Parks and allotments trust on track for April handover

Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust is ‘on track’ to take over running of Newcastle upon Tyne’s parks and allotments in April 2019

The city council plans to transfer many parks and allotments to the new Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust. The new organisation will be responsible for developing and caring for future generations.

Read more about the future of Newcastle’s parks and allotments on the Newcastle City Council website.

Read Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust Chief Executive named.

Read Parks and green spaces make vital contribution to local communities

Valley and Little Dene not part of planned transfer

Not all green open spaces in Newcastle upon Tyne will transfer to the new Trust. 

Green open spaces that are NOT scheduled to transfer include the well-used community asset known as the Valley and Little Dene, High West Jesmond.

The Valley and Little Dene (along with Little Dene Park which is owned by the Freeman) form part of the urban wildlife corridor through the north of Newcastle and continue to be well used and highly valued by local residents.

Read about the work of the Friends of the Valley, Little Dene and Little Dene Park (FOVALD) in caring for these open spaces in High West Jesmond.

NAWG minutes report

The minutes of the 7 February 2019 meeting of the Newcastle Allotments Working Group noted that:

“The meeting commenced with a presentation by James Cross, the new CEO of the Parks and Allotments Trust, who was pleased to introduce himself to the group, and Tony Durcan, NCC [Newcastle City Council].

TD updated the meeting on the latest progress. The Trust was now fully constituted, the Board was up and running having had a meeting in January and the new CEO James Cross had taken up his post on 3rd December 2018.

Its Constitution now activated, March 2019 would see the Trading Company section of the Trust applying for charitable status.

Key issues of work still to be achieved, include the agreement that is currently  in place on the Duke of Northumberland’s land and a further meeting with the Freemen to discuss the ‘Wartime’ sites.

A Trust strategy meeting was being held on 21st March. NAWG [Newcastle Allotments Working Group] representatives would be invited. JC had begun visits to all allotments and asked for details of allotment waiting lists to assess the need throughout the City.

On track for 1 April 2019 handover

James Cross, the new Chief Executive of Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust

The Parks and Allotments Trust management was still on track for a 1st April handover.

Two NAWG representatives on the Community Representation Group were proposed: Paul Herbertson (west) and Donald Robinson (east) to be ratified during the normal business of this NAWG meeting. CRG findings would be reported to the Board each month. JC also confirmed NAWG as a constituted group which would continue to operate.

Budgets – there was a £2 million cost across parks and allotments per year. Any Council surplus has not been used elsewhere to date.  

Under the Trust, funds raised from rents would be reinvested into Parks and Allotments, with priority being given to allotments when/where necessary.

JC confirmed any local revenue raised on allotments e.g. open days, trading hut, would be retained by individual sites. JC also confirmed that better resourced Trust officers responsible for allotments would have a defined budget with continued monthly reporting. JC also confirmed that he had had conversations with all potential key funders already.”

The extract above from the minutes of the Newcastle Allotments Working Group (NAWG) 7 February 2019 meeting was issued by NAWG and included on the NAWG website. It has been included here for information and does not necessarily represent the views of High West Jesmond Residents’ Association. 

Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust Chief Executive named

The following announcement has been made by Newcastle City Council:

James Cross, the former Chief Executive of Natural England, has been selected as the first Chief Executive of Newcastle’s pioneering Parks and Allotments Trust.

For the last four years James has led Natural England, an advisory body working with central government that is responsible for the creation of National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Beauty and National Nature Reserves.

James has also worked as part of Open Access to countryside, the network of National Trials and was the Custodian of the Countryside Code, playing a vital role in developing and delivering positive experiences in open, green spaces and parks across the country. He also has strong North East connections and is a Board Member and Trustee of the University of Teesside.

James will work closely with Jim Beirne MBE, the current Chief Executive of Live Theatre, who has overseen numerous innovative commercial cultural partnerships. Jim was selected as the Chair of the Trust in July, alongside a founding Board of Trustees, made up of 13 individuals from a variety of backgrounds and with a wealth of expertise.

Both James and Jim, as well as the other trustees, were recruited by a panel of experts that included Newcastle City Council Councillors, Officers and representatives from the National Trust.

Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust is the City Council’s innovative response to budget cuts of over 90% following seven years of national austerity. With growing concerns about the future of its green estate, the Council – determined to protect the City’s parks and allotments from further cuts – decided to establish the new charity back in November 2017, to ensure that Newcastle’s green estate continues to flourish and grow.

The pioneering Trust is being developed with advice and support from the National Trust and with investment from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and its development has also benefited from valuable input from the public following city-wide consultation and extensive research.

