FOVALD appreciation of Susan Lydia Challoner

Plaque commissioned by FOVALD’s Lending a Hand group to show appreciation to former resident who donated the ‘gap in the wall’

The Friends of the Valley, Little Dene and Little Dene Park’s (FOVALD) Lending a Hand Group has recently commissioned a new plaque to tell the story of the ‘hole in the wall’ at Little Dene Park.

On Friday 8 February Catherine McKinnell MP was invited to unveil the plaque commemorating the gift by Susan Lydia Challoner of the ‘gap in the wall’ that gives us all a short cut on to Moor Road South.

The plaque has been commissioned by FOVALD’s Lending a Hand Group that now looks after the Little Dene Park in addition to the Valley and Little Dene.

Members of FOVALD, the Lending a Hand Group and local High West Jesmond residents attended the ceremony to learn more about the generosity of Susan Lydia Challoner and the history of this part of High West Jesmond.

Who was Susan Lydia Challoner?

The plaque commemorates a lady called Susan Lydia Challoner who lived in Moor Road South between 1936 and 1953.

The park, which we now know as Little Dene Park, was constructed by the Newcastle City Council in 1952-53.

Mrs Challoner, who died in that year, bequeathed the money to pay for the entrance from Moor Road South.

The ‘hole in the wall’ has become a very well used route for residents in Gosforth and High West Jesmond.

The original plaque commemorating Mrs Challoners gift disappeared around 1990.

As part of FOVALD’s environmental improvement plan for the Little Dene Park they decided to reinstate the plaque.

FOVALD’s Lending a Hand Group tapped into resident’s memories to find the wording that best reflected the original and they commissioned the new plaque from Thorpes of Gosforth.

FOVALD caring for our green spaces

FOVALD (Friends of the Valley, the Little Dene and Little Dene Park) a small voluntary organisation based in High West Jesmond.

They have adopted the Valley from the City Council and the Little Dene Park from the City’s Freemen (it is part of the Town Moor).

FOVALD also look after the original Little Dene as a nature resource.

On Tuesday mornings, FOVALD organise’s a group called Lending a Hand that does the maintenance & improvement work on the green spaces in this part of High West Jesmond, as well as keeping all the other verges and paths in the area tidy.

Many thanks to FOVALD and to the Lending a Hand group for their ongoing work to enhance our community green spaces.

Chris Morgan also writes to share some history

When the High West Jesmond estate was first laid out Moorfield stopped at the now triangular junction with Lodore Road.

The main way into HWJ from the Great North Road was by the path that cut across the Little Moor.

However there must also have been a path leading from that corner to the bottom of Moor Road where the Little Bridge still crossed the Craghall Burn. My mother remembered playing in the stream at that point.

It must have been very soon after WW1 that Moorfield was extended through to the Great North Road and the stream went into a culvert to emerge in the grounds of the old house, Little Dene.

Boundary of Newcastle

At this time the stream formed the boundary between the City and County of Newcastle upon Tyne and the County of Northumberland. On the surface the stone wall was the boundary.

The Little Moor is part of the Town Moor owned by the Freemen, but this part of the Little Moor was now isolated.

Little Park

In 1952 the Freemen released the area north of Moorfield to form a Coronation Park (there must have been thousands of others across the nation, it was a time of great euphoria and celebration), although it wasn’t known as such. We all called it the Little Park.

The flower beds created were almost totally of clay and little grew for decades! I believe they may still be a challenge.

When the park was laid out there was a path extending around the perimeter with a dead end spur ending beside the stone wall. If memory serves correctly my friend Tony Devine’s bike/trike/scooter ran away down the gradient and he crashed into the wall, badly breaking his arm.

Hole in the wall

A clamour grew to have the wall opened up to allow free passage onto Moor Road South. It may not have happened for 2 or 3 years after 1953.

A simple plaque was positioned and the name Challoner was on it. There may have been another name as well.

Twice a day nuns from the convent just up Moor Road walked through the gap to and from La Sagesse school at the top of Matthew Bank.

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. 

Annual Ward Priority Setting meeting

Residents are invited to attend a meeting with Dene & South Gosforth Ward councillors to help determine the priorities for the ward for the year ahead.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday 24 July 2018, 7pm at Trinity Christian Community Centre, Lartington Gardens, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1SX.

The meeting is scheduled to finish at 8.30pm.

