Blakers Park Spring Clean

Sunday March 20th  from 2-4pm

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People really do care about Blakers Park. On summer afternoons the playground is buzzing with an amazing density of children, the park's own tennis club keeps the two courts busy, there's a well-loved cafe, paths that are great for small bikes and speedy scooters, and as we've seen recently, the sense of risk and adventure comes alive when they turn into the coolest (for ‘cool ‘read treacherous) Cresta Run on snowy days.
Ok, it may not be as big as Preston Park, the views aren't quite as good as from the top of Hollingbury Golf Course and it's not as pristine as Hove Park, but we do pack quite a bit into our little patch. 
The lovely grassy areas are well frequented by many a local dog, and the dog-free area is spot-on for football and groups of teenagers chillaxing after school. Believe it or not, 106 varieties of trees have been logged in Blakers Park, and thanks to a mammoth planting session in late autumn, we hope to see 1000 English bluebells blooming at the top of the park by next year (if not before)....all this in a mere 4 acres.
We know people care, because one Sunday morning last March more than 100 people pitched up to the first Blakers Park Spring Clean, ready to scrape, scrub and shovel. These enthusiastic volunteers, young and old, were a fair reflection of the park demographic: tennis players, dog owners, Montessori pupils, residents who already do their bit, and those who feel they really should do more.
There was no stopping them - not even a rickety wheelbarrow with a puncture.  Bucket after bucket of heavy earth was lugged back up the hill from where it had migrated to the bottom by the new playground!
After the Spring Clean, people stopped to admire the neat edges to the paths, picked up stray bits of rubbish and talked to each other even more than before.  What was accomplished on that spring day gave people a renewed sense of pride and ownership in their local park. Thank you to all those who came along.
During the course of the year, our affable Park Ranger Emma Keane and the valiant volunteer gardeners lead by Marion and Ed beaver away to maintain and improve Blakers Park.  Their work is closely supported by Dominique, Max and the Friends who work tirelessly on behalf of the park. George Harris, who works in the grounds of Preston Manor, has generously offered to help tidy up the shrubs and woodland area at the top of the hill over the coming months. 
The recent improved tidiness of the park is also due to visits by the Brighton branch of the Community Pay Back Team, part of the Sussex and Surrey Probation Trust.  The teams have done a fantastic job tidying up overdue piles of rotting leaves and clearing muddy paths. Earlier in the year, they embarked on painting the railings.
On Sunday March 20th  from 2-4pm, we will be celebrating our second Blakers Park Spring Clean. The afternoon will include a quiz for the children to learn more about the trees, birds and general biodiversity of the park and, of course, tea, cakes and chat (weather permitting).
We invite you to come along in the same spirit of neighbourly co-operation. Bring your ideas and your enthusiasm. Let's leave the park looking so spick and span that no one would dare to drop a wrapper, nor leave a dog poop unscooped.  Come and meet those who are involved in looking after the park and learn more about what is planned for the future.
Blakers Park may have its lovely new playground, but the paths and landscaping of the rest of the park are sadly neglected. There are two new recycling bins, but only 3 general dustbins in the whole park - not nearly enough. Some railings are painted...but some are not.
Don't  underestimate what a difference your contribution and support can make to Blakers Park . We know you care.
Contact Mel, on meltlevy@yahoo.co.uk with ideas/ suggestions about the Spring Clean , offers to help on the day or during the year with interim tidying up and maintenance. 
Do come along to Cleveland Pub on Tues 15th Feb 8pm to meet others who are interested in supporting Blakers Park.
The Spring Clean is enthusiastically supported by the Friends of Blakers Park, who work on behalf of the community to protect and enhance the park.   For information about events, to contribute news or articles to the newsletter go to www.blakerspark.org.uk

 

Posted: 26th of January 2011