Residents and businesses in Kilnwick have been praised for representing the “very best of community grassroots action” as they work together to create a new community park for the village.
Work is well underway to create a new focal point for the village called The Park, Kilnwick, which will be enjoyed by all generations.
The park will cover an area of 6.5 acres and will include a native woodland area; a community orchard; a children’s playground with swings, slides, climbing frames and natural elements such as willow tunnels, grass mounds, sandpit and log balance beams; a wildlife area, including wildflower and wetland habitat, as well as a three-acre oval grassed area.
The area will provide a safe environment for children to play and the space and tranquillity for people of all ages to enjoy. It has been designed to create an environment where nature and wildlife can flourish, while also providing a communal area for village celebrations and fundraising events.
Now, from 450 projects supported by Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE), The Park, Kilnwick has been chosen as their case study from England as representing the “very best of community grassroots action.”
Ellen Beddows, secretary to The Park, Kilnwick, said the park will enhance the wellbeing of the residents of Kilnwick and surrounding villages, who currently lack such facilities.
She said: “There are around 250 people, including 65 children, in Kilnwick alone and there is no local community green space.
“The park will provide facilities which will enhance the health, wellbeing and education of our local residents.
“The project has brought the whole community together, with people of all ages joining in to help.
“During our first tree planting session last November, there was an 86-year age gap between the youngest and the oldest helpers!”
The Park, Kilnwick project has been made possible thanks to the donation of the land by three local families. It is being managed by ‘The Park, Kilnwick’ charity, which has been set up to oversee the project.
The £100,000 cost of creating and maintaining the park is being met through donations, grants and fundraising, with £25,000 still left to fund.
Ellen added: “We have a number of grant applications which we have submitted, however, if any local businesses would like to sponsor an item or donate in any way then we would love to hear from them.
“We have had incredible support from local businesses and individuals.
“One of the village farmers, Wayne Smith, has carried out the ploughing and harrowing of the fallow field to get it ready for sowing the grass seed later this month.
“Kings Seeds, a subsidiary of Frontier Agriculture in Hutton Cranswick, has donated the grass seed and the Woodland Trust donated 840 native tree saplings, which volunteers from the village have planted and 50 fruit trees and 62 Specimen Native trees have been supplied from Henleys Nurseries at Market Weighton and Thorpe Trees at York.
“Providing a haven for wildlife is a key element of The Park and CJ Wildlife has donated the bird boxes, bat boxes and insect hotels, worth £1,000, which has freed up other funding for an outdoor classroom, which will be used by local schools.”
With the land work carried out and the trees planted, the grass seed will be sown this month and the wildflower meadow will be planted by young people from the village who belong to Kilnwick Parklings, a new youth group set up as part of the project.The first Kilnwick Parklings activity will take place from 2-4pm on Saturday 29th April at The Park, which will be an introduction to the group, followed by the seeding of the large wildflower meadow.
The play equipment, which is being installed on a voluntary basis by local tradesmen Johnny Hoggard, Martin Mason, Richard Ling and Craig Norris, signage, seating and heritage and wildlife trails will then begin to take shape throughout the summer before the grand opening and community celebration weekend which will take place over the weekend of 2nd and 3rd September 2017.