Community-spirited residents have pulled together to create a new ‘pocket park’, with support from Chesterfield Borough Council.
The new space at Edinburgh Road Park features a number of raised beds planted with wildflowers and plants to support pollinators like bees, new paving, 15,000 spring flowering bulbs and local urban artist Peter Barber has created a wall mural that celebrates nature behind the raised beds.
Councillor Jill Mannion-Brunt said: “I had a great time getting stuck in and helping out at one of the planting sessions. The pocket park is a fantastic space for the local community and offers something unique for them to enjoy. We also had a wonderful array of daffodils in the spring thanks to the efforts of the group and the children who enjoyed planting in the mud!”
“Working together with The Healthy Friends of Edinburgh Road Park, to develop this park shows how projects like this can help bring the community closer together. I know local people of every generation have been involved in this project throughout and I hope they will all get to enjoy it for many years.”
The work is being led by The Healthy Friends of Edinburgh Road Park after securing funding worth almost £20,000. Working in partnership with the Healthy Friends of Edinburgh Road the council submitted a bid to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and were awarded £14,500, Chesterfield Borough Council through its Housing Tenant Participation programme provided £5,000 and Derbyshire County Council Public Health also contributed a further £1,000 towards the project.
More improvements are planned, and volunteers are still welcome to get involved.
James Green, Chairperson of The Healthy Friends of Edinburgh Road Park, said:
“I’ve lived near Edinburgh Park all my life. As a child I used the play area and used to play football on the field. Nowadays, I walk my Border Terrier, Missy down there for exercise and a bit of relaxation."
“It was clear that Edinburgh Road Park was in need of some tender loving care so after many months of working with local residents, the council and a number of funding bodies it’s been pleasure to get to this point in the project. There have been many positive comments from local people on the improvements we’ve made. I hope more people visit the park to take a look!”
The first phase of improvements, including the raised beds and paving, were completed during the first lockdown in late spring 2020, closely followed by a socially distanced bulb planting in the autumn of 2020. The new trees will be planted in autumn and local people are still welcome to volunteer and get involved.
In the autumn the group will complete the project with the planting of 40 trees in the same area as the bulbs.
Words & Images: Healthy Friends of Edinburgh Road Park