Parkinson’s Park sits on the hillside behind the old Crompton Parkinson site on Netherfield Road: access is via entrances on Kelcliffe Lane, Greenshaw Terrace, Parkinson Way, Nethercliffe Crescent and Hillside Avenue. This historic area was given to the people of Guiseley to use as a park by Frank & Albert Parkinson in the 1930’s: it has been used for walks, play, and events ever since . Now owned by Bellway Homes, basic maintenance is done by Meadfleet The Friends of Parkinson’s Park CIC (FOPP) was set up to once again make the Park an attractive green space for community use and events, whilst helping to manage its varied natural habitats.On these pages you can read the history, examine the ecology and sign up to follow and comment on progress – as well as tell us your own stories of the park.
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Two local Ladies have both come up with ideas to decorate the Park for Valentines week – we loved them both so here’s the plan.
DECORATING THE FARM GATE
We want to gladden everyone’s heart with a cascade of colourful hearts at the Farm Gate. Knitted, crochet, fabric, tie your heart on the netting during Valentines Week – we’ll put the netting up on 7th.
MISSING YOU TREE
We’ve got some wooden hearts for you to decorate with the names of people you are missing seeing currently. You can then hang these on the ‘event tree’ on the top field (the one we use for the Advent tree). We’ll let you know how you can get hold of a heart to decorate by updating this post next week.
As the week before is Children’s Mental Health week, the hearts will be available during that week for them to decorate too.
Parkinson’s Park has always been known for its sledging facilities: 2021 is no different. The gentler slopes are excellent for the little ones, and the steeper ones for the older and more advanced. An excellent classroom for a science and sports lesson on a Friday afternoon.
And one from around the late 1950 early 1960’s – you can see the trees in the copse are quite small.
Over Christmas we put wassailing (good health) wreaths, made from willow from the the Park, in the apple trees of the community orchard.Then today, Twelfth Night, the trees have been wassailed or blessed.
This involves drinking apple juice/cider, eating Twelfth Night cake, and singing to the health of the trees in the hope that they will provide a bountiful harvest in the autumn.
A wassail starts with a noisy procession around the orchard singing, banging pots, and even firing shotguns in some counties; generally making as much noise as possible in order to both waken the sleeping tree spirits, and also to frighten off any evil demons that may be lurking in the branches.
Then the wassailers gather round the biggest and best tree (this was the one which had the Elf house and which the children visited over Christmas), and as a gift to the tree spirits, a piece of wassail soaked toast is placed into its branches, and apple juice or cider is poured over the roots accompanied by songs. We learnt about this ceremony from attending pruning courses run by the Orchard Project.
Obviously this year was somewhat limited, however it was good fun, and the sun decided to come out for the wassail. We’ll organize it as a community event in 2022.
The trees will now have their winter pruning over the next couple of weeks.
Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering “it will be happier”. ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson – The Foresters 1892
2020 A Year of Learning
Well, 2020 did not work out as we had planned, but overall it is probably true to say that for Parkinson’s Park it worked out better; we certainly learnt a lot.
Along the way we lost our community event programme, two benches, and help from Open Country. But as one door shuts another opens, and we gained lots of new visitors using the Park for a variety of purposes, many more people getting involved in building community spirit, a new wood and 4 brand new benches.
We also gained an award as one of the Leeds Parks supporting their local neighbourhood during the Spring Pandemic, and were able to tell our story as one of only 4 Leeds Parks featured on ITV Calendar’s Park Life.
Thank you to everyone who has worked together this year to make the Park special, the people who use it, the people who tidy it, and the ones who enhance it for other to enjoy. Here are some of your photos of 2020
The Friends of Parkinson’s Park wish everyone a good New Year.
Unfortunately the rain has come to pass, and high winds are also forecast. So the event today, 13th December, is cancelled. However, the Elf Trail can be done at your leisure over Christmas, see below for details.
Looking at the weather forecast for Sunday it is not going to be the best of days, and the Park is very muddy, which can get slippery. So, plans for tomorrow, the 13th December, may have to change a little.
Santa’s Elves are moving in to check on park Elf & Safety over Christmas. We have had notice from Santa, that given the current situation, he is sending some of his elves to Parkinson’s Park during Christmas to make sure people are still enjoying the park safely.