Treeworks on Moorfield/ Little Moor Allotments

Urban Green Newcastle is to carry out works to several trees along Moorfield.

Urban Green Newcastle is the body that manages public parks and allotments in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The work will involve four salix (willow) trees as well as prunus:

  • two Willows will be removed as the lower cavities are showing disease;
  • two Willows will be cut down to a height of around 8 to 10 feet, below the limbs to allow new growth to develop; and
  • the Prunus at the main gate (to the Little Moor Allotments) will only be lifted off the highway and a few limbs inside the allotments removed.

HWJRA engagement with Allotment Officer

High West Jesmond Residents Association (HWJRA) has engaged with the allotments officer and we have been informed that he will be looking at replacement trees later in the year.

Letter from Urban Green Newcastle

Please see below a letter from Mark Todd (the allotments officer at Urban Green Newcastle) advising of the need to remove/cut back some trees on Moorfield with work scheduled for next week:

Read the 3 March 2021 letter from Urban Green Newcastle here.

Moorfield and Ilford Road proposals revealed

Proposals for changes to Moorfield and Ilford Road roads have been revealed by Newcastle City Council following the earlier public consultations under the Streets for People initiative.

Drop in session on 19 March 2019

A public drop in session is being arranged by Newcastle City Council for the public to see the Streets for People proposals on Tuesday 19 March 2019 3pm – 7pm at Jesmond Library, St George’s Terrace.

Newcastle City Council has spent the time since the public consultation on original proposals were issued in October 2017 converting the findings from the public consultation and internal council consultations into briefs to amend the original drawings in the neighbourhood plans for Heaton & Ouseburn; Jesmond; & Arthur’s Hill & Fenham.

The Council’s Streets for People website January 2019 update says that the amended scheme drawings have been  “thoroughly costed so we have a much clearer idea of what is affordable and achievable within the available budget”.

“It was always our intention to propose a greater number of schemes than we had the budget for, thereby creating a sub set of ‘go to’ proposals in each area that could be brought forward in the event of other funding being identified.”

Newcastle City Council has discussed the options for each area with the Streets for People reference groups and fed this back to local Ward Councillors who have determined the following shortlisted schemes to progress to formal consultation and delivery.

Jesmond proposals

The proposals in Jesmond are as follows:

  • Traffic calming and junction improvements along Moorfield and cycle track on Ilford Road between Jesmond Dene Road and Moorfield;
  • Pedestrian crossings and cycling facilities on Osborne Road at the junctions with St George’s Terrace and North Jesmond Avenue;
  • Raised tables to improve the experience for people walking or trying to cross at the road ends along St George’s Terrace;
  • Closing Norham Place to motor vehicles near the junction with Mistletoe Road; and
  • Decluttering Brentwood Avenue to improve the pedestrian experience and adding some cycle parking near the shops.

You can read about proposals for other parts of Newcastle upon Tyne on the Streets for People website.

Moorfield and Ilford Road proposals

The principal objectives behind the changes are to reduce the speed of traffic on both roads and to improve pedestrian and cycling safety.

Many of you may remember that it was originally proposed to narrow Moorfield by adding a wide cycle lane along its full length.

Whilst there was widespread support for the objectives of reducing speed and increasing safety, the reaction of local residents to the significant narrowing of Moorfield was strongly negative.

High West Jesmond Residents Association were therefore pleased to learn that the Council has reacted to the feedback that they received and has produced a revised proposal that maintains the current width of Moorfield for most of its length.

The Council has advised that full details of the proposal are going to be made available shortly, and have organised a “drop-in session” at Jesmond Library on Tuesday 19 March from 3pm – 7.30pm so that local residents can take a look at the detail of the proposals and comment on them.

Our understanding is that the proposals will include:

  • The introduction of a cycling lane along the west side of Ilford Road from Jesmond Dene Road to Moorfield
  • Tightening of the junction at Moorfield/Ilford Road and introduction of a raised platform to slow traffic as it crosses this junction along and across Ilford Road
  • Introduction of three speed ramps along Moorfield to reduce the speed of traffic along this road
  • Some amendments at the junction of Moorfield and Moor Road South to make this junction safer (we have not yet seen the details of this part of the proposal).

We will make the plans available via our website and the notice board on Newlands Road as soon as they are available from the council.

