The first working party of 2017 is taking place at 10am in the park on Saturday 11 March. Many hands make light work so we hope to see you there.
At the last BRA committee meeting we discussed the efforts made by various residents associations to co-ordinate their response to SDC’s new Local Plan, also its commissioning of Ove Arup & Partners to review Green Belt Zones in the District.
Given its importance, and that there are already a confusing number of plans being banded around, we’ve attempted to summarise in this newsletter extra.
Father Christmas will be making an appearance at the lakes at approx 5.30pm on Saturday 3rd December. Why not come along at around 5.00pm to enjoy some mulled wine or hot chocolate and mince pies, listen to some carols and watch the motor boats lit up on the boating lake.
The last working party for this year is going to be held on Saturday 12th November any time between 9.30 – 12.00.
We shall finish the session with hot soup and rolls so please come along and work up an appetite. Bring any tools you feel might be useful but most of all bring yourselves!
Please read our Autumn 2016 newsletter.
If you have any feedback or comments, please send us an email or use our Facebook page.
Residents and visitors to the park this year will have observed a significant improvement to the infrastructure, the state of the trees and the undergrowth. Sevenoaks District Council has continued the work it commenced in 2015, over the last couple of months replacing dilapidated fencing with substantial chestnut post & rail and clearing much of the accumulated debris from the lakes. Our regular Residents’ Work Parties have made great inroads into those areas that had become totally overgrown and we have great hopes of keeping things under control this year.
Mostly the improvements have been welcomed. However, particularly in respect of tree work, there has been some criticism. Tree surgery is always contentious but is an essential part of proper arboreal maintenance. In the case of our park, nothing had been done for years and action was well overdue, so it is not surprising that the result is especially noticeable. In particular, the island in the north park. We consulted the District Council about this and received the following explanation:
“The island was cleared as the trees that had established were very dense and so in poor condition, all had died back from the tips and others were completely dead and were regularly adding to the lake debris. They have been coppiced so we expect them to regenerate during the summer and by this time next year should be 2 to 3 foot high (obviously not the ones dead at ground level). There was a mixture of Alder and Willow so replanting is not necessary. Also there would have been no point in clearing the lake debris with those trees still in place so it was the ideal time to deal with both problems at once.”
In the pictures We show BEFORE and AFTER photos of the island. It seems clear that some major work was necessary, the copse of trees had grown so big it was well out of proportion to both the island and the lake. Light has now been let in and, while the result is currently somewhat gaunt, the copse will soon recover and its management will be easier.
Sevenoaks District Council (SDC) inform us that it has received a response from Heritage Lottery regarding the application for Heritage Grant Funding. Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful.
Clearly this is very disappointing news. However, the BRA Committee intends to explore with SDC the reasons for this, with the aim, if possible, of making another application, one that addresses whatever deficiencies were found in the original, and benefits from some fresh thinking.
While full restoration of the park & lakes is thus delayed, renovations on a more modest scale continue, with SDC repairing brickwork, adding waste bins and, shortly, to be replacing the broken fencing. Our Saturday work parties will recommence on 12 March, followed by 14 May, 9 July and 10 September. Do join us if you can, they clearly make a difference.
Thanks to everyone who came out to welcome Santa. We hope you enjoyed it. Much love to the guys from the Round Table, Margaret for the mince pie mountain, Graham and Peris for the lights, Santa stand, hot choccies etc, Byron for the portable stove handling mulled wine, Amanda for pulling it all together and the rest of the committee for all the other scurrying around.
We are holding a Picnic in the Park on Saturday 12th September between 2.00pm and 4.00pm.
The Sevenoaks and Tonbridge Concert Band will be playing to entertain us and there will be tea and cakes on sale. Do please come and join us. Weather permitting.