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.
Today we had a special task day with Marple College.
Public Services students Gina and Sarah, plus their teacher Adam, joined us to spread 6 tonnes of material to top-up the French Boules Court that we originally constructed in 2008. It was a daunting task for just 6 people in today's heat but on average we shifted a tonne each in around one and a half hours. So a very big thank you to Gina, Sarah and Adam, and we wish the girls good luck in their Public Services careers, whatever they decide to do.
Today's Task Day was rescheduled from 16 June as it had clashed with the Carnival. Of course we were there and this year we were promoting Open Gardens in Marple and raising funds for Cancer Research UK by selling plants and tickets.
The big task today was distributing fresh new soil onto the main flowerbeds and the war memorial beds. The soil was provided by Stockport Council but was delivered much later than we had hoped, so it was quite a challenge to spread in the beds as they are so full of plants. Despite that our volunteers did really well and distributed all 4 tonnes we'd had delivered. Other work included strimming the grass in the Bandroom garden and treating benches throughout the park.
We've done a number of ad-hoc task days recently too, including regular watering of new plants because the weather has been so dry. Many of these are in the circular flowerbed, which this year is dedicated to 100 years since the Vote for Women. We've worked in partnership with local group Equality Matters Marple on the artwork for this and we're very pleased with the display.
We've also replanted the pots beside Corporal Danny Winter's bench recently. We feel that Danny's bench has become a really important feature in the park and we try very hard to keep the pots looking their best.
As well as the topsoil delivery we have also received 6 tonnes of material to top up the French Boules Court and we'll be doing that with the help of students from Marple College next week.
Thank you to park visitors, who showed support for our efforts by placing over £24 in our donation bucket!
Another busy task day from Friends of the Park, mostly working on the main flowerbeds and the Sensory Garden but also treating benches, installing paving slabs and strimming lawn and hedges at the Bandroom Garden.
The latter is the reason that there's a bit of a shortage of photos this time!
We've now installed slabs in front of all 3 Boules Court benches and we think it's made a huge improvement. Next up is the Skatepark benches.
The main Circle Bed is being prepared for the commemoration of 100 years of votes for women and we're hoping for a great display of green, purple and white in a few weeks time.
As well as looking after Marple Memorial Park, the group also takes care of the Lock 17 Flowerbed on Oldknow Gardens. As we're low on pictures this time we've included one from recent work there to fill the gap.
As usual park visitors kindly placed around £12 in our collection bucket, despite our A-Board material getting blown away in the wind whistling through the park.
Thanks to a huge donation of plants by Marple residents Les and Jean White, who have done this in previous years too, most of our volunteers were engaged with planting and weeding in the Memorial beds and the main flower beds today. We'd like to thank Les and Jean for their wonderful support of our Community Park!
Other tasks included strimming the grass around the new goalposts we installed last year and installing paving slabs in front of another Boules Court bench. The ground in front of these benches has been eroding badly, so the slabs should make a big improvement. No actions shots from this task but a couple of volunteers were caught sitting down on the job!
We planted up the new bed near the Bowling Green too and we're looking forward to the clematis climbing the fence.
We gave away lots of free plastic pots that have been left over but of course many people who took them made donations and almost £20 plus several Euros were kindly added to our bucket by park visitors.
Today the park hosted the fourth Annual Treasure Hunt organised in partnership with local estate agent Julian Wadden. The weather held and it was great to see so many children and families enjoying the park again.
Task day volunteers...
Sadly we had to pick up loads of dog mess from around the flowerbeds and the area where we were putting the Treasure Hunt gazebos before we could get started but the rest of the day was very positive.
Volunteers were busy edging and weeding the flowerbeds, dead-heading daffodils and improving the Band Room garden by mulching the borders with wood-chippings. We also started the annual treatment of benches and installed paving slabs in front of one of the Boules Court benches to combat the heavy wear that the ground in front of these benches is seeing. There are several more to do and we were pleased to obtain recycled slabs via the council for this work.
We also had a team next to the Treasure Hunt gazebo doing the last day of our Little Growers scheme. This is where children can plant seeds in a bio-degradable cup, take them home to nurture and grow, and then we hope the will bring them back to plant in the park during the summer. We've actually had one pot back from the March plantings already!
4th Family Treasure Hunt organised by Julian Wadden
The fourth Family Treasure Hunt ran from 11am to 2pm and was aimed at 3 to 10 year olds with parents, grandparents or carers assisting as needed. There were two sets of clues, one for ages 3-5 years and the other for 6-10 years. Children hunted for clues to answer questions that would reveal the information needed to open the Treasure Chest for a share of the booty. Everyone who completed the hunt took away a fist full of chocolate gold pieces!
The Treasure Hunt was really well supported thanks mainly to the hard work of volunteer Di Jackson.
It was a FREE EVENT but there were collection buckets for donations and some fabulous raffle prizes donated by local businesses. The event programme was sponsored by local businesses too.