You can download a copy of the leaflet Newcastle City Council has issued for the drop in session on Tuesday 19 March 2019.

Statutory consultation process

The Streets for People website also states that “We recognise that some people involved in this process may not agree with the shortlisted schemes, and appreciate they will have their own preferences. We also recognise that the delivery of the above schemes are subject to statutory consultation processes and it is clear that some will be significantly more controversial than others. We hope we can rely on your ongoing engagement with the process to get a range of improvements delivered.”

 

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.

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.

 

Streets for People – HWJRA submits views from residents’ meeting

During the consultation period of proposed changes to streets in High West Jesmond as part of the Streets for People initiative HWJRA held a residents meeting on Monday 13 November 2017.

The meeting was held at Jesmond Library and was well attended.

HWJRA organised the event so that residents had the opportunity to find out more about the proposals for Moorfield and Ilford Road, ask questions and hear others views.

Following the meeting HWJRA submitted the views from the residents to Streets for People so that these could be taken into account before the consultation period closes on 30 November 2017.

A copy of the HWJRA submission is shown below.

The Moorfield and Ilford Road proposal from Streets for People

Read a summary of the proposal in the Moorfield Information Sheet:

Your feedback is wanted

The Streets for People initiative want to hear from you and you can provide feedback via their website. You have until 30 November 2017 to submit your feedback.

Residents’ views as submitted by HWJRA

The following in a summary of the HWJRA Meeting which was held to discuss the Streets for People Proposal – 13/11/2017:

Present:

Ilford Rd/Moorfield (15 residents)
Lodore/Treherne/Albemarle/Kingswood/Newlands (13 residents)
Albury/Honister/Woodthorne (4 residents)
Councillor Henry Gallagher
Total (32 residents plus 1 councillor)

The S4P proposal was explained in detail and then the group were invited to discuss and express their views, looking at each of the main aspects of the proposal separately.

1. Ilford Road/Moorfield Junction

All agreed that there was an issue of safety at this junction and welcomed the proposal to improve this.

The group was split 1/3 in favour, 1/3 against, 1/3 not sure about the roundabout design. The group wasn’t against a roundabout “per-se” but was concerned about some of the details.

Residents’ principal concern at this junction is pedestrian and cyclist safety – in particular it is difficult for pedestrians (particularly those with pushchairs or in wheelchairs) to cross over Ilford Road on the northern side of the junction.

The previous redesign of Ilford Road has led to poor visibility on Ilford Road on the northern side of the junction as traffic heading north waits for traffic heading south in the approximate location of the proposed roundabout. This should be tackled as part of any redesign of the junction.

Suggestions from the group

– Getting cars to slow down in all 4 directions is felt to be a good approach.

– Group would strongly support a raised platform at this junction (similar to the one at the junction of Moor Road South and the Grove). This could include a roundabout, but if it did then visibility and accessibility would need to be improved.

– Double yellow lines should be added around all 4 corners of the junction as cars currently park too close to the junction.

– A well located pedestrian crossing on the north side, going across Ilford Road, would be very beneficial for pedestrians and further slow traffic on Ilford Road.

– Dropped kerbs should be added at crossing points (except where there is a raised platform).

– Junction should be re-aligned east to west to improve safety.

2. Re-laid pavement and crossing points along Moorfield

Group was 100% in favour of this, subject to the width and location of the crossing points coinciding with existing points and the materials used being sympathetic to the area.

Suggestions from the group

Also renew pavement on north Moorfield between Treherne Road and Great North Road (using same materials as above) as it is in a similarly poor condition and a large puddle now appears where the old pavement meets the new pavement at the west end of Moorfield.

3. Narrowing of Moorfield

Residents strongly support reducing speeding traffic on Moorfield however they are strongly against doing this by narrowing the road.

The reasons for this were:

The visual amenity of a wide road is much appreciated by local residents and they would be very reluctant to see this changed.

Residents on Ilford Road feel that this road has become more dangerous since it was narrowed. There has been no noticeable decrease in speeding traffic, a notable increase in damage to cars (clipped wing mirrors etc) and overall the road feels more dangerous.

There was some concern that, particularly at night when there are less vehicles parked on Moorfield, it might look like a few cars have parked in the middle of the road and this could be disorientating and unsafe.

