Friends of Allestree Park Long Term Plan 2013 to 2018
Allestree Park is the largest, wildest and most scenic of all the parks in Derby. In contrast to many of them, especially Markeaton Park, which provides more commercial facilities, Allestree Park provides a place to enjoy splendid landscapes and wildlife. In this, Allestree Park is an important asset of the city in providing a place for the people of Derby and beyond to relax from the pressures of modern day life.
In order for the park to continue to fulfil this role, the environment needs to be maintained, conserved and enhanced and the public encouraged to use the park responsibly.
Much of the park, the woodland and fields surrounding the Golf Course and the lake, has been designated a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) by Derby City Council who own and run the park. LNR status is a statutory designation made under Section 21 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 by principal local authorities.
A comprehensive management plan for the LNR was produced in 2002 by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, working with officers of Derby City Council. As part of the LNR management plan objectives, the Friends of Allestree Park (FOAP) group was set up in 2005.
Since then FOAP have organised events within the park (woodland walks, lake clearance, veteran tree walks, etc.), and identified a number of areas for improvement in the largest area of woodland (path restoration, invasive sycamore and rhododendron clearance, native tree and shrub planting), and undertaken projects to tackle these areas. FOAP has also undertaken path creation and signage improvement.
The constitution states that the purpose of FOAP is:
‘For the benefit of the public to promote conservation and the improvement of Allestree Park and the surrounding area and to advance the education and enjoyment of the public in all aspects of the built and natural environment, amenity value and history of Allestree Park and its environs.’
The plan described below identifies the objectives and commitments FOAP will work towards over the period 2013 to 2018 to best serve the park and preserve it for future generations in line with the purpose identified above. The plan identifies what FOAP consider achievable, either by its own efforts or by involvement with other organisations, whilst recognising limitations on funding and other resources, including volunteer time.
It is intended that the plan is reviewed and updated on a regular basis to record our achievements against the extant plan and identify further objectives and projects for the coming years.
2. Objectives for 2013 to 2018
2.1 Protect the environment within the park
The aim of FOAP, together with Derby City Council, is to ensure that existing habitats for wildlife is maintained generally for native species whilst managing invasive native and non-native species. In addition FOAP want to be informed and to influence decisions taken by Derby City Council that may impact on the park environment.
2.1.1 Specific Objectives
a) Work towards the elimination of Himalayan Balsam by removal on a regular basis around the park.
b) Reduce the presence of Sycamore trees in the park and replace them with native tree species.
c) Work towards the elimination of Rhododendron bushes solely within the woods on a regular basis and replace with native under-shrub species. Note that there is no intention of removal of the rhododendrons within the ornamental garden at the Hall, and these will be retained.
d) Maintain the nest boxes for birds and bats and replace as required.
e) Promote the expansion of uncut wild grassland areas in appropriate parts of the park to sustain and promote the population of wildflowers, insects, birds and other wildlife.
f) Record and report to Derby City Council concerns relating to the park environment and the condition of the park. Encourage users of the park to inform FOAP and Derby City Council of their concerns, e.g. litter, garden waste, vandalism.
g) Engage with Derby City Council to become informed about and influence maintenance/repair proposals for the park and any other work undertaken by Derby City Council staff or other organisations such as TCV and Broomfield College.
2.2 Support the Allestree LNR Management Plan
2.2.1 Specific Objectives
(a) Comment on, and input to the LNR Management Plan as requested.
b) Continue to record on an ongoing basis, the occurrence and changing population levels of fauna and flora within the park, including veteran trees.
3.1 Ensure that the park is safe for the general public to use.
Derby City Council is responsible for Health and Safety; although FOAP can assist by identify potential hazards in the park and proposing possible solutions, and by ensuring that any potential harmful activities within the park are reported to the appropriate authority.
3.1.1 Specific Objectives
a) Identify areas in the park that require repair/maintenance/improvement to enhance the safety of the park such as the provision of steps from Big Wood down to the Golf Course, already undertaken.
b) In conjunction with Derby City Council maintain and repair the benches and picnic tables within the park.
c) Seek via consultation with the public areas for improvement/changes/additional facilities etc.
3.3 Improve the environment around and within Allestree Lake
3.3.1 Specific Objectives
a) Liaise with Derby City Council in improving the management of the fishing activities around the lake.
b) In conjunction with the Pond Wardens, identify measures that can be undertaken, either by FOAP or in conjunction with Derby City Council, to improve the quality of the water in the lake to encourage a more diverse range of aquatic life.
4.1 Provide information on the Park, organise events in the park.
4.1.1 Specific Objectives
a) Identify a programme of regular walks/events annually to be provided by FOAP in conjunction with other organisations.
b) Identify and produce additional educational information either directly on the FOAP website or via links to other sites.
c) Continue to update, improve and expand the FOAP website, including a summary table detailing the plans objectives and progress to date, and encourage input from the FOAP membership and the general public.
4.2 Liaise with the local schools and youth organisations to engage the next generations in preserving/enhancing the park
The future of Allestree Park ultimately lies with the next generations of the people of Derby. To enhance and preserve the park for future generations FOAP will seek ways to involve, encourage and enthuse the youngsters of today. Consequently, the FOAP will seek to involve the local schools and youth organisations (cubs/scouts brownies/guides etc) to engage with the park and to take part in FOAP projects.
4.2.1 Specific Objectives
a) Identify local schools and organisations that would be interested in liaising/interacting with FOAP.
d) Identify projects that could be undertaken with assistance from schools and other organisations, e.g. fauna and flora surveys, non-native species control etc.
e) Involve local organisations in generating ideas for improvement, conservation, etc.
5. Additional Objectives
5.1 Seek to get greater involvement in FOAP projects by the membership.
5.2 Increase FOAP membership.
5.3 Improve services to the FOAP membership.
Appendix to FOAP Long Term Plan
1. A major programme of path lining in Big Wood in conjunction with the Derbyshire Conservation Volunteers.
2. Clearance of a large area of rhododendron in Big Wood in conjunction with TCV.
3. A new Big Wood Nature Trail devised by Bill Grange, funded by the National Lottery.
4. Creation of steps from Big Wood to the Golf Course in conjunction with the Derbyshire Conservation Volunteers.
5. Creation of steps from Burley Lane to the park.
6. Creation of a new path from the main car park to the Lake funded by the National Lottery.
7. Installation of two information panels in the main and Woodlands Lane car parks designed by Bill Grange, funded by the Neighbourhood Board.
8. Installation of a new bird life panel near the Upper Lake, designed by Bill Grange, funded by the Neighbourhood Board.
9. Installation of a new Park History Information Panel on a new stone plinth near the Hall entrance, designed by Bill Grange, funded by the Neighbourhood Board.
10. New revetments along the Lake side to protect the Lake bank, funded by the National Lottery.
11. Installation of three new Notice Boards; privately sponsored.
12. Installation of a new ‘Finger Post’ near the Hall entrance; privately sponsored.
13. Initiation of a newsletter to members.
14. Innovation of a new ‘Life Membership’ class.
15. Simplification off the FOAP Constitution.
16. Initiation of liaison meetings with the Golf Club
17. A major tree planting programme in conjunction with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and the City Council.
18. Installation of bat and bird boxes around the Park in conjunction with the City Council.
In addition the FOAP Committee has continued to work with the Council to seek improvement to the Park and its approaches, and to update and re-issue the LNR Management Plan. A grant from the National Lottery’s Communities Fund is helping FOAP tio improve its capabilities with the purchase of tools and equipment, and a modest training programme, to be complet