The event today raised a grand total of £2,154 for the park
This was made up of £139 donations on the day, £308 raffle takings, £1,657 of sponsorship and £50+ donated via Local Giving. This means that with the Council's Commuted Sums of £1,702 we now have £3,856 towards the replacement of the old Springers in the Infants Play Area. We need a minimum of £5,000 and ideally around £2K more than that. So we've a way to go yet and we'll be looking at other ways to boost the funding.
In the meantime, if you'd like to contribute you can still donate with Gift-Aid (if you are a UK Tax Payer) via our Local Giving Appeal: https://localgiving.org/appeal/marple-play-area/
Friends of the Park would like to say a huge thank you to Julian Wadden Estate Agents for organising this event with us and the following local businesses for their fantastic support:
Mega £250 Sponsor: DJS Research.
Banner Sponsors: Brian Sharples & Sons, Hawk Green Cricket Club, Marple & District Electrical, Marple Health Shop, Ridings Opticians, Vernon Building Society.
£50 Premier Sponsors: Angkor Soul, Bloom Hearing Specialists, Brabyns Preparatory School, Byles Kitchens, Marple Local History Society, Marple News, Marple Physio, Roger Fisher Opticians, Shop Local Club Card, The Marple Website, Whittakers Fish Bar.
£30 Regular Sponsors: A.C.M. Financial Services, Brian Sharples & Sons, Hatters Arms, Imperium Personal Fitness Training, Inkbox of Marple, John Oldham Plastering, Kathy's Caterpillars Childcare, Little Button Bakery, LSA Technology, Malcolm Shaw & Son Ltd, Marple & District Electrical, Marple Drama, Marple SPAR at Rose Hill, Rhodes & Partners, Room Eighty Five, S Duddy Roofing Contractors & Merchants, Trek & Travel.
£25 Sponsor: The Springfield Hotel.
Raffle Prize Donors: All Things Nice, Benji’s Pet Food & Accessories, Chocabean Chocolate Creations, Chocolate Collective, Comix and Kollectables, Dress-Ability, Life Leisure / Target Fitness Marple, LSA Technology, Magpie Cottages & Spa, Marple Co-Op, Marple Golf Club, Nitrotek Ltd, Roger Fisher Opticians, Rope Race Climbing Centre, Semitone Studios, Strines Cafe, The Bookshop (Marple) Ltd, The Hound Dog Grooming Spa, The Navigation Lock 13, The Ring o' Bells Public House, Vernon Building Society, Whittaker's Fish Bar.
Thank you to everyone for supporting your local community park!
A busy task day in pleasant sunshine was a little marred for us today. We were very disappointed to have to fill 4 bags with dog mess from around the flowerbeds before we could make a start on maintenance.
Unfortunately over the next 15 minutes we had problems with several dog owners. The first let his two spaniels out in the car park. Full of energy, they crashed through our flowerbeds many times before one of them crapped amongst the plants. While the owner picked up, the other dog continued his running through the beds breaking off daffodils. After suggesting to the owner that he keep his dogs on a lead until past the flowerbeds, and he replied "fair point", they continued on their trail of destruction into the War Memorial Beds, where the second dog crapped. So the owner then had to walk into the bed himself to clear up while the pair of them continued to burn off energy crashing through the low hedges we planted last year.
The next one was a lady whose dog crapped near the beds but she was too busy talking on her phone to notice. When this was pointed out to her she picked up but without apology or acknowledgement or interruption of her phone conversation.
We then had another lady who allowed her dog to crap in a flowerbed and on the edge of the border. She picked up but when asked why she needed to let the dog crap on the beds because we have to kneel there to maintain them she didn't seem to understand our concerns. While this was going on her second dog, a small Jack Russell type, continued wandering happily through the beds taking no notice of her efforts to call it out. When told what we thought of this and that her dog should be under control she said she didn't like my rudeness (the word crap was used several times) and although she supported what we did in the park she wasn't sure if she could continue to do so. Well this is the kind of support we can do without!
Then just when things were calming down and we were getting back to work another owner with a dog on a long lead allowed it to wander back and forth through one of the beds. When spoken to he said "the dog was in sniffing mode"!
Thankfully things got back to normal after that and we managed to put fresh edges to all the beds, get lots of weeds out and add a selection of new plants. Work was also done to the Toilet Bed and Jubilee Bed, and the WWI silhouette at the park entrance was cleaned of the mud that someone had thrown on it. We also tidied up the mess left by the contractor around the benches at the park entrance when they replaced the York stone that had been stolen.
On a much happier note, we also continued our Little Growers scheme, which encourages young children to take home some seeds to grow and nurture before planting back in the park later in the year. This is proving very popular and we'll do it for the final time this year during the next task day on 28 April, which will also be the annual Family Treasure Hunt.
Thankfully some park visitors continued to support us by popping just over £8 in our collection bucket.