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Thursday, December 26, 2013

£7m spent but, years after, Queens Park still not finished

 

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester is calling on the Cheshire East Council to get their act together over Queens Park Crewe.

He said," It is beyond belief that over £7m has been spent but, several years after, Queens Park is still not finished.(See below and attached) Basic requirements, like accessible footpaths to allow people to walk around the park, have not been provided. Many of the footpaths have not been finished off and the west end of the lake has had no footpaths for over two years. It is incredible that almost four times as much has been spent on consultants compared to the amount spent on footpaths.(See below)On one of the pavilions (which cost a total of £1.6m) there still isn't any downspout so the water wets you as you walk under the veranda.(See attached photo)

Since the ill conceived redundancy of the Park Wardens, there has been an increased level of lawlessness in the park. Kids on bikes, copious levels of litter, repeated criminal damage, motorbikes being ridden across the lake bridge and dog owners encouraging their dogs to attack waterfowl.

The park needs to be finished off properly and it needs to be policed efficiently. The original intention was to return the park to its former glory but urgent action is now needed if that is to be achieved."

Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor

Cheshire East Council

Tel/fax 01270 567757

Twitter @CllrBSilvester

Interesting facts

From: BROUGHTON, George
Sent: 14 November 2013 15:59
To: SILVESTER, Brian (Councillor)
Cc: HARTWELL, Peter; MELLING, Kevin; EDWARDS, Gareth; DODD, Elaine
Subject: Queens Park

Dear Cllr Silvester,

Actual Expenditure to date on the Queens Park Project is £7,312,304.96.

two weeks later the cost from a FOI request are £7,599,277.00

From the Friends of QP mins Chris Lawton has re-measured the pathways and received some budget costing's – the value to complete works is around £500K, which is a big improvement on the £2mill figure quoted elsewhere. The cost via FOI is now £382,000.00 that's a few weeks later. So one may well ask why the discrepancy in these figures so the latest is £7.5 million with other things still want doing like coronation walk Burma Island

 

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Above the bowls hut now has CCTV but if you look at the photo you can see that the water still falls on your head as there are no down spots. It was supposed to be a posh chain but years later its still not finished.

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The tree cut down from startling damage are having there stumps removed but they seem to be struggling with it as they have tried for a couple of days without much progress.

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The dangerous path at the bottom of the lake has been closed. It is deadly to walk on as there is water either side and its just a mud bath and this weather if it freezes your going in the lake and there is no life belts any more as they were removed not a good idea given they have allowed fishing should have been risk assessed.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The week the wind blew

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Everyone's favourite duck the Mandarin was back again this week and very tame eating out of your hand all most, the squirrels are also hungry and come and take food from you   

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A very windy day this week caused havoc all over with the tree below falling in Coronation Walk   and large branches falling from the tree near the lake. Victoria rd was blocked by a fallen tree as was Marshfield rounderbout

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dog hooked in discarded Fishing Line

 

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Above discarded line hook and junk

So much for responsible anglers less  than two week and now we have discarded fishing line and hook in a dogs foot next time it could be a baby. Wait until summer when there will be lots fishing its going to be unsafe to visit half of the park  

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Above we can see the Council are still failing in their duty of care and H&S note the fisherman blocking the very dangerous path with his rod and other rubbish and the women coming with the young child wanting to get past. The council have been told of the danger of the 3 pegs located at the end of the lake as the path is only 2 feet wide and like a skating rink but still they take no action. Even when there are new paths it will still be dangerous as people are using 25 ft poles all the  time

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Crewe’s Queens Park ANTs volunteers and Cheshire East Council staff finished 2013 with a flourish last weekend.

Some of the group arrived in festive costumes, including one of Santa’s over-sized reindeer called Dancer!

The autumn leaves were brushed away and new bird boxes were positioned around the park ahead of winter.

The ANTs (Actions Not Talk) have completed a number of projects during the year and were rewarded with a Christmas buffet and mulled wine in the Pickle Jar café.

The next working weekend is planned for Sunday 26 January 2014. For more information, contact queensparkants@hotmail.com for details about getting involved.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fishing forced through by Council


We would have expected the public to have their say on the matter of fishing as it effects their safety and the lives of the wildlife as swans have been hooked up last year. People I have spoke to and I am in the park every day dont believe it will be safe for people to walk near the lake if fishing is going on. If you fish with a 12 ft rod from the fisherman you need 12 ft clear all around you plus the line in many cases this isnt possible as its to close to paths and therefore people are in danger of being hocked up.
The public have no say one what goes on in the Queens Park, its supposed to be the peoples park but their opinion is not worth anything and no one is listening to public opinion its all done behind their backs
See the statements below the first statement was from Cllr Jones and also printed in the Chronicle the email below proves someone is lying and also that the friends have no effect on the decisions local officers make and as such it’s a waste of everyone’s time if the officers then do what the hell they want without any one from the public getting their opinion considered and the fishing has now been rushed through before anyone can object.

