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).

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

 

A new website for High West Jesmond

Welcome to High West Jesmond!

Today we are launching our new High West Jesmond website, which aims to bring together information on several different community groups plus local information and news for residents living in High West Jesmond and for those with a connection to High West Jesmond.

A thriving urban community

Many of you will already know that High West Jesmond is a thriving urban community in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne.  We are well situated between Jesmond and Gosforth – and between the Town Moor and Jesmond Dene.

Our great situation means that our residents engage easily with the wider city and its wonderful hinterland.

Community groups

You may have noticed on our home page that we have featured on 4 aspects of High West Jesmond and this website contains some information on the following groups:

High West Jesmond Residents’ Association (HWJRA)

HWJRA was established to support the residents of the local area: to promote the benefit of the inhabitants of High West Jesmond by working to maintain and improve the quality of life, preserve the character of the area and ensure that development does not adversely affect the local environment; and to assist residents in exercising their rights as members of the community including empowering them in dealing with statutory and other relevant authorities.

Blue House Roundabout

We represented High West Jesmond residents in their opposition to the original plans to build a ‘motorway style’ Blue House Roundabout on the green land of the Town Moor in 2016 and we have been actively representing residents views as a core member of the Blue House Roundabout Working Group since this was established in autumn 2016.

Communal bins

We have also been representing residents views on the proposal to introduce communal bins into High West Jesmond.  It is fair to say that this proposal has not been popular – in fact 95% of High West Jesmond residents voted AGAINST communal bins in a recent poll.

Streets for People

We are also involved with work that the council has initiated for streets for people as Jesmond is one of three areas of Newcastle where this project is to operate.

We aim to continue to represent and support our community.

Friends of the Valley and Little Dene (FOVALD)

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

FOVALD has a vision for a local park that provides opportunities for local residents, including children, families, young and older people, to play, relax and socialise and also where the surrounding vegetation, including trees, shrubs and plants, and the stream, are managed and maintained to not only provide an attractive setting but also to encourage nature conservation and wildlife.

Lending a Hand to maintain our green spaces

In addition members of our community have been Lending a Hand to maintain the green spaces in High West Jesmond – a group of volunteers now meet every week and have made a real difference to the quality of live in our community. FOVALD oversees this work and we are grateful to the volunteers for their time and hard work.  You can read more about the work of Lending a Hand on this website.

Allotments

High West Jesmond has three seperate allotment sites at:

  • Little Moor Allotments
  • Triangle Allotments
  • High West Jesmond Allotments

Our allotments are an inegral part of our community and we aim to add further information on them in the coming weeks.

Businesses

If you operate a business in or from High West Jesmond and you are interested in being featured on our businesses page then please get in touch with us.

Whether you operate from one of the retail outlets across High West Jesmond or your business is run from your High West Jesmond home this is your opportunity to reach your local community and set out the products or services that your provide.

News

We will update information on our standing pages from time to time, but the best place to find out the latest information is via our News pages.

Heritage

We have included a number of posts on this website regarding the heritage of High West Jesmond, including memories and photographs from some of our current and former residents.

You can see these items by selecting Heritage from the Categories side bar on this webpage.

If you have any old photographs and memories relating to High West Jesmond we would love to heard from you! Please contact us via the Contact page.

New digital communications

As part of the work to create this website we have reloaded a good number of ‘back stories’ – these are things that did happen and communications and news that was circulated around our community over the past year. You can see these on our News pages.

In the past as we did not have a website to anchor our content on at the time our earlier communications were by:

  • hard copy newsletters/leaflets through the door;
  • by email for those who had signed up to distribution lists; and
  • via the community noticeboard outside the shops on Newlands Road.

This website now provides a further digital platform to share information with High West Jesmond residents and those with a connection to our community.

In addition you can follow us on our social media accounts.

Our social media accounts

Facebook

In addition High West Jesmond Residents’ Association (HWJRA) has a Facebook group – if you are a High West Jesmond resident you are welcome to join us at the following link – www.facebook.com/groups/HWJRA/

Twitter

You can also follow us on Twitter – if you are a Twitter user then our handle is @highwestjesmond and you can read our tweets on a computer at the following link – https://twitter.com/highwestjesmond

Instagram

We are on Instagram too – and we would love you to share your photographs of High West Jesmond with us!  if you are an Instagram user then our handle is @highwestjesmond and you can read our tweets on a computer at the following link – www.instagram.com/highwestjesmond/

Thanks for visting our website

Thank you for visiting our website. We hope that you  found it useful finding out more about our High West Jesmond community in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne.

 

2017 – history of the Little Moor paths

Maintenance of Little Moor paths by resident volunteers.

FOVALD’s Lending a Hand group recently undertook maintenance work on the paths across Little Moor which you can read about elsewhere on this website.

Here is some history of those Little Moor paths from Chris Morgan

This is the older of the two paths across the Little Moor, possibly constructed about the time the estate was being laid out around 1900-10.

Until at least the 1970s there was a dark blue vitreous enamel sign facing town beside the gate at the Great North Road end to announce arrival at High West Jesmond.

In those days Moorfield did not run through to the Great North Road beyond the Lodore Road junction. There used to be cows on the Little Moor so gates were essential.

The trees planted alongside the paths were probably planted about the 1920/30s when the second, longer, path was constructed. Most of them haven’t survived!

New Moorfield litter bin covers half of footpath

High West Jesmond has some new bins – some in strange locations

We thought you would find this picture of interest – it’s the new litter bin on Moorfield, High West Jesmond.  Newcastle City Council is currently replacing 1,200 litter bins across the city with 800 new bins.

The new bins are larger in size and some of them have been strangely situated – including this one.

The bin covers half of the path along the side of the allotments on Moorfield – the very same path where volunteers from High West Jesmond’s Lending a Hand group had cleared overgrown grass and edged the path earlier in the year so that the pathways were back to their normal width and thus available for all users.

High West Jesmond Residents’ Association was not consulted by Newcastle City Council about the proposed location of the new litter bins – they have just appeared in recent weeks.

More pathways cleared – the Lending a Hand group

High West Jesmond residents enhance community footpaths

With street cleaning services being yet another service under pressure as a result of “austerity”, local residents have stepped into the breach!

For the last 3 months a group of High West Jesmond residents have cleaned and edged the Moorfield footpath that runs alongside the allotments & the Little Moor, the footpath across the Little Moor from Moorfield to the Great North Road and has started on the paths that cross the triangle of open space next to Little Dene flats.

The difference is quite startling – few of the paths had been edged for at least 10-15 years.

50 barrowloads removed

The group has removed over 50 barrowloads of crushed leaves, soil and grass edgings! All this material has been recycled within the Little Moor Allotments site. We are also exploring the possibility of “adopting” some of the shrub beds & borders on the Triangle.

Meet the Lending a Hand group

The group is called “Lending a Hand”. There are 12 of us – all High West Jesmond residents (bar 1!) and very friendly! We meet on Tuesday mornings at 09:30 and work ‘til approx 12:00.

We have been using equipment borrowed from the Allotment Association and from the Friends of Gosforth Central Park.

So if you would like to help just come along (we’ll be working on the Triangle for the next 3-4 Tuesdays) you would be very welcome. Contact us through the normal channels our via the Contact Us page.