Oxhey Village Environment Group | www.oveg.org
FRIENDS OF OXHEY PARK – Newsletter 31 – October 2015
What’s been happening
The big change since Newsletter 30 last April is that Sandy, our Chairman, has secured the services of various groups of workers to assist in the park. They have done a good deal of cutting down and trimming back overgrown branches and vegetation to let more light into the denser areas and used the trimmings to construct ‘dead hedges’ which will mellow in time and provide habitat for various insects. They have also made a start on tidying the terraces in the lower park. This assistance, though likely to be temporary, means that we Friends can use our Saturday sessions to help with more creative tasks such as planting up sections of the terraces, as well as clearing litter where needed.
We now have the use of the shipping container under the arches to store our equipment. B&Q kindly provided the paint to makes it blend in to the park.
What’s in the pipeline
We hope soon to have a water supply using the former hydrant near the High St. entrance, which will make it easier to care for the terraces. Pupils in Field and Bromet schools have submitted designs to top wooden arches marking entrances to the Dell from Eastbury Road. Two will be chosen from a short list, adapted as necessary for engraving on wood, and installed once ready.
Local experts on wild flowers and butterflies have been looking at what kind of planting is likely to be most successful in the park and we hope to make a start on at least one trial area this autumn. This is another task the Friends may be able to help with.
Sandy is working on an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund to fund research into the history of the park and produce a brochure that visitors could use to understand more about specific areas such as the railway arches, Wiggenhall house, and the importance of the River Colne for Watford industry in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
We know that the future use of the fields on the north bank of the river, that is the area not eaten up by the new road, is under discussion at WBC. Some of the ideas being considered are apparently controversial so it is important that we all watch for any consultation document that emerges and make our views known promptly.
The committee has considered whether we still need a newsletter when so many of the Friends and others just interested in the park now use Facebook to keep in touch on what can be a daily basis. This has proved really helpful in getting problems reported and dealt with promptly, and sharing photographs and ideas. But not all our members use Facebook and there may still be a case for having at least a couple of newsletters a year. It would be interesting to hear members’ opinions on this. These could be posted on Facebook or given in person at the next Saturday clear up session.