Trinity Christian Community Centre, Lartington Gardens, Gosforth

Topics for discussion

According to the agenda for the meeting (available on the Dene & South Gosforth Ward Committee meetings page of Newcastle City Council’s website), the meeting will feature:

  • an update from Northumbria Police – from A/Sgt 918 Wilson
  • an update from Graham Grant, Newcastle City Council on Transport Schemes including
  • Killingworth Road, Haddricks Mill roundabouts and Blue House roundabout
  • an update on community groups and community action across Dene & South Gosforth Ward (this will include both our local community groups – the High West Jesmond Residents’ Association and the Friends of the Valley and Little Dene – FOVALD)
  • ward finance including grant applications
  • agreement of priorities and action of Dene and South Gosforth Ward 2018/19

According to papers on Newcastle City Council’s website, Dene & South Gosforth ward has been allocated £3,565 to spend (amount is before decisions on grants currently under consideration).

Share your view with Council survey

The council has also set up a survey and invited residents to complete this – you can find this survey on the council-run Let’s talk Newcastle website on the Dene and South Gosforth Annual Ward Priorities Meeting page.

The following information has been issued by Newcastle City Council:

Membership of Dene and South Gosforth Ward Committee

Councillor Wendy Taylor, Councillor Karen Robinson and Councillor Henry
Gallagher

Watch the short YouTube video to find out more:

General Information on Ward Annual Priority Setting meetings

Each of the 26 Wards of the city will hold 1 annual targeted event to identify
ward priorities.

Annual events will be led by Ward Councillors in consultation with local
residents and stakeholders to share identified draft priorities and seek
validation and commitment for collaborative solutions with partners and the
community and voluntary sector.

Ward priorities will be agreed for the following 12 months and will inform
ward committee budget expenditure.

Annual events will focus on priorities for the ward and what we can do in
partnership, encouraging all stakeholders to be part of the response

Identified ward priorities will inform a work programme / action plan for the
ward and we will work directly with communities based on core themes of
active citizenship, building community capacity, behavioural change and
developing community partnerships.

Common themes will be considered where joint action plans can be
developed to avoid duplication and promote best practice.

Agenda for meeting

A copy of this agenda is available on the Newcastle City Council website on the Dene & South Gosforth Ward Committee meetings page.

Further information can be obtained from the Communities Officer:

Louise Cameron Tel:0191 277 1786 Email: louise.cameron@newcastle.gov.uk

The above ward committee meeting details 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. 

 

Creating a Wildflower Meadow on the Valley

Friends of the Valley and Little Dene Park invite you to help with work for the wildflower meadow.

Like to help create a wildflower meadow?

Well come along and join us in sowing wild flower seeds along the banks of the Valley on Sunday 6 May 2018.

All welcome – families, children, students – anyone interested in nature.

Equipment provided but strong shoes will be required.

Meet at 10am on the Valley, Lodore Road.

The Friends of the Valley and Little Dene (FOVALD) was established to manage, maintain and protect the open spaces in High West Jesmond known as The Valley and Little Dene.

Read more about Friends of the Valley and Little Dene (FOVALD).

Newcastle Parks Trust – Council holding feedback sessions

Newcastle City Council are to hold feedback sessions regarding the creation of Newcastle Parks Trust.

In November 2017, after research, discussion and consultation, Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet approved the proposal for Newcastle’s parks and allotments to be managed by a new charitable company (with ownership staying with the City) supported by the National Trust and Heritage Lottery Fund.

Recruitment of Chair and Trustees

The next stage of this project is the recruitment of the inaugural
Chair and a Board of Trustees (all voluntary roles).

The posts can be found listed with Guardian Jobs Online: https://goo.gl/TPjr3e (closes 12 February 2018).

Feedback sessions to residents planned

The Council would also like to feedback to the public, in person, at 4
locations around the City to explain what the council’s Cabinet has decided and what will happen next.

The sessions will be on:-

Sat 10 Feb 2018 – 12pm – 1pm – Jesmond Dene Visitor Centre

Mon 12 Feb 2018 – 7pm – 8pm – Nunsmoor Centre

Tue 13 Feb 2018 – 7pm – 8pm – Civic Centre Armstrong Room

Sat 24 Feb 2018 – 12pm – 1pm – Civic Centre Collingwood Suite

 

Parks and green spaces make vital contribution to local communities

Research published today from the charity Fields in Trust shows that living close to and visiting parks and green spaces can increase people’s wellbeing and improve their health.

With The Valley and Little Dene at the heart of High West Jesmond many in our community will agree with this statement.

The green open space of The Valley and Little Dene is widely used and valued by the local community (and you can read about the work of the Friends of the Valley and Little Dene (FOVALD) and FOVALD’s Lending a Hand group elsewhere on this website).