Concerns were also raised (via letter to the meeting) that Moorfield would become more dangerous to cross for pedestrians including many dog walkers who use the Little Moor.

Suggestions from the group

Residents were very much in favour of using an alternative approach to reduce the problem of speeding on Moorfield. A number of ideas were suggested and the following received strong support (in order of popularity).

– Introduce raised platforms at junctions of Moorfield and all or some of its side roads (Newlands Road, Kingswood Avenue, Albemarle Avenue, Treherne Road and Lodore Road). These would be similar to the junction of Moor Road South and the Grove

– Introduce nicely designed signage on the road or side of the road (maybe done by West Jesmond school) to make it clear that these are 20mph residential streets

– Introduce a “continuous pathway” along the northern side of Moorfield to reduce the speed at which cars enter and exit the side streets

– Introduce a pedestrian crossing on Ilford Road and possibly Moorfield

– Introduce an advisory “speed checker” sign halfway along Moorfield

4. Cycle Path along Moorfield

The group was split 2/3 “against” and 1/3 “unsure” about a cycle path. Nobody was in favour.

The reasons given for the opposition were:

Residents (including a number of cyclists) feel that cycling is already safe on Moorfield because of its width, and that there are other areas of Jesmond/Newcastle where the addition of a cycle path would be far more beneficial.

The cyclists in the group felt that they would be unlikely to use the cycle path as it was fairly narrow for two way cycle traffic and right next to parked cars. They would prefer to cycle on the wider roadway, particularly if speed of traffic is reduced.

Cyclists who live on the side streets off Moorfield also said that they would not want to have to cross the road between parked cars to get to a cycle lane on the south side of the road.

All felt that focus should be on reducing speed of traffic and improving the Ilford Road/Moorfield junction. Doing this would automatically improve safety for both cyclists and pedestrians.

Suggestions from the group

Remove the cycle lane from the proposal and focus on speed reduction and junction safety to enhance the cyclist and pedestrian experience.

5. Pavement widening at Moorfield/Treherne

The group was opposed to this as it was not felt to be a dangerous junction and there would be a net loss of parking space if the proposal went ahead.

That said, the group were concerned about the impact of dangerous and inconsiderate parking at all the junctions of Moorfield and its side streets (particularly where dropped kerbs are being blocked).

Suggestions from group.

Leave pavement at current width but introduce yellow lines on corners of Moorfield and its side streets to keep dropped kerbs fully accessible.

6. Removal of parking/redesign of junction at west end of Moorfield

The group was 100% in favour of this. Parked cars at this junction are making it dangerous for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Suggestions from the group

Extend the proposed “no parking” area up to where Moorfield meets Lodore Road.

The group then discussed some of the other suggestions that have already been made on the S4P consultation website as follows:

7. Closing the junction of Moorfield and Great North Road

The group was split 38% in favour, 50% against and 12% don’t know on this proposal (Moorfield residents were split 50%/50%).

It was suggested that the impact of any changes at Blue House Roundabout would need to be factored in to any decision and that, during the construction phase of any project at BHR, a temporary closure might be appropriate.

8. Residents’ parking

Opinion was split 47% in favour, 41% against, 12% don’t know on this issue.

People on Ilford Road and Moorfield have been most directly impacted by the increase in “park and ride” that is clearly happening in the area and, as a consequence, are more likely to favour residents’ parking.

It was agreed that this issue should be looked at once the Streets for People (and possibly Blue House Roundabout) projects have been completed.

It was also suggested that Nexus should be encouraged to get the Regent Centre park and ride facility better used – possibly by bringing Regent Centre into Zone 1.

9. Ilford Road

Whilst the S4P project only directly impacts on Ilford Road at its junction with Moorfield, concern was expressed about this road and the continued high speed of traffic, damage to vehicles and difficulty at junctions – particularly at Lodore Road.

Residents were asked what their opinion would be on closing Ilford Road to through traffic by blocking the road at (for example) the point where Ilford Road becomes Rectory Road. T

he group was strongly opposed to this suggestion as they felt it would simply shift the problem of rat running elsewhere.

It was agreed that a submission on behalf of residents would be made by HWJRA to the S4P group.

Streets for People information

You can read more of the background to the Streets for People initative on our Streets for People page.

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.