Monday, 5 March 2012

In the past year we ...

Between the AGMs of 10 Feb 2011 and 3 March 2012, Millfields Users Group ...

Park design

  • turned a council proposal for a path straight through the middle of the orchard, into a winding path at the edge under the trees linking with the new footbridge
  • persuaded the council to do away with cyclist priority on the Black Path (after 3 years of asking)
  • involved users in a working group on the Casimir Road entrance area
  • involved users in a working group on play
  • negotiated improvement of the National Grid proposal for removing the lay-by
  • negotiated postponement of National Grid proposals for their gate area, pending a full review of the design by MUG

Safety & maintenance

  • got the council to update the obsolete emergency phone numbers displayed in the park
  • pressed for regular emptying of bins, (as usual)
  • pressed British Waterways to repair the broken rail facing the Black Path, and make the newly-installed bridge rail safe by plugging the end
  • got rid of the hazardous puddle / ice patch and misleading signage on the Black Path

Fun

  • ran a Family Fun Day which attracted some 400 people

Plants & wildlife

  • transplanted 4 fruit trees donated by Beecholme allotments into the park & arranged their aftercare
  • weeded & mulched the orchard and started winter pruning during which we
  • hosted a pruning course by Garden Organic
  • ran 2 pruning courses for park users funded from by a grant from Re:Leaf
  • co-organised a bat walk which led to the waste station changing its lighting regime to improve bat habitat
  • organised a community bulb planting day
  • supported a guerilla weeding and bulb planting on the riverside 'wildflower bed'
  • invited Young Hackney to build bird boxes for the park
  • contributed to the LBH Biodiversity Action Plan
  • agreed a biodiversity plan for the park with the council and worked on implementing it
  • worked with the council and EcoActive on a schools biodiversity programme, including meadow plantings in March 2012

Events policy

  • commented critically on the LBH draft Events Policy, twice
  • exposed abuse of the park by funfairs in 2011

Developments affecting the park

  • opposed LBWF's approval of development on Essex Wharf
  • supported opposition to an Olympic take-over of Leyton Marsh this summer
  • commented on the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority's draft area proposals – its 10-year plan for the regional park which includes Millfields – and contributed to the Lea Valley Federation response

Community links

  • built up contact with Jack Watts TRA, Millfields Estate TRA, the Guinness Trust and Circle 33 and kept up contact with Beecholme Estate TRA and the Riverside Close residents' group
  • developed contacts with gardening, nature and cycling activities in local schools, and with Young Hackney
  • worked with the Tree Musketeers, Hackney Community Tree Nursery, Hackney Parks Forum, Thames21/Love the Lea, and Hackney Biodiversity Partnership
  • worked to keep and improve our liaison with local councillors
  • kept or developed contacts with cricketers, footballers and local school cycle trainers
  • explored contacts with the Dogs Trust

Parks department

  • pressed for the Parks Development team to do a better job of consulting and informing us
  • publicised the good work of the gardeners
  • resisted the destruction of the council Tree Gang

Running and developing the group

  • set up an interim web site and posted news, planning documents, minutes etc
  • ran several summertime stalls in the park
  • improved our presence on the park noticeboards (such as they are)
  • increased our membership/mailing list from 240 to 340
  • raised grants and donations to buy a mini-marquee for stalls and events, run the fun day, publish a news-sheet and run the orchard pruning courses
  • made some progress on a permanent website but haven't finished it
  • organised 4 group meetings
  • and had 12 committee meetings


... which leaves plenty to do in 2012-2013 ...

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