New trees will bring year-round colour
Published on: 30 Jan 2017
FRIENDS of Page Park have issued a warning to people not to panic if they see trees being felled at the Staple Hill beauty spot.
Thirteen trees are being removed in February and March for reasons including disease, storm damage and decay.
However, a scheme to plant 33 new trees has just got the go-head thanks to a £20,000 grant.
The cash has been secured by the Friends of Page Park from the People's Postcode Lottery with additional money from the Forest of Avon Trust.
The money will means new varieties of trees can be added to ensure all year round colour.
There are notices up in the park detailing what is happing during the tree management programme.
Steph Purser, vice chair of the Friends, said: "Many of the trees in the park were put in when the park was opened over 100 years ago so several trees have now got problems. We've had them surveyed and some need to come out. It is only the trees which are damaged or have problems that will be taken out.
"In Edwardian and Victorian times, they tended to plant the same type of tree. The idea of the new trees is to add spring and autumn colour which will really add interest, improve the look of the park and bring more biodiversity."
The grant also includes cash for soft landscaping. Already more than £3,500 has been spent on bulbs and plug plants which have gone in at the back of the war memorial and in the sensory garden to encourage butterflies and wildlife.
Meanwhile, work is continuing to improve the park following a £1.6 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery with an additional £2.1 million secured by the Friends of Page Park.
Work to restore the clocktower is expected to be finished by the end of February. It is being carried by experts from a specialist restoration company based in Cumbria.
Although the clock will be returned to its former chiming self, a lead substitute will be used on the top of the building.
Builders have made good progress with work on the new cafe and community building and its wooden frame was due to be delivered at the end of January.
Interviews for a cafe operator were taking place on January 30 with the handover expected around the beginning of June.
"We've got some really good applicants so I'm really pleased and can't wait to get those people onboard," Steph said.
Restoration of the tennis club house has just started. It will be used as a volunteer centre with other uses for the space currently being investigated.
Steph said: ""We are making the park better for future generations and it will be a park the people of Staple Hill can be proud of."
Members of the Friends are still fundraising for even more improvements to the park including the other play areas and benches. If anyone wants to help they can go to BTGiving to make a donation or pop into Brunt and Fussell in Broad Street. They can also go to www.friendsofpagepark.co.uk or get in touch via the Friends' Facebook page.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer as a Friend or to help out at events planned at the park should contact the Friends via their website.