Building Bridges: Friends of Victoria Park

Posted by zat1 at Nov 19, 2015 03:45 PM |
Tapping in to the expertise of Friends of Victoria Park.

Building bridges over coffee with Friends of Victoria Park's Margaret turned into discovering long term plans and ambitions of the group - and how the university's role plays its share in the park's future. As our lovely volunteers have been reinstating the pond's natural habitat, and planting bulbs for spring, an affection often seen for the park by the students is evident. Enjoying the picturesque walk to university is a great blessing for the students, and it was this enjoyment that first sparked the desire to conserve the natural habitats on the university's doorstep.

The pond is looking wonderful, so thank you for all your hard work on such a damp day.

Margaret Lewis, October 2015

Our group from the Environmental Action Society have held three conservation occasions in the park since the start of the year, paying a great deal of time to the pond in particular. The pond was going to be left to close in September 2015 because the invasion of the foreign species parrot's feather had suffocated the water, biodiversity and existing reeds and plants in the pond. This transformation has reinstated the pond's status and with the growing season 6 months away, we can hope to have nipped the problem at the bud.

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Margaret went on to tell us about the next year's prospects for the park. Because of the usage of the park recently shifting away from families using the space and play park, to a walking right of way and access to the university - users of the park have dropped in recent years. To draw the families back the decking on one side of the pond will be extended to connect to another path, and picnic tables and nature trails will be put in to make this area more accessible, educational, and interactive to families and young children. They also have plans to move the play park to a lighter patch of the park where it won't be in such darkness and deserted as it is currently.

When we told Margaret about the Food for Free trail we've got set up on campus, she mentioned they'd also like to plant an orchard in the park similarly for public access to free food and the awareness of proximity from plant to plate eating. With the support from Leicester City Council, we've now run three sessions conserving the area in and around the pond in Victoria Park and we hope to return time and time again to see the flowers blossom and the pond become a special place for families to enjoy.

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