We cant believe Cllr Jones has made the statement knowing it to be false so what going on? Some facts. There has been illegal fishing in the park with kids and other fishing with no licence and no permission they claim they couldn’t stop it.
The wardens are in the office in the park daily and the only time they have walk 3 mins to the lake and stopped fishing is when I have got them out of the office. The Environment Agency will enforce illegal fishing by issuing a £2500 fine get a few people with a fine and word will get around very quick

It clear the Friends Group and ANTS weren’t  consulted as was stated. Its stated the Friends have now power and as such what is there role if no one listens to them or public opinion?
As the Club is run by an individual who is collecting the money and were is it going if it’s the club then it’s a company has the man registered the fact and if he is on any sort of benefits like housing benefit advised them of his income and paying tax? As he has bailiffs acting for him as volunteers that may be working with children have they all been CRB checked? 
They say having responsible fishermen will help in the first week they have blocked paths, left rods un attended fished not on pegs so these are no better than the kids were are the bailiffs?
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Above every fisherman knows you dont leave your rod in the water unattended as if a fish bites it can drag the rod into the water and be injured note its fishing not on a peg and blocking the narrow path as well its also unlawful to do this, so much for good fishermen setting an example he also didnt use a public toilet but exposed himself in the park
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Above can anyone seriously tell me this is safe the path its self is a death trap so lets make more dangerous by letting people fish there and block the path who did the risk assessment on this.

We have requested details of the club, risk assessment, rules details of meetings and despite asking several time they have not been forthcoming what are they hiding? Pictures of the pegs on a two foot wide slippery muddy path show they haven’t done a risk assessment as its very dangerous to walk the path and having someone fishing makes it down right dangerous when pointed out to them they refused to comment.

Some pegs are close to the bridge and this area is like a motorway for wildlife so the chances of killing wildlife is very high plus people feed them off the bridge and they could be caught as well.

The Friends mins show the club was to start in January but they have rushed it through and fishing is now taking place why?
Procedure and safe guards are needed if wildlife get hooked up this involves cutting the line and calling the RSPCA none of this is in place. 
The fishing club has been made a member of the friends no vote proposed or seconded  the Friends mins state The group will be affiliated into the Friends Constitution – likewise the ANTs. So how can officers FORCE this on friends against the constitution are the  friends group there as a political weapon controlled by officers? So what is the future for the friends if they cant speak for the public and effect decisions then they may as well disband.

Alleged cyber bullying by friends & Ants member

There are reports of alleged cyber bullying by a member of ANTS and the friends and this person has three complaints and allegedly forced one person of Facebook  with the bullying, he has also told this person that the ANTs are moving the Burma island and Boar war memorials greatly upsetting this person and causing problems for many people. ANTS have been asked to take some action over this as its Anti Bullying Week and this sort of behaviour isn’t acceptable to anyone.

Above the logs of the victim and the statement that the person has told him they are moving the memorials I assume this was done to upset the person which it did and it also brought disrespect for what the ants are trying to do
Email from Cllr Jones
Dear sir
I thank you for your email.
The decision to support fishing in the park has been taken via the two public groups who so brilliantly support the park.
It is the friends of the park and Ants who have recommended this and it is they who believe it is the right thing to do.
I think you should petition these excellent people, who work tirelessly to improve the park and then the council will follow the majority view.
The council is merely following the views of the majority of local people who represent the park.
It is there suggestion not the council and I resent your attacking of your council without full knowledge.
Please contact these groups to discuss and the council will follow the majority view.
Yours
Michael
Councillor Michael Jones
Cllr Silvester

Email from George Broughton
From: BROUGHTON, George
Sent: 20 November 2013 08:53
To: SILVESTER, Brian (Councillor)
Cc: HARTWELL, Peter; EDWARDS, Gareth; MELLING, Kevin
Subject: RE: Fishing in queens park
Fishing has always been a popular activity at Queens Park. It was temporarily stopped whilst the lake was reconstructed and then for a period to allow the fish stocks to recover after relocation back into the water. It was always the clear intention that angling would be restarted and this has been stated to the many people who have enquired over recent years. The intention to reintroduce angling has been raised at the meetings of the Friends Group simply as a means of gauging their opinion and keeping them informed. It is not the Friends Group’s role to formally make decisions on the management of the park but to give the community a voice in this process. We have excellent working relations with the Friends Group who play a large role in guiding our decision making.
Angling does have its critics but it is also one of the most popular recreational activities in Britain today. At its best it is a tremendous way of building inter-generational cooperation as older anglers teach young people to fish. However, when uncontrolled it does lead to the problems as stated below. As managers of the park we have to make judgements about such issues. In this case it is our judgement that fishing will occur whether we sanction it or not as we do not have the resources to enforce a ban. By creating a new Queens Park Angling Club, attached to the Friends Group and run by some enthusiastic volunteers, we are trying to manage the activity and thus minimise any problems. It will bring more responsible adults into the park which will help protect the park in many ways. We have stated that we intend to review the situation again during the close season (Spring 2014). 
I hope this is helpful 
Regards George

