The Friends of Cale Green Park

Accomplishments

To date, the Friends of Cale Green Park has organized ten summer events, nine winter events, and four Farmers Markets. The costs of putting on these events has come from grant monies and monies raised from the sale of tea, coffee, cakes, and raffle tickets.

We used to think that our bank balance was reasonably healthy. However, the cuts by Stockport Council have dealt us two devastating blows. First, grants are drying up, so fundraising is becoming increasingly difficult. Secondly, we have to pay for park staff help and insurance at our events (both of which had previously been provided for free by the Council). To make matters worse, we had to cancel our most profitable event [the Easter Monday Farmers Market] because of increased Council red tape. Fortunately, our 2014 Crowdfunding campaign was a big hit, and this helped mitigate the impact of these effects. In fact, we raised enough money from that campaign to fund all our events in 2014 and 2015. Encouraged by that success, we made the Summer 2016 event [the first event that was not funded] our biggest to date with more rides and things to do.

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The Circle of Benches

The Friends of Cale Green Park are most proud of the restoration of the benches in the centre circle by the band stand. When the group was formed about 6 years ago, only a few benches were left standing, and they were in very poor condition. Through our efforts and perseverance, we finally managed to re-install the left side of bench circle with ten of the original cast iron bench ends. We very recently just finished the right side [which previously had no benches], so the circle of benches is now complete.

We managed to acquire the bench ends from other parks who were removing their benches (which thankfully are identical to ours).

We owe a great deal of thanks to Steve Thompson for his help in acquiring these bench ends, not to mention the stellar work he has done helping us during our park events.

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The Owl

In 2011, we received funding from Forever Manchester to transform a tree stump into an owl seat. However, the tree in Cale Green Park that we were originally going to use turned out to be diseased and thus unsuitable. Fortunately, we managed to find a suitable dead tree in Bell’s Paddock. The tree was carved by Tim Burgess, an award winning chainsaw sculptor, and the resulting owl has become a community favourite. You can see a short video clip of the owl being carved by clicking on YouTube

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Bell's Paddock

Although many local residents call it "Crocus Corner", its official title is Bell's Paddock.

Every October, the scheduled Park Tidy Day becomes our annual bulb planting day. Over the years, we planted hundreds of bulbs in this area, and the flowers that the residents are now seeing are the results of our efforts. Just look at this stunning display in 2013. And residents tell us that it's even better this year!

In 2012, we added the Owl to the Bell's Paddock. The community instantly fell in love with her. Shortly thereafter, the Council planted a sweet chestnut tree just behind the Owl.

In 2013, we added a display board. The board will contain a historical description of the Bell's Paddock - similar to what you see by the band stand in Cale Green Park. We're working on the wording, so stay tuned for news about the installation.

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Crowdfunding Success


Over the past seven years, the Friends of Cale Green Park have successfully applied for grants to fund our park events. However, those grants began to dry up. In addition, the latest phase of the Stockport Council budget cuts meant that we will have to hire park staff (over £300 per year) and possibly pay for public liability insurance. Given that it costs us about £750 to run each event, our running costs effectively doubled in 2014. This combination of increased costs and decreased funding led us to try something different. We decided to try crowdfunding.

Altogether, we raised £2,161.50 - £1,661.50 was raised through Buzzbnk, and £500 came from a Community First matching grant. You could argue that we raised over £3,500, as coincidentally, we also received £330 from the Area Flexibility Fund, and £1,650 from the Friends of Hallam Gardens (because their group was officially dissolved). But these funds were received separately from our campaign, not as a direct result of it. So, it would be disingenuous to include those funds as part of the total.

The Honour Roll below lists some of those who contributed to our campaign. Some hid behind their pets, rather than divulge their true identities. Others decided to contribute anonymously. Either way, we are deeply appreciative of every contribution we received. 

The Honour Roll

The Honour Roll has been divided into two sections: Fire Starters and Flames. The Fire Starters are the contributors who started the ball rolling and contributed early. They gave us £500 in 5 days, and generated an additional £500 from Community First. The Flames followed that lead and added to the total. 

Fire Starters: Jean Perry. Nathan, Kirstie and Clara Buchanan-Milnes. The Bircher Family. The Davies Family. Melanie & Harry. Juan Pablo Angel. Forri. Keith Howard. Hazel Jenkins.  Jody Appleton. PMT WWW. Ghoti. Rita and John Thompson. Jane and Simon and Family. C and A Brown.

Flames: Amy Smith. The O’Brien Family. The Doyle Family. Ringo the Dog. The Blackman Family. Michael and Carolyn Walters. The Evans Family. John Wilson. S and P Jenner. Izzie. Kay & Kevin Pitchford. Claire Cowen. Tallis. Anne Strachan. Together Childcare. Bee. Pop-Pop. All at Revesby. The O'Donnell Family. The Clark Family. Blake and Ella. The Funky Monkey Coffee Company. John & Hilary Stirling. Trill Sutherland [A 90th Birthday Donation]. The Penney Family. The Davenport Park Committee. Graham Burns. A'dell Harper.

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Kevin's Corner

If you're not a member of the Cale Green Park Residents Association, then you've probably never heard of "Kevin's Corner". Basically, it's a little area on the corner next to the Owl. It's maintained by Kevin Pitchford, so we call it Kevin's Corner.

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The Fern Garden

If you were to go into the basketball courts, you'll notice on the right hand side that there's a locked area between the courts and the railway line. The Friends of Cale Green Park have turned this area into a fern garden. It's in it's early stages of development, but the garden needs looking after as litterbugs throw empty cans and bottles, food wrappers and even traffic cones from Bramhall Lane into the garden. At this point in time, only the Friends of Cale Green Park has access to the Fern Garden.