18th March 2020 - Update about the work of the Friends of Grain Coastal Park from Fred Butcher
Welcome all to another year of keeping our park clean, tidy and accessible.
We will be holding a meeting in mid-February to arrange some events, confirm the yearly GB Keep Britain Tidy Litter pick and organise some volunteer days that all can attend. Keep an eye to our notice boards, posters and web site for confirmation of the date, time and place and come along to offer any help you can or offer some activity ideas we can safely run during the year to keep people interested in the lovely open spaces we have here at Grain. We ran a ‘Identify our Trees’ event in 2019 but had no entrants so this cash prize was used to buy litter bag holders for our volunteer days.
Over the past few months we have been plagued by a few illegal and inconsiderate motorbike and quad bike riders who are destroying all the work of the past 10 years. Some are quite young and have even younger children on the front – all without any safety equipment
Please – if you see these people:
· Telephone 101 and report it
· If you can help identify the riders – even better.
· If you see where they were parked, make a note
· If you see the vehicle they arrived in, make a note of the vehicle registration number
· Photos with them in the background that could help in identifying them.
The park has Footpaths and Bridle paths – motor vehicles are illegal and churn up the areas and make the park unsafe for other users.
On a positive note – we have recently taken possession of a brand new Noticeboard (sponsored by Grain LNG) to be installed in the car park area at Seaview Meadow. This will match the one by Church Beach car park and we hope that it will show our park areas and give details of events and photos of some of our stunning flora and fauna.
We now have 18 litter bins around the area – very well used and available for use for doggy bags as well – but really hard to get them emptied – obviously one of those jobs that we all hate!! Thanks to Fred and Val for persevering bur do need help. Our thanks too to those who keep watch and pick up after their animals.
Thanks also to Fred and his ‘willing’ helper Mark for working throughout the cold, wet winter months repairing steps, laying wood chip and other essential jobs to keep the park usable during the wet weather.
Thanks to Phil, Pat and John mowing extra as the mild start to winter meant the grass still continued to grow. Our thanks to all ‘Grain Rock’ participants for keeping the grassed areas clear – accidents will happen when these beautifully decorated stones get in the blades!
We are now getting regular reports of grey squirrels being seen which indicates that the park is maturing and able to support new species. The areas that are cut back annually are proving to support a greater diversity of insects with a marked increase of butterflies especially and our wild flower meadow looked stunning in 2019 but bikers have used the area and we may see a marked difference in 2020. These areas are not designed to leave your dog mess on so again - keep watch and pick up after them as people use these areas for study and enjoyment.
Please – check out our web page Friends of Grain Coastal Park and use our email address firstname.lastname@example.org to contact us with offers of help or let us know of any problems in the park.
Have a great 2020
7th August 2019
Friends Update Summer 2019
Our thanks to those hardy few who attended the litter pick arranged for the 27th July which had to be cancelled due to the rain. All went away to litter pick on their way home or on their walk. The pavilion car park was cleared while waiting for the rain to stop. This event will be re-scheduled.
Unfortunately ‘Friends’ had to return on Monday as due to an illegal event that took place within the area known as ‘The Dell’ there was an excessive amount of litter to be cleared. The police were informed at the time but it is unknown if they attended. Although the organisers of this event did try to clear and bag it, it was evident that many attendees had no thought for others and smashed bottles against stones and trees. We spent a while trying to clear all the glass we could see but it does mean that this area is now probably unsafe for public use and we are looking at ways to close the access. It is not on any footpath or designated route but some do go for a wander down there.
We are grateful to Medway Council for arranging the removal of the resulting litter bags so swiftly. It was no mean feat to lift these and remove from the area.
Over the coming weeks there will be additional bins installed on the Coastal Park by ‘Friends’ to add to the 14 already there and we thank Fred and Val for emptying them each week – it is not a job for the feint hearted and obviously they do need more help. All bins within the park and those supplied by Medway Council throughout the village have been marked to show they accept dog waste as well as litter. Please make full use of them.
Our paths are being kept clear for walkers (thanks go to Phil and Pat) but the vast areas left alone are to encourage wild plants, flowers, insects, butterflies and moths and nesting birds. It has to be said that this year has been a success with the beauty this has created and the colours that can be seen and many have shared on social media. Our wild flower meadow planted in 2016 was stunning this year and much has spread to other areas giving real ‘value for money’.
On a lighter note we are going to run a fun competition during the summer holidays for the school children whereby they try to identify as many trees as they can by closing date of 9th September 2019. Competition details can be found elsewhere on this site or from the library in Chapel Road, Isle of Grain, ME3 0BZ where books have been ordered and borrowed to help with the identification. In today’s world of course – they can also find them by a quick Google search! For more information see our Tree Competition page.
On a Sad Note – we have recently been contacted by Michael Dale who informs us that due to continuing ill health he has taken the hard decision to cancel all further History Walks and will be stepping back from actively assisting ‘Friends’. Michael has been our ‘Guide’ since Friends of Grain Coastal Park began and has been there to find funding for equipment, attended numerous meetings and training days and given up much of his spare time to create and maintain our coastal park and help many groups within the village. If you would like to send him a message – please use our email address and this will be forwarded to him.
Enjoy your Summer – Friends of Grain Coastal Park
25th July 2019
Thank you to all who came to our last litter pick and helped us fill 10 extra-large black sacks on Saturday 22nd June. Our next litter pick will be Saturday 27th July 2019.