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Friends of Queens Park Democratic or Dictatorship

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The Fiends constitution says

Aims and Objectives
To promote the restoration (i,) capturing Queens Park’s Victorian splendour, conservation and enhancement of Queens Park in Crewe, for the benefit of residents, visitors, wildlife and fish. We believe that this is not met if fishing goes ahead as the majority don’t want it and its clear its not in the interest of Wildlife.

represent the views of the residents of Crewe and other regions of the Cheshire East Council, in matters concerning the Park, This isn’t being met as the fishing wasn’t agreed by the committee and residents view were not sought on this matter. Its interesting that Cllr M Grant stated today she is having nothing to do with fishing, I hope she will then resign as a cllr as she is paid to put residents views forward the fact she comes in the park with her own dog never on a lead setting a fine example to others has been raised before.

The Committee
The ‘Core/Officers’ Committee shall consist of a Chairperson, Secretary, Fund Raising Officer, Treasurer and Parks Manager and any other such Officers as the Friends of the Park group may from time to time decide. Another big one as mins from the last meeting show that ANTS and Fishing are now part of this but FRIENDS were not given an option to vote on this so that is dictatorship not democracy. As the constitution hasn’t been followed in creating the fishing club it must be considered as null and void.

From mins

ANGLING
Several meeting have taken place with Angling Clubs. As a result, an independent QP
Angling Club is to be established by January 2014.
The group will be affiliated into the Friends Constitution – likewise the ANTs.
Activities’ will include Youth sessions and initiatives to care and improve the waters and wildlife/fowl.

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Above who thinks this is safe the fishing pegs are in an area less than 2 ft wide that is passable so how can anyone safely walk around the lake?

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Fishing is still illegal in the park but its started all ready click on the picture then look at the path you cant get past as its blocked by fishermen's rubbish

 

There has been no progress on the fishing and the council and other officials are refusing to say who agreed to the fishing club so we have put in a Freedom of Information request which by law they must answer. Things have got worse as the pegs have now gone in and its clear that they must be brain dead to put them were they have in the picture you can see they are on the muddy path less than 2 feet wide at the bottom of the lake. So once they fish there it will be impassable and dangerous to anyone who try’s. They have put some near the bridge and this is the main swim for all wildlife and therefore not safe for wildlife fortunately the Environmental Agency can take action on this as the park has had wildlife hooked before its considered a blackspot area and they can come in at anyone request and check the pegs don’t cover any swims and if they do they can remove the pegs. This can be changed at any time as new wildlife come in the park or start a nest.

The park and club must carry out a risk assessment and they demonstrate by the placement of the pegs that this isn’t the case as its clear its dangerous.

Risk assessment  standard practice   across most councils in the uk include no under 16 year old cant fish alone and must  have an adult present at all times,

RISK OF INFECTION (e.g. weils disease,  cross contamination from having touched bait, fish, discarded unused bait, water born algae). So there must be provision to wash hands.

  RISK OF INJURY: e.g. stings and bites from insects attracted to water and bait.  Stings from plants etc. Poisonous plants.  Therefore a registered first aider should be on site when anyone is fishing.  Life Belts are not present in the park so they should be provided in case of anyone falling in the lake.

They must have emergency procedure in place if wildlife get hooked up and display the phone number to contact if this happens if it’s a protected bird like Grebe or Swan a fine may ensue and its not clear if the club or the fishermen will be fined, Does the club have insurance is a good question? The procedure is to cut the line to prevent injury so will there be knives in the park as well?

Most clubs have rules like no keep nets, landing nets must be used, no rods to be left unattended, no blocking of footpaths, no ground bait and restriction on the bate used in case it poisons wildlife.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Swans and Wildlife will die in the Queens Park

We believe that’s swans and wildlife will die at the Queens Park as a new fishing club has been started from January. In the period of a month a Swan, a baby swan and a duck have suffered horrendous injures from being hooked by illegal fishing. The swan couldn’t raise its head or eat for days until the RSPCA  rescued it. There has been problems with illegal fishing for a long time with them causing criminal damage, fishing without a rod licence skipping school to fish and riding through the park with 15 ft rods on bikes with line and hooks  swinging about.


