Friends Of Handsworth Park News
Our group has been allocated a small, unused corner of Handsworth Park by the City Council to turn into a community garden. You may be wondering what is happening in this area as little progress has ensued over this time. This update summarises the funding we are applying for, to develop this area in order to acheive a garden of shared community contribution.
We have budgeted for just over £20,000 to landscape the area and realise our aims, around £5000 of which we have already secured from Birmingham City Council and the remainder we are currently applying to external sources of funding.
The Friend's group has carried out some consultation with local people and the preference is for an easy to maintain sensory garden with year round colour. We've asked the Council's design team to draw up some designs & cost it for us. Handsworth Park is 63 acres & in one of the most deprived wards of Birmingham. It is well used by local people, but it has only a few flower beds in the Victorian bedding plant style & there are no specific facilities for people with disabilities in the park. The sensory garden will be a calm area where people can take a moment to look at & smell the flowers and watch the insects. It will be accessible for people who use wheelchairs. Local people will be involved in planting & maintaining the garden & we'll be able to teach skills to volunteers & local school children. We also want to increase wildflowers and fruit into the park.
We have 3 aims:
To encourage people to get involved in growing and caring for plants so that they will have the confidence to plant their own gardens and appreciate the natural environment and the park more.
To make this area of the park useable as it between the park goods depot and the park railings and so is not used at all. It is beside one of the main gates to the park and so will be seen and used when it is the sensory garden.
To provide a places for bees and insects to thrive as we will plant native species and wildflowers too.
We will achieve:
300m2 of land put to productive use
Volunteers helping with the initial planting
Volunteers helping to maintain the garden
Links made with primary schools and one special school and children visiting the garden
The community sensory garden will benefit the volunteers as well and we hope that some of them will join the Friends group. We would then like to enter the garden into competitions and Britain in Bloom It's Your Neighbourhood.
There will be several types of beneficiary:
1. The users of Handsworth Park. The garden will provide a place for them to enjoy
2. Residents of Holly Road. The park boundary will be improved as the depot will be hidden
3. Volunteers. Local people will be involved in building & maintaining the site. We have been approached by the Probation Community Payback scheme & the Prince's Trust to volunteer their services. Local volunteers will receive horticulture training. They will also get to know each other. Handsworth is very multicultural and the volunteers will represent all sections of the community. By working together on a shared project they will learn about each others' cultures.
4. School children. Children from local primary schools will visit and help with the planting
5. School children with special needs. Children from Hamilton Special School in Handsworth will visit in the summer to enjoy the garden
The Friends group will employ a sessional garden consultant who will manage the planting & the development of the garden. We already have people who've expressed an interest in helping from our consultation event. We'll advertise for more volunteers in local community and faith centres. We will run workshops for volunteers to teach them about plants & how to grow them successfully. The volunteers will then be able to teach others in the following year. The consultant will also organise for other groups to come in & work with the volunteers eg RSPB, Birmingham & District Beekeepers Association, Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust, etc. After the initial planting, specific sessions will be organised weekly for volunteers to maintain the garden. The consultant will signpost keen volunteers to courses at South and City College or Adult Education. There are other community gardens in Birmingham & we'll organise skill and plant swops to help each other.
The community garden will benefit the environment by introducing a more diverse range of plants including native wildflowers; supporting insects and wildlife by incorporating bee hotels and overwintering logs. The sessions that we will run with local school children and the volunteers will focus on wildlife and how the cycle which plants, insects and animals are all interdependent within the cycle. The planting used to create and to onward manage and maintain the sensory garden will be donated by local people and allotments who we have relationships with including Uplands and the Victoria Allotments. Materials will be from sustainable sources to create the least environmental impact.
We have an ongoing partnership and relationship the Ranger service who will support with their wildlife talks, including insects, pond dipping and gardening support, we have organised talks by the RSPB and bat walks and both we will work with both to recreate habitats encourage bio diversity.
Community Garden Update:
14th September 2016
Our Community Garden project has been shortlisted for a public vote in Tesco’s #BagsofHelp initiative!
Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative in hundreds of regions across England and Wales. The scheme will see three community groups and projects in each of these regions awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge.
Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s 416 regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the 5p charge levied on single-use carrier bags. The public will now vote in store from 26 September to 9 October on who should receive the £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards. In total, there is over £12.5 million up for grabs.
We hope that as many of our supporters as possible can help us to get the highest amount possible, so please share and encourage your family and friends to vote for us when they are shopping at Tesco.
For more information on the scheme, visit the website at www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.
Run event this weekend
14th September 2016
The Pete Hayes Handsworth 10k Fun Run takes place this Sunday in Handsworth Park. It will start at 10.30am and last until approximately 12.30pm. During this time, many of the paths in the park will be marked off to ensure the runners follow the route, and most paths in the park will be part of the route. The park is of course open during this time and the runners are not expecting exclusive use of the paths but please be aware as you enjoy the park at this time in order for everyone to be safe as this charity event takes place.
Call by and support the runners as they run for the British Heart Foundation, they will appreciate your support.
For more information head to http://handsworthpark10k.weebly.com/
Meeting this week
23rd March 2018
At our committee meeting this week we heard about the activities that are happening in the park:
Active Parks have 2 Easter Egg Hunts - 1st April 1.30pm to 4.30pm and 4th April 1pm to 4pm. Free
The Sunday multi sport and multi activity sessions are going well 1.30pm - 4pm near the children's play area. free
There's a Willow making session in the Sons of Rest building tomorrow - Saturday 24th March 12noon to 2pm. Learn how to make sculptures. Free.
There's a celebration event of some women getting the vote on Sunday 15th April 2pm to 5pm at the Boathouse Cafe. Drop in workshops making rosettes and placards, talk on suffragettes in Handsworth, march around the lake, free tea and cake.
Vaisakhi - 29th April
Simmerdown - 12th August
Hopefully there will be a Cricket Cultural Day in August too.
The community garden is going well although we had to postpone the Spring into Action event due to the snow.
We've received some funding to work with local allotments to put on a Handsworth Show.
We'd like to put on a Dog Show too - maybe at the same time. Is anyone interested in helping to organise the Dog Show?
We've lots on the website. If you've any stories or memories about the park that you'd like us to put on the website please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cricket season starts on 21st April. Look out for the fixtures list on our website.
We're concerned about the future of the Leisure Centre and we're waiting to hear what the Council's plans are.
We're hoping that we'll have a Forest School running in the park soon.
We also want to organise something for national tree week in November. If you've any ideas about what we could do please get in touch.
It'll be a busy year and it's great to see so many people enjoying the park every day.
Friends of Handsworth Park