Following the announcement James Cross said:

“The parks, allotment and green spaces in and around Newcastle are amazing and enhance our lives by providing a place right in the heart of our communities to improve our physical and mental wellbeing, to play sport, to practice our hobbies or to spend time with our friends and family.

I am over the moon to be able to work alongside the people of Newcastle to find new ways of strengthening these connections, forging new ones and investing in the parks future.”

Speaking on behalf of Newcastle Parks Trust, Chair Jim Beirne MBE said:

“I am delighted to welcome James Cross on board as Chief Executive of the Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust, he brings a wealth of experience from Natural England, to compliment the local and business experience on the board, to drive the Trust forward as a truly innovative partnership”

Councillor Kim McGuinness, Newcastle City Council Cabinet member for Culture, Sport and Public Health said:

“I am delighted to welcome James into his role as Chief Executive of the Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust.

The experience, passion and dedication that James has shown throughout his career, and his experience leading Natural England make him the perfect candidate to drive forward our vision for this innovative charitable trust.

Our Parks are valuable assets and loved by our residents. They are a big part of what makes Newcastle a brilliant place to live, work and visit and the Board of Trustees will work closely with James to keep parks at the heart of our city”

Following the rigorous selection process to appoint the Chief Executive, Chair and Board, the Trust is now in a strong position to take the next steps in its development and will begin the process of registering itself as a charitable organisation.

The Trust will take on the care of Newcastle’s parks and allotments in 2019.

The above news story was issued by Newcastle City Council and included on the Newcastle City Council website. It has been included here for information and does not necessarily represent the views of High West Jesmond Residents’ Association. 

Little Moor Allotments Coffee Morning

All are welcome on 22 September 2018 to join the Little Moor Allotments Association at their coffee morning raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Please come along and join us – we are going to be the best supporters of the above charity and make it a fantastic day.

When

Saturday 22 September 2018 from 10:30 to 12:30hrs

Where

The entrance to Little Moor Allotments is on Moorfield,  High West Jesmond.

This is near to Ilford Road Metro station or the bus on Gosforth High Street.

Parking for a visit to the Little Moor Allotments Coffee Morning is free.

To buy

Loads of delicious fresh fruit and veg from our allotments as well as mouth-watering home made cakes, tray bakes & biscuits.

Plus extra surprise stalls.

Coffee – you have a choice! Buy on site or, if you prefer a more sophisticated coffee either our nearby cafe Delicious Decadence, or Simply Local, both on Newlands Road, will be happy to oblige and contribute to our cause.

Donate

If you can’t make it on the day and wish to donate Little Moor has a designated donation number, we have been given this by the Macmillan support team:

Please text this code: JAMDAJ1 to 70550 to donate £5

About Macmillan

Little Moor Allotment Association encourage you to visit the Macmillan website to see how they are changing the lives of people with cancer.

The website gives details of the money raised and how it is spent.

 

Newcastle Allotment and Garden Fete 2018

Budding gardeners and green-fingered enthusiasts are invited to show off their gardening skills once again at the annual Newcastle Allotment and Garden Fete, organised by Newcastle City Council in partnership with the city’s Allotments Working Group (NAWG) .

There is a small charge of £3 per exhibitor and for this you can enter as many classes as you wish, children’s classes are free. Prize money will be awarded to the best exhibits on the day, so please feel free to enter prior to staging on Saturday 1st September (see attached schedule).

Staging day on Saturday 1  September

A fun filled weekend for family & friends, starting on Saturday 1st September through to Sunday 2nd September 11am – 5pm , including, live music, funfair rides, inflatable football, Active Newcastle, children’s crafts, Kirkley Hall Zoo, climbing wall, face painting , smoothie bike, raffles, stalls selling a wide range of flowers, produce and preserves, advice on bee keeping and organic gardening and much more, all taking place within the beautiful setting of Leazes Park, Newcastle’s oldest park, close to the city centre.

Keith Rogerson, chairman of the AWG, said: “There will be a full range of flower, vegetable and fruit classes, including the popular and prestigious 2 Pot Leeks Challenge Cup, plus produce classes for jams, chutneys and wine.”

Public show on Sunday 2 September

The public show starts at 11am on Sunday 2 September, when the main marquee will be officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle (Cllr David Down) and finishes at 5pm.

All entrants must stage their exhibits on Saturday 1st September between 10am – 4.30pm, ready for public viewing on the Sunday.

For more details, contact Newcastle Allotments Officer, Mark Todd, on 0191 278 7878.

The above news release was issued by Newcastle City Council and included on the Newcastle City Council website. It has been included here for information and does not necessarily represent the views of High West Jesmond Residents’ Association. 

Chair and Trustees sought for Newcastle parks charity

Newcastle City Council is seeking a Chair and Trustees for the new charity  it is setting up to look after parks and open spaces in Newcastle.