There has on average only been 5-10 daily doing this but the fishing club are to have 27 pegs its not clear how many rods per peg but a lot allow 3 rods that equates to 90 lines in the lake. Simple maths tells us if you have a lot of swans ducks etc and 90 lines some are going to be hooked up. There are special problems on the lake, we have Grebes and other wildlife that swim under water for great distances and would be unseen by fishermen until  its to late and as they are protected birds a fine of several thousand pounds could happen. The other problem is as soon as you go near the lake all the swans and duck come thinking you have bread for them.


What has caused problems and letter of complaints in the press is how this has been done in secret. I am on the friends committee and we new discussions were taking place with fishing groups and we would then expect to here proposals on fishing for us to discuss and raise any objections to. We would also expect the public to be able to have a say in this as 98% of people visiting the park come to see or feed the ducks many come daily and know each duck by name. These people have come to the park for many years on a daily basis in winter and summer to care for the ducks.


What has happened is that secret meeting have taken place as I and at least two other members of the committee were not told about these meeting or given the opportunity to go along we don’t know who attended these meeting or when they took place. The first we knew was kids at the skate park told us committee members that it had been agreed and would start in January. So who ever went to these meeting and they are refusing to name these people have made a decision for everyone that visits the park without the friends or member of the public been given the opportunity to object. It was discussed at the last friends meeting but not as an option to vote on but as a DONE DEAL it had been passed by these mysterious people. Apart from anything else democracy says that users of the park should be consulted and given an opportunity to put their case forward  but it seems we have a dictatorship in the park. This week its fishing what will be passed behind closed doors next week?


This is the letter sent to the papers others have also been sent
Dear Editor,
I am a regular visitor of Queens Park and have been so for many years. Apparently, as from January 2014, fishing will be allowed in the park, seemingly a decision made behind closed doors. I am filled with utter dismay. It reinforces my view that Cheshire East Council treats members of the public visiting the park with utter contempt. The West end of the lake has had no footpaths for over two years since the ridiculous re-opening of the unfinished park "ceremony", the Council have made no attempt whatsoever of remedying this with a low cost temporary solution. Additionally, since the ill conceived redundancy of the park Wardens, there has been an increasing level of lawlessness in the park. Kids on bikes, copious levels of litter, criminal damage. In the past year alone,
I have witnessed motorbikes being ridden across the lake bridge, and dog owners encouraging their dogs to attack waterfowl. And now it would seem that because the Council have been unable or unwilling to stop the unauthorised fishing in the park, there is a proposal to allow a fishing club to organise/regulate fishing in the park commencing in January.
I believe the park is an inappropriate site for this sort of activity for a multitude of reasons. Which include:
a) Health and Safety issues: Line casting near/on public footpaths. Absolute no brainer this one surely.
b) Paths, (Public Access): This should be pretty obvious too. For example, the public will be expected to walk through mud, or     wade through the gigantic puddle at the aforementioned west end of the lake to circumnavigate those fishing on the lake     edge until the paths (missing or inaccessible since 2007!), are installed in the Spring.
c) Wildlife: To me, this is the most important. Numerous families bring their children to the park to see or feed the Swans, Ducks     or Geese. There WILL BE continued incidents of waterfowl injuries due to this activity. In the last few months alone, the RSPCA     have had to come to the rescue of the Signets and a Duck several times, due to fishing line or pellet. This surely is unacceptable.     The lake is their home, and priority should be given to the majority of people who come to the park to enjoy the wildlife.
d) Everyone I have spoken to is of the opinion that the vast majority of people would be against allowing fishing in the Park.     Therefore, if this permission goes ahead, against the wishes of most people, serious questions would have to be answered. It is true that fishing was once permitted in the park many years ago, but that does not make it right, after all, cigarettes were once freely advertised on TV.
I urge the Council to have a rethink, or to conduct a proper and fair survey, listening to the views of people who visit the park. Negative publicity and public petitions against this proposal will surely follow if these people’s views are ignored.


He raise some good points mainly on safety as one old lady has been hooked up with fishing hook if they are using 15 ft polls and a lot do an area of 15ft all around the fisherman can be a danger area as they cast and as often this area will encroach on public paths there is a danger of children or dogs etc can be hooked up with careless casting. The clubs say they will have bailiffs but no one is going to come and sit there every day for 12 hours so that just isn’t going to work. I have asked for  the location of the pegs but so far that has not been forthcoming but from what we can see it will all be at the bottom of the lake and to get that many in it will block some of the footpaths or put people in danger.