The following article has been written by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG):

New Parks Action Group

New Parks Action Group launched to help England’s public parks and green spaces meet the needs of communities now and in the future.

The research also highlights the importance of parks as spaces for neighbours to socialise away, helping to reduce the risk of loneliness.

Fields in Trust’s report, among others, will be fundamental to the new Parks Action Group’s work moving forward.

Parks Research

Helen Griffiths, chief executive Fields in Trust said:

“I welcome the ministers response to the CLG Parliamentary Committee and Fields in Trust’s appointment to the newly established Parks Action Group at this pivotal moment for the future of parks and green spaces.

Our ongoing research recognises how these spaces help to address significant public policy issues including health and wellbeing and community integration.

We are looking forward to furthering our work with colleagues across the sector to ensure that we value parks and green spaces and take account of the vital contribution they make to local communities.”

Graham Duxbury, chief executive of Groundwork said:

“Making sure that all communities and all sections of society are able to enjoy the benefits of good green spaces is vital. Joining a local group can help young people develop their skills and older people overcome loneliness.

Well managed green spaces can also help whole neighbourhoods cope with the costly impacts of climate change. We look forward to helping the action group unlock more practical support so that local communities and local authorities can maximise these social and economic benefits.”

Matthew Bradbury, Parks Alliance’s chief executive said:

“Having been involved in lobbying for an inquiry, The Parks Alliance wholeheartedly welcomes the publication of the minister’s response to the Local Government Select Committee inquiry into the Future of Public Parks and particularly the creation of a cross governmental and sector supported, Parks Action Group.

The Parks Alliance is very much looking forward to working with the minister, government and the wider sector to secure the future of public parks for the communities that they serve.”

Government pledge £500,000

Parks and Green Spaces Minister Marcus Jones on 19 September 2017 launched a new Parks Action Group to help England’s public parks and green spaces meet the needs of communities now and in the future.

The new Parks Action Group will include experts from the world of horticulture, leisure, heritage and tourism, and will be tasked with bringing forward proposals to address some of the issues faced by public parks and other green spaces across England. To support them, government is providing £500,000 funding to kick start their work.

The action group will propose what steps can be taken in line with the government response to the recent House of Common’s Communities and Local Government Select Committee report into the future of parks and green spaces.

Parks and Green Spaces Minister Marcus Jones said:

“We recognise the value of parks and green spaces to local communities – including reducing loneliness, increasing wellbeing, and revitalising town and city centres.

But we need to do more to make sure future generations are continuing to enjoy their benefits. That is why we have announced a new expert-led Parks Action Group to work closely with the sector to find the right solutions.

This latest development builds on action the government has taken to date to encourage more people to make better use of parks including:

In December 2015, the government published the “Sporting future: a new strategy for an active nation” which set out the importance of sport and physical activity. The first annual report on the implementation of “sporting future” was published with a specific focus on the themes of central government, local government and outdoor recreation.

In February 2016 the government awarded over £1 million to improve 87 small pockets of unloved, undeveloped or derelict land to transform them into 87 green spaces that the whole community can enjoy.

The government has announced that is to continue the Green Flag Awards license for making sure that Britain’s best parks and green spaces will continue to be recognised for another 5 years. For 20 years, the Green Flag Awards have been recognising the best of green outdoor spaces in the UK, for people to enjoy and setting standards for park managers across the country to try to emulate. Many parks have won the award, but winners also include more unusual spaces such as social housing developments, cemeteries, canals, and shopping centres.”

 

Further information

The House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee report: “the future of public parks” published in February 2017, made 17 recommendations that are addressed in full in the government’s response published today (19 September 2017).

The direction of the Parks Action Group will be determined by park sector experts in co-operation with officials from a number of government departments. The Action Group will consider the recommendations from the government’s response to the report and propose new projects and actions that will help our parks and green spaces thrive.
Members of the Parks Action Group

Parks and Green Spaces Minister Marcus Jones will chair the inaugural meeting.

The members of the Parks Action Group are:

  • Drew Bennellick, Head of Landscape & Natural Heritage UK, Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Matthew Bradbury, CEO, Parks Alliance
  • Graham Duxbury, CEO, Groundwork
  • Helen Griffiths, CEO, Fields In Trust
  • Ian Leete, Senior Advisor on Culture, Tourism and Sport, Local Government Association
  • Dave Morris, Chair, National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces
  • Paul O’Brien, CEO, Association of Public Service Excellence
  • Ellie Robinson, Assistant Director, National Trust
  • Dave Solly, Natural England