By Sarah Marsh
Notes from Southwick Country Park
We start the New Year by looking back at the old year and how much we have achieved. As always litter has been a problem but thanks to Pat and Ian who regularly pick up, the Park is looking good.
We have done much work on haloing around the oak trees and it is wonderful to see these magnificent trees standing alone from the hedge rows. Various benches have been replaced and repairs carried out to fencing and gates.
Earlier in the year, Wiltshire Council wanted to introduce car parking charges which the Friends were very much against. After lots of discussions with Councillors and a petition from Park users the Council agreed to drop charges and give the Friends control of the carpark. We agreed to maintain the carpark to a standard set out by the Council and to this end, the Friends met on a cold Sunday morning early in December to fill the potholes that blight the surface. We were helped by a young man called Matt from (Dentwise Removal) and a machine called a wacker on loan from Dig-it Groundworks & Grab Lorry Services. We hope the users of the carpark appreciate all the hard work necessary to keep it free of charges.
Another story this year has been planning applications to build on the field between Church Lane and the Lambrok Meadow. We are particularly concerned by the impact on the stream and the wildlife reliant on clean, free running water. This is on-going at the moment but we are trying to obtain local nature reserve status for the Park which may help our cause.
On a lighter note, our annual Christmas get-together on the last working morning in December was enjoyed by all. We always work for an hour or two and then stop for food and drinks. This year we were joined by Horace Pritchett, our local Councillor who is very supportive of the Friends. We were also joined by Vicky (Wiltshire Countryside Team) who brought along her new baby for us all to coo over.
Finally, if you would like to help out and volunteer, we meet every second Wednesday and last Tuesday of the month. We gather in the main carpark at 9.30 am. You’ll need sturdy footwear, thorn-proof gloves and a coffee mug.
Photographs by DKG
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