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| During the
Queen’s Jubilee Year of 2002 we, as a village, were busy organising
events for the Jubilee when a local landowner mentioned the fact that he
was willing to lease the village an area of land off Back Lane for use as
a Recreational area. The idea of Fangfoss and Bolton Jubilee Park was born!
We hoped that all age groups would benefit from the proposed park, which would provide somewhere to walk, sit and play away from the busy main road. There is a particular need for an area where the children can enjoy both informal and formal recreational area.
We sent letters out to every householder in the parish outlining the proposals and inviting them to attend a meeting regarding the feasibility of the project. At this meeting it was decided to go ahead and develop a park.
From October 2002 to January 2003 various consultations took place within the community. The results of these highlighted the most popular functions of the park would be for – a picnic area; informal kick about; provision of play equipment; shelters and a dog walking area. There was an overwhelming vote in favour of wildlife habitats including woodland, wildflower meadow, and trees and flowering shrubs.
Based on these ideas, we approached Doorstep Greens for a grant which would enable us to carry out a project management plan. This was an essential step in enabling us to get additional funding at later dates. We were successful in obtaining a Project Preparation Grant and later went on to apply for a full grant to help us carry out the project.
We applied for planning permission to turn the land from agricultural to recreational use – which turned out to be more complex than we thought! Our planning proposal had objections from Humberside Archaeology who were concerned about a linear crop mark under the field (although they later withdrew their objections when they had seen the site), and from the Highways Authority because they did not want to allow traffic down Back Lane. We had already stated in our application that the access was pedestrian only and the villagers rallied around and lobbied our local councilors and dignitaries. We went ‘en masse’ to the planning meeting at Goole, where our chairman was allowed to speak on our behalf for the proposal for 3 minutes. The outcome of the meeting was that we were granted planning permission, subject to conditions.
A local farmer was concerned that our tree planting might affect his drainage; we carried out a survey of the field – locating and clearing out the drains as well as putting in inspection chambers.
Finally, in March 2004 when we heard that we had successfully obtained a grant from Doorstep Greens, the work began in earnest. At the start we had stated that one of our objectives was to use local labour, providing a boost to employment in the area, and so far we have managed to do this. We have used local contractors for the landscaping work and another for ground maintenance. We have used a local nursery for many of the trees and shrubs.
In 2004, we improved the entrance to the park and laid out footpaths. Under the guidance of the BTCV the villagers planted about 700 trees and shrubs. The ridge and furrow was removed in the middle of the field and leveled to make an informal kick about area. Limestone was laid as a foundation to aid drainage, then a special membrane put on top of that, before being reseeded. The soil removed was used to make earth mounds and landscaping features. A dog walking area was fenced off and planted with hedging.
In 2005, more tree planting took place in the winter. During the summer months two rustic timber shelters were erected along with picnic tables, benches, seats and litter bins.
In 2006 we replanted some trees, put up signs (including sponsors plaques) and an information notice board, and erected bird and bat boxes. The school designed a mosaic for one of the shelters and that was laid in July. A BMX track opened in August and has proved very popular.
Last year we were able to install the major items of play equipment and
willow structures which provide living green “dens” for the
children to play in. The sensory equipment also installed has given both
young and old the chance to experiment with sound, smell and science.