by some of our less intelligent visitors to the park.
Wildflower Meadow work continues
The weather is really not playing ball with our preparation works for the wildflower meadow but we continued stripping off dead vegetation to prevent it enriching the soil. The meadow area will be harrowed and stripped a couple more times and it would be great to have some prolonged sunshine to kill off the weeds and make lighter work of stripping them off by hand.
Work was also done on the flowerbeds, the Band Room garden, the Reading Circle borders, litter-picking and a tool store tidy.
Reading Circle Tree Sculpture
We also managed to get the council's Arb Team to cut the bottoms off the last two sections of the broken sculpture from behind the library. Visitors to the park may have noticed that the sculpture has been dismantled after we discovered it broken in July. Unfortunately the base has been decaying from underneath and one section broke off during lock-down, leaving the other two very wobbly. We asked the council to take down the remaining sections and the Arb Team has now cut the rotten bits off all three sections of the sculpture for us so that we can look at the feasibility of resetting them on metal bases.
Not just the park but Lock 17 and the Recreation Ground too!
We managed to hit a weather window with minimal rain during our task day today but it was hard work clearing the new wildflower meadow area of dead vegetation as it had all received a good soak this morning! We'll be back to finish it off. Other tasks completed include maintenance work on the War Memorial flowerbeds, tidying the sensory garden, litter-picking and the Marple Band Room hedge was given a much needed pruning.
Earlier this week we re-edged the border around the Lock 17 Flowerbed dedicated to Gordon Mills too.
One of our volunteers has also been doing much needed maintenance work on the picnic benches at Marple Recreation Ground. Well somebody's got to do it haven't they! We should soon have the missing slat from the centre of one of these benches back in place and hopefully these two benches restored by us in 2013 will be good for another few years.
AT LAST we're officially allowed back in the park!
Following release of guidance from the council and the production and approval of our own special risk assessment covering Covid19 precautions, our volunteers are now officially allowed back in the park. So we held our first authorised task day since March on Wednesday and it was all very different to how it used to be. In order to ease our way into it we returned with restricted numbers. Volunteers were asked to bring their own tools wherever possible and bins and communal tools were cleaned going in and out of the store and then "owned" by one individual for the session or cleaned again.
Thankfully small groups of volunteers and family units have come into the park of their own volition for exercise during the last few months and kept on top of the flowerbeds and other key maintenance. This is why the park is looking so good and if not for this it would be in a very sorry state. We thank everyone who took it upon themselves to do so.
Back in action today
Key items carried out include flowerbed and shrub bed maintenance, clearing shrub growth from around Hollins House handrails and pathways and bench maintenance. We even took time to take a look at damage reported to us on one of the picnic benches on the Recreation Ground that we restored way back in April / May 2013 and we will get this sorted too.
Great to get "Little Growers" up and running for 2020!
Returning to our normal schedule of task days meant we were back in the park again today and also launching this year's "Little Growers" events for 2020. The weather was much better and allowed us to set-up outside the library and engage with families using the play areas. We planted pots of seeds with 22 Little Growers, which was a great start to the season.
Out in the park, the main task was planting several 100 native whips - these are small bare-rooted tree saplings - mostly in the area where the Lock 11 compound caused the removal of trees and ground cover. We planted whips in several other areas of the park too and sowed some wildflower seed mix around the new trees planted in February.
We had a much-needed spring clean of our tool store and found lots of missing hand-tools! We also had a good tidy-up of the flowerbed in the Infants Play area and this is where we will be planting anything the Little Growers bring back this year.
The Bandroom garden is looking great!
The Bands make a regular donation to park funds in return for maintenance of their garden and hedges. March is one of the best times for this small garden, when the groups of daffodils we planted burst through to let us know that spring is here.