Cllr Jones
This has now raised other questions about the park as Cllr Jones was informed incorrectly that the friends and ANTS had all recommended the fishing but this isn’t he case no vote was taken its your having it like it or not. Members of the ANTS confirmed today they didn’t know about the meeting with fishing clubs and no idea who went or any detail like were pegs will be, they certainly have not recommended it. Part of the problem seems to be that no one could be bothered to stop illegal fishing so to pass the buck to a club means they wont have to do anything and can blame the club if anything goes wrong this could be a legal issue as well that the club may be liable for any injury.


The Dog wardens and community wardens have office in the park but refuse to patrol it as they claims its not down to them and when dogs attack the refuse to act see here. Again they have made very little effort to stop the fishing and on one occasion a council officer was shown people illegally fishing and told me to go an sort it out and refused to do anything himself.


Cllr Jones Steps in
Problems with the park have all been blamed on CEC but now evidence suggest they  may not be the main problem.   After representation to Cllr Jones and he studied some other complaints he has taken action. It was pointed out to him that for instance a tree was cut down and the stump ground down and the rubbish left in a pile by the lake in August  then the ANTS cleaned the boat house and added their rubbish to it that was over a month ago. The rubbish then with the wind and rain spread all over the path making it a safety issue so the total time it had been there is over 3 months. Its not a big job or costing thousands to remove. Dangerous trees were reported in Tipkinder woodland  well before October and reported here http://www.queensparkcrewe.com/2013/10/queenspark-wildlife-group-action-plan.html. Nothing was done about those even though they were a danger.
Another dangerous tree over 30 ft tall in the park next to the road was reported and no action taken until I personally told the tree men in the town and they came and inspected it and took it down off their own bat as its was so dangerous. On both occasions this was recorded on Facebook and acknowledged  but no action was taken, mysteriously all these comments have now disappeared from Facebook so evidence has been destroyed WHY?

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Above one of over 10 ten dangerous trees felled after Cllr Jones stepped in.

 
Cllr Jones once he knew took immediate action and with 12 hours the rubbish was removed and the trees have now been felled. But here is another one for him recorded before anyone can  hide it. The rubbish from the tree stumps there is another pile that has been by the café from august but more importantly in August it was reported that there was a hole in the path by the lake. Surprise surprise its still there as you can see in the photo taken today it is very deep and I was nearly up to my knee in the hole. When I poked a 2 ft stick in it disappeared  into mud and the path if you are heavy and walk on it collapses. I am no expert but it seems there is a very good chance that the sewer or drain under the path could make the path total collapse in to the drain along with anyone who stood on it. Again this is a serious safety issue the whole as it is could easily break someone’s leg or worse.
It is not Cllr Jones job to organize work in the park but that is what he is having to do at the moment. He has promise to look into the fishing problem and move forward plants for the lake and wildlife. So with his help things are moving in the right direction
 

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The whole by the cafe and the weeping willow tree by the lake I believe its in danger of the whole path giving way. You can see how deep this hole goes

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A tree stump cut up in August and still there now

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Squirrels help ANTS tidy up

Queens Park at clear kids' play area, 26-10-2013

ANTs storm into action

Crewe’s Queens Park ANTs (Actions Not Talk) volunteers were busy again in late October working hard before the winter sets in.

Following several successful working weekends over the summer months, the team tackled overgrown bamboo along Coronation Walk, fallen branches by the bandstand, and painted stone edges by the lodges.

They also responded to calls from parents who had asked for the play area to be cleared of leaves, pine cones and horse chestnut cases.

With a wet autumn already affecting some paths and much of the park’s play equipment, the ANTs cleared debris ready for collection by the Cheshire East Council staff.  Lets hope the leaves are given to gardeners as they are great compost

The ANTs meet again on Sunday 1st December. Contact queensparkants@homail.com for more information.

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The squirrels did their bit to help by picking up all the nuts off the ground for them

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Autumn Comes to the Park

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Its that time of year again when the park trees change colour daily as Autumn sets in. There is some wonderful colours all over the park with no two days being the same

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ANTs in action again!

The Queens Park ANTs volunteer group is in action again this Saturday 26th October, with another working session aimed at making the Crewe park the best in Cheshire East. The volunteers will tackle the Autumn leaves, Coronation Walk and some of the overgrown beds. Hi-Vis jackets, gloves and tools are provided. Anyone interested in taking part and meeting some friendly and enthusiastic new friends should check-in at the park lodge by the main gate any time between 10am and 4pm. For more information please email queensparkants@hotmail.com for details.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Queenspark wildlife group action plan


Join us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/queensparkwildlife/
The aim of the group is to protect and encourage the wildlife in the park. Most members are people who visit the park daily to care for the wildlife and have done this for years. We have taken expert advice from RSPB, Cheshire Wildlife Trust. Sandbach Woodland and Wildlife Trust and our own expert members. We are also looking at Tipkinder wood as this is the start of the wildlife corridor feeding the park any problems there could affect the park via the brook.

The main problems stem from yobs destroying eggs and nest of protected birds like swans and grebe on many occasions. To combat this there need to be ramps or logs are needed all around the two main islands so they can nest away from danger this need to be a long term placement and backed up by planting of reed beds round the islands. A lot of more hens nest on the island and then the babies fall off and cant get back on and die so some sort of ramp is needed to then can get back on. All this needs to be done well before breeding season. Read beds are needed to form a natural habitat. All plants will help the wildlife which includes the fish so the angling club may want input into this and it will benefit the lake as well. As we have had two swans and duck injured by fishing line we are keen to see the wildlife protected from this in the future.

Suggested planting along part of the edge of the lake - a fringe of reed mace, yellow flag iris, meadowsweet and other wetland plants would create a habitat for many creatures as well as birds (N.B. reed-mace can spread rapidly, however it cannot move into deep water, so it should be OK in the lake.
The two steep banks of grass either side of Burma island on the south side are never used as they are to steep and are hard to mow so we want to make them into wildlife meadows this would help wildlife and reduce the need for regular mowing. They could be used for fishing as it doesn’t put people in danger when walking past while people are casting. Possibly the area by the main road that is a bank on the north side could have the same treatment.

To encourage wildlife we need to start at the bottom of the food chain by putting lots of compost areas and rotting log piles this needs to be balanced with not looking a mess so it’s a matter of agreeing areas in bushes that wont generally be seen for these we are talking small piles which will barley be seen not huge ones. Other discreet project are log piles and bee hotels again discreetly situated to benefit things like hedgehogs etc. This will fit in with school projects that Ben runs and we would help with an educational resource
More plants are required for wildlife which would include. More bird boxes are also needed and our members are putting up bird feeders to feed birds through the winter.
• Spring: flowering currant, Berberis, Forsythia, guelder rose.
• Summer: Hebe, lavender, honeysuckle, elder
• Autumn: Buddleja, heather, Hypericum, Fatsia
• Winter: Mahonia, ivy, witch hazel, Sarcococca
Tipkinder wood Myself and Jules Hornbrook looked at the wood a few years ago
http://www.crewetown.co.uk/tipkinder.htm
Tipkinder wood has been left for many years and we propose to remove lots of self seeded saplings to allow for more low growing bushes to be planted for wildlife and make the area more pleasant we can do most of the work but some large trees that are close to each other want removing and these we would look to cut into large logs as seats by the stream as it’s a lovely place to sit on a hot sunny day. There is a real danger in the wood as its not been managed for years and many of the trees have fallen or have been damaged and liable to fall at any time in high winds this is a serious H&S issue as some trees are 30ft and could cause injury or damage if they fall and the Council could be liable.
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Above two 30 ft trees have fallen which will knock down more
The cost of all this is very small the most expensive being the plants for the lake the rest requires very little expenditure. Tipkinder would require the tree experts to cut down larger trees and make the area safe. Removal of saplings volunteers could do and being a wildlife wood the bio degradable waste can be left on site for wildlife. Any type of plants would be suitable to bring life to lower areas and a appeal for bring an old plant to the wood day may fund that. All this would be done in conjunction with other groups like Friends, Ants, Fishing club, and schools
#queensparkwildlife

Cllr Jones is backing us on this

Dear Jan
Thank you for your email.
Wow. What great work.
Cheshire east will do all it can to support.
Yours
Michael
Councillor Michael Jones
Leader
Cheshire East Council
Tel : 01270 686011

We need volunteers to help with the woodland and the wildlife contact us here.

The RSPB have issued a warning about birds most of the seeds they eat at this time of year are not ripe so they want supplementing with bird seed etc. So we need more bird feeders put by the Tipkinder entrance to the park on the left through the gates then hanging anywhere around there and our members will keep them filled. So if you have any spare of any sort pop them along help the birds this winter

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Scouts weekend

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A very large tree near the main road has died maybe over 30ft tall luck I spotted it as it would have come down with a wallop.

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The tree has now had to be cut down as it was dead and in a dangerous state

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The scouts were in over the weekend with their tents and have lots of activities in the park and best of all they cleaned up after them selves.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

ANTs bank on Lloyds interest

Lloyds staff join ANTs at Queens Park

Crewe volunteer group the Queens Park ANTs (Actions Not Talk) received a huge boost during their latest action weekend when staff from Lloyds Bank lent a hand.

The park has already benefited from a number of initiatives led by the volunteers, and the final weekend of September saw them concentrate efforts clearing Coronation Walk.

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Over the next six months they hope to restore the old rockery area, introduce new planting and eventually reinstate the water feature that runs through the park to the lake.