The following news release has been issued by Newcastle City Council:

An innovative, independent charity being set up by Newcastle City Council to run the city’s parks and allotments is seeking a dynamic Chair and Trustees (directors) for the founding Board.

The proposal for a charitable solution passed successfully through the City Council’s Cabinet in November of 2017. The proposal for the Newcastle Parks Trust has been three years in the making after extensive research and public consultation to remedy a situation where 90% of the parks budget has been culled due to Government cuts over a seven-year period.

In a pioneering approach towards parks and green spaces, this is a UK first of this size and ambition, and presents a major opportunity to bring fresh ideas, impetus and aspiration to a city with some of Europe’s proudest and heritage soaked green spaces.

The work has seen Newcastle City Council work alongside its partners the National Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a vision that will allow parks and greenspaces to flourish in future, and identify alternative solutions to manage and fund parks and allotments in the city for future generations.

The City Council, assisted by the National Trust, is now seeking to recruit 11 trustees, one of which will be the inaugural Chair – two further Trustees will be nominated by the City Council itself. The successful candidates will be from a range of backgrounds and have a diverse skillset. These posts are voluntary yet hugely influential – these pivotal figures will shape the future of Newcastle’s parks and allotments well into the future.

Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities, Cllr Kim McGuinness, said: “The new Parks Trust will be tasked with taking the passion Newcastle has for our parks, allotments and greenspaces and using it to safeguard these city assets.

“The Chair and Board of Trustees will be advocates for our parks. They will build valuable partnerships and play a vital role in bringing to life the Parks Trust’s vision. It’s a great opportunity to work closely with enthusiastic volunteer groups, businesses and funding bodies to help Newcastle’s parks and allotments prosper for years to come.

“Our parks are incredibly valued by our residents and are a big part of what makes Newcastle a great place to live, work and visit. It’s important they grow and thrive. This is an exciting time for us as we make history as the first city to implement a parks trust as a delivery model for parks. We’re looking for a Chair who shares our enthusiasm for the success of our wonderful parks and appreciates all of the reasons our residents love them so much.”

The Council will make a total £9.5 million revenue contribution to the Newcastle Parks Trust over the first 10 years of its operation, which demonstrates its commitment to the future of the city’s parks and allotments.

The charity will potentially be responsible for around 409 hectares of Newcastle parks (33 parks in total) and allotments – 15.5% of the city’s total open space. The Parks Trust’s remit would cover principal, countryside and neighbourhood parks, playgrounds in parks and allotments.

National Trust Director of the North, Harry Bowell, said: “This is a great opportunity to help shape the future of Newcastle’s parks and allotments. We’re proud to support Newcastle City Council in recruiting a group of driven and dynamic individuals to secure the future of Newcastle’s green spaces.”

How to apply

People interested in applying for either the Chair or Board of Trustees positions need to return a covering letter and CV explaining how they meet the requirements of the described roles, by email to futureparks@nationaltrust.org.uk by midnight on Monday 12 February 2018. This is the same email address to request an information pack.

The job advertisement in full can be found at North East Jobs here.

For further information about the parks transformation and the partnership between the National Trust and Newcastle City Council please visit: www.futureparks.org

There will also be a series of meetings being delivered across the city to inform the public about future plans. These will take place at the following times and locations:

Jesmond Dene Visitor Centre – Saturday 10 February, 12pm to 1pm
Nunsmoor Centre – Monday 12 February, 7pm to 8pm
Civic Centre – Tuesday 13 February, 7pm to 8pm
Allotments session – Civic Centre – Saturday 24 February, 12pm to 1pm

The above news release was issued by Newcastle City Council and included on the Newcastle City Council website. It has been included here for information and does not necessarily represent the views of High West Jesmond Residents’ Association.

1964 – Manure delivery, Moorfield allotments, Newcastle

Dad had a contact at Newcastle Breweries stables where the dray horses were kept, but this small load of manure probably came from somewhere else.

A heritage posting from Chris Morgan

Excellent stuff for improving the allotment!

Taken at top of Newlands Road on Moorfield just as the rain stopped and we prepared to unload into wheel barrows.

In the 1950 and 1960s there were still horse drawn carts around High West Jesmond.

There was a fruit and vegetable man who went up and down the back lanes.

There were rag and bone men who’d do the same crying out “Any old rags or bones or lumber” – although you’d be hard pressed to make out what exactly they were saying!

There was even a coal cart in the 1950s loading coal from the yard at West Jesmond station.

And there were dray horses who brought manure from Scottish & Newcastle’s stables. They were usually larger carts than this one, with two horses.

The house on the corner was occupied by the Brocker family. Mrs Brocker was the first head teacher at Kenton Comprehensive’s girls section.