An overview - 2016 to 2017!
The Park, Kilnwick" is a charitable community project set up to transform 6½ acres of fallow agricultural land into a stunning recreational asset for all ages within this rural community, enhancing their health and well being. Facilities include an inclusive children’s playground with wheelchair access, a wildflower meadow, seating, a picnic area, a community orchard, a wetland area and over an acre of newly planted native trees, all surrounding a central 3 acre oval grass playing field.
The Park was formally opened on 2nd September 2017 and is rapidly becoming a haven for wildlife, an educational resource and a permanent focal point for community celebration and fundraising events. A new youth club, “The Kilnwick Parklings” is providing structured youth activities fortnightly since April 2017 to encourage local young people to develop confidence, skills and abilities. All local primary schools (700 children) have stated that they will use The Park regularly as an outdoor classroom.
The Park was originally inspired by the total lack of any public green spaces in Kilnwick (population 250, including 65 children) and the surrounding villages (a further 2500 residents). The project got off the ground in 2016 with the land purchase by local residents, community consultation, charity creation, planning permission and initial ground drainage works. The last ten months have seen a huge community volunteer operation swing into action: our first tree planting day in November 2016 attracted no less than 70 volunteers! Ploughing, levelling, seeding, rolling and grass cutting have all been undertaken by the local farming community, supported by volunteers stone picking, watering and weeding. Local builders and joiners took the lead with installing the playground equipment, again supported by a rapidly growing army of dedicated volunteers.
Our Grand Opening event saw three days of celebrations including an extensive fete (which attracted an estimated 2000 people), barn dance and music festival. The local press got behind the project, publishing many articles as The Park took shape and the local BBC radio broadcast an interview. The incredible support received from local businesses big and small with free and discounted goods and materials, funding from charities, grants from the local authority and above all, support and donations from so many individuals, has not only made this project possible, it has been completed in a relatively short timescale.
The whole project has cost about £120,000 and this has been fully funded. The Park is now owned and run by a democratic charity with trustees elected by the members. Whilst this arrangement helps to ensure that The Park will endure and flourish, the legacy extends well beyond the permanent physical features: friendships have been forged across the community and children have learnt new skills which will last a lifetime.
In an age when we hear so many stories about the loss of communal facilities, this community has shown how rural Yorkshire can buck this trend with so many heart warming acts of kindness, generosity and co-operation.
From fallow agricultural land to a 6.5 acre
Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this project.
The Park creation not be possible without the determination and hard work from Charity Membership, and the overwhelming community support, all provided on an voluntary basis. The volunteers continue to develop and maintain The Park.
We've also received an immense amount of help from many organisations.
We would particularly like to thank :
In relation to the biodiversity enhancement at The Park, we would particularly like to thank: