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 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
If you are interested becoming a volunteer with us please get in touch and we will add you to our Task Day notifications.
We like to keep a record of what we get up and here are details of past task days.
Another busy day for Friends of the Park with many tasks completed. These included mowing the bandroom garden, repairing one of the nature posts that had rotted at the base, starting to clean-up and paint the library steps and beginning to remove self seeded saplings from the canal side woodland with our new Pullerbear. It was just as busy on the main flowerbeds, which are looking glorious at the moment, and work was also done in the Reading Circle behind the library and in the shrub beds too.
Beyond the park boundary, we completed the refurbishment of the penultimate bench on the Hollins and started the last one too.
Generous park visitors donated just over £27 to the park, including £5 from one kind lady who came especially to thank us for looking after the park so well! If you would like to support the volunteers looking after our wonderful park you could sign-up for our new 50-50 Club and put yourself in the frame to win a cash prize each month too.
Well it was certainly a contrast to last time and to be honest rather too hot for working, so thank you to our wonderful volunteers for braving the heat. It was a good day to be Flamingoed by those Crazy Lingos though, and it was great fun to surprise our volunteers with a display of pink flamingos to help raise funds for Marple Guides' trip to Mexico next year.
Anyone can do this for just £5 a time and it's a fun way to surprise friends or family when they open the curtains on their garden in the morning to see a flock of pink flamingos has landed. See Marple's Crazy Lingos on Facebook if you are interested.
Before it got too hot we managed a variety of tasks including mowing the bandroom lawn and clipping their hedge, flowerbed maintenance, litter-picking, pruning of shrubs and treating benches. We also nipped down to the Hollins to do a little work on one of the benches we are refurbishing there to raise funds for the park. A very unusual job was injecting the woodworm-holes in the tree sculpture behind the library to try and keep it for as long as we can.
We sold some surplus plants and, along with donations from visitors, raised just over £13 for the park. One of our volunteers also spent time engaging with park visitors about our new 50-50 Club initiative that we hope to launch in September.
Well that was a wet one with only the diehards coming out to play!
We worked mainly on the borders alongside the pathway to the Reading Circle behind the library and it looked a bit of a mess by the time we'd finished. This is because we have placed an order for a contractor to come and resurface the circle and pathway in around a month's time. The pathway is to be widened to comply with the latest requirements for wheelchairs (it did comply when we created the Reading Circle in 2008 but recommendations have changed a little) so we moved as many plants as we could out of the way. Once the work is done we can then have a good sort out and get it back to its best.
We were joined by a new young volunteer called Tommy, who is doing his Duke of Edinburgh Award and will be working with us for the next 3 months or so. Hopefully next time Tommy will enjoy better weather!
The flowerbeds are filling out nicely and the park is starting to look its very best, so it was great to get out there in the sunshine with our regular volunteers.
Lots of work was done in the flowerbeds and the shrub beds, including trying out our new "Pullerbear" all the way from Canada. This is a special tool for pulling out small to medium self-seeded saplings and it works brilliantly. We haven't been able to find anything like it made in the UK, so it was well worth the wait for it to ship from Canada and even to pay customs duty on it. As you will see, it's also perfect for leaning on! We also carried out repairs and maintenance to the sculpture in the Reading Circle, got stuck into maintaining the benches in the park and used our new mower donated to us by a resident in the Bandroom Garden.
We put out a display board telling people about our plan for a new 50-50 Club and also our donation bucket, which was filled with almost £13 by the time we had finished for the day.
It was great to see Lock 11 open again and boats at last passing through the canal. CRT and their contractors have done a very good job and we look forward to the park being reinstated after Marple Carnival.
Today the park hosted the fifth Annual Treasure Hunt organised in partnership with local estate agent Julian Wadden. The weather held for the best part of the day and it was great to see so many children and families enjoying the park again.
5th Annual Treasure Hunt
This year's Treasure Hunt was an incredible success, raising £2,697 for the park. A huge thank you to Julian Wadden Estate Agents and our volunteer Diane Jackson, who does such an amazing job engaging with local businesses to raise sponsorship and raffle prizes for this brilliant event, which is growing in popularity each year. For a full report on this year's Treasure Hunt and details of the businesses who supported it, please take a look at our 2019 Treasure Hunt Report.
Task day volunteers...
A good turnout by volunteers and those not directly involved in the Treasure Hunt worked hard on the main flowerbeds, in the Bandroom Garden and on painting metal fixtures and fittings throughout the park, including the library handrails.
We also put out a large number of surplus pots around the war memorial and gave them away for free (but asked for donations). A fantastic £40 was left in our donation bucket, which was added to the Treasure Hunt total.
Today's task day looked like being rained off but we were keen to do the last day of "Little Growers" and Marple Library staff came to our aid and kindly allowed us to set up inside. So a very big thank you to them! The first stage of Little Growers is now finished and we look forward to welcoming back the children in a few months time to plant the fruits of their success.
Meanwhile, outside it wasn't actually as bad as we expected most of the time and we managed to get work done in the Band Room garden, the Jubilee Bed and lots of dead-heading of daffodils throughout the park. We also tested out the new petrol lawn mower donated to us by a local resident. It will certainly come in handy at times, although cutting the grass is a task we prefer to leave to the council so we will use it sparingly.