ANTs coordinator Leanne Haythornthwaite was delighted to see the group’s numbers increase. “We saw a lot of new faces over the weekend, and having a national company involved is great news,” she said. “Most of the staff at the Crewe branch of Lloyds lives locally, so the park means a lot to them too. Having passionate local people working hard to make a difference is what our group is all about.”

The Lloyds Banking Group runs a scheme called “Day to make a difference” where colleagues can volunteer their own time to a project of their choice.

“It’s a way to really get involved with the local communities,” explained Lloyds Project Manager Mark Ball. “A lot of large organisations make donations and sponsor events, but Lloyds are determined to make a real difference by helping charities and community organisations like the ANTs.”

Crewe branch manager Louise Harding is proud to be part of the initiative. “The bank has a national target of giving one million voluntary hours by the end of 2015. It’s important to the Crewe team that we play our part, so I’m sure we’ll be joining the ANTs many times over the next couple of years.”

The next ANTs volunteer action days at the park are scheduled for Saturday 26th October and Sunday 1st December.

The problem this time of year as Autumn set in is that it needs cleaning weekly as leaves fall the Gulf War area and down by the boat house main path is bad again as the leave make a mess this is only a few weeks since it was cleaned 

Winter is on the way as the trees in the park start to change colour and this year its early as it was mid October last year. There are a lot of acorns on the trees which may be a sign of a bad winter. We do get some great colours from the trees and they vary week by week

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Wildlife Volunteer's Wanted

 
The Queens Park is home to a lot of wildlife and we are seeking volunteers to help with the wildlife. The wildlife is slowly returning after the restoration and new wildlife appear all the time including Grebe, Heron, Jay, Cormorant King Fisher. We hope to build on this by creating a park that will attract wildlife by providing a favourable environment for them. A new group has formed to help with the wildlife and have a Facebook page. There has been a dedicated group of people who visit the park daily to feed the ducks and check on their needs for many years.

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Our aim is to try to get more planting to encourage  a more diverse  wildlife population. Check on the wildlife recorded the wildlife ideally with pictures, educate people to look after and respect the wildlife and provide education to schools that visit the park.

Anyone can join us  but we need photographers, people with knowledge of all sorts of wildlife and wildlife habitat and on occasion we will need muscle to complete some projects. People dont have to turn up at specific times but be able to come when they can make sure the wildlife is protected and yobs dont smash nests as has happened in the past when swan and grebe eggs have been destroyed. If you love wildlife this is the place to be we are also looking at Tipkinder Wood to see what can be done there as well contact us here 

The wildlife group who meet daily in the park to feed look after the wildlife have had a brilliant idea. The problems have been Grebe, Swans etc cant build nest close to the banks as they get smashed by yobs. We had success with a pallet next to the island, Some breed on the island but chicks fall off and cant jump back on and die. We noticed today a large dead tree next to Tipkinder bridge it will have to be felled if we then cut it into big logs and put them next to the islands wildlife will have somewhere to breed safely and a step to get back on the island. It just need them cutting so they are out of the water and dry on the top. Any more can go in the middle of the lake. The brilliant bit really is it GREEN, cost virtual nowt and could save money carting the tree away, its natural so wont look out of place and should last years.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Another Swan disappears

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We had three baby swans born in July but now we are down to just one 2 have mysteriously disappeared the last one to go is the weak one above and its been gone a week now. The chances of a fox or similar getting 2 swans when the parents are about and lots of other ducks to choose from must be a million to one.We suspect that they may have been taken. The last one was week and its possible that it could have swallowed lead shot from illegal fishing. We have searched the park for a body or evidence of an attack but no signs of it.

Wildlife Facebook Page

We have started a new Facebook Group for Wildlife in the park to ensure the wildlife are considered in the park and future planting is done to encourage new wildlife to come to the park. Plants are needed in the lake which was part of the original plan to provide nesting areas food etc for wildlife, ramps up to the island are also needed as often wildlife breads on  the islands as  its safe  but then baby moorhens etc cant get back on to safety once they leave. Places near the islands need to be constructed so duck swans can breed in safety away from vandals. The diversity of wildlife is slowly growing as the park get back to normal but more needs to be done to encourage buttery flies, birds etc to come to the park. Wildlife is not considered when planning things for the park as an example the islands have a overhang that stops them getting on to it.

We are seeking volunteers to help look after wildlife record whats seen so people know what to look for the following years etc. A dedicated group feed the ducks on a daily basis but we need to educate people what food to give instead of white bread.

Good Foods for Ducks

The best foods for ducks are those that provide the nutrients, minerals and vitamins the birds need for healthy growth and development. Many of these foods are similar to the natural seeds, grains and plants the birds will forage on their own. As omnivorous birds, ducks will eat a great deal of different foods, and the best foods to offer ducks include:

  • Cracked corn
  • Wheat, barley or similar grains
  • Oats (uncooked; rolled or quick)
  • Rice (cooked or uncooked)
  • Milo
  • Birdseed (any type or mix)
  • Grapes (cut in half)
  • Frozen peas or corn (defrosted, no need to cook)
  • Earthworms
  • Mealworms (fresh or dried)
  • Chopped lettuce or other greens or salad mixes
  • Vegetable trimmings or peels (chopped)

Duck feed pellets or poultry starter pellets are another great option, and they can be purchased from farming or agricultural supply stores.

If you interested in wildlife in any shape or forma and want to help contact us now

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Queens Park Crewe Master Plan

 

Having talked to people who like myself visit the park everyday we have put together a master plan of what needs addressing in the park. Many people will visit the park once a week or once a month and can have different experiences depending on various factors. People who visit daily see a lot more and understand what goes on at all times of the day.

Restoration

Below the Monkey Hut restored a few months ago and the floor is now cracked and dangerous and its only time before kids pull it up

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Everyone agrees that the park needs to be finished but there is little we can do about that as its down to the council do it but we could raise money from local companies to help. What is important that people get a say on what is done and don’t turn up one day and find something they disagree with. Some smaller projects could be done by ANTS but a lot its down to a partnership with the council.

Below the clock once again isnt working even after the restoration

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Cleaning and look of the park.

This is an on going problem some caused by nature other caused by litter and the public. Its not a one off problem but a daily or weekly problem and needs work doing on a regular basis. Droppings for the geese can soon make a mess of paths and this can happen daily. Due to lack of staff this is being done by volunteers and ANTS did a wonderful job at their weekend clean up. The problem is getting people doing this on a regular basis as some times of the year it can get worse ie winter when there are lots of leaves and people don’t want to go out.

Below ANTS did a wonderful job of cleaning this path but 3 days later its a mess its almost a daily chore that wants doing

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Projects

At the moment we don’t have set projects for anyone volunteering we need a list of project that people can work on so a volunteer can come along and choose from a large list of projects that match their skills and interest. These list need to be well designed for instance refurbishing the lodge gardens the list would have to include exactly what the plan is so people would know what they can and cant do this applies to all projects. We need a big list so we can use all the people who want to help from a single person to a organisation with lots of people. Without this list it will be a cock up. People may not be able to come for a day but happy to pop in and do an odd hour when it suits them we need to make this happen so people can come in know what to do and get any tools etc.

Problems

Virtually everyone that comes daily has the same comment on problems that are not being address. Dogs of f the lead, illegal and dangerous fishing , bikes and of coarse vandals. As there are no wardens this is a major problem for people as no one feels safe in the park. Dogs off the lead is a major problem and there are a few that come and set the dogs on wildlife and are yet to be caught, some are so frightened of dogs they have to leave the park if they see them off the lead.

Fishing is a major concern as its very dangerous kids ride bike with rods sticking out in front with line and hooks attached, they cast next to ducks and swans and two swans have suffer already if it happens to a duck I don’t think the RSPCA would come to the rescue and it would die a horribly death. 90% of those fishing will have no rod licence and it is illegal fines can be as much as £2,500. They leave litter and hooks block foot paths cast near people and make a mess everywhere after climbing fences and causing criminal damage. On Health and Safety grounds we can allow fishing even if controlled no one is going to be a bailiff and be there all day everyday so its not enforceable. As we often have Grebe on the lake which is a protect species along with the swans fishing is dangerous for them as they swim a long way underwater and even a good fisherman wouldn’t know it was there until it get hooked up. 99% of regulars are against fishing and the damage they cause.

Dogs off the lead

Everyday you can find dogs off the lead in the park many will let GSD roam around the children's play area off the lead, they will be off the lead near wildlife and often chase the wildlife and under new laws this can be considered a dangerous dog. If you come to the park with a young child you dont want any dog big or small running about near them even f they dont bite they can knock a child over and hurt it. If like me you own a dog which you keep on the lead you dont want loose dogs attacking your dog or coming up to it barking etc. This again is an accident waiting to happen. A dog control order is being proposed for the park but again with no one enforcing it wont do any good.

Bikes are another problem and one that causes confusion as its not clear if and were they can be ridden this needs to be made clear. Again sensible cyclists are not a problem but kids on BMX speeding down path and over the bridge are.

Wildlife

Most visitors to the park come in contact with the wildlife either to view them or bring the kids to feed them. Enough isn’t being done to help wildlife last year we managed to get a pallet by the island and the grebe bred ok this year there was none as a results their nest and eggs were destroyed by kids and they had no young. Suitable plants for nesting are needed by the island away from the kids and rams up to the islands so wildlife can get off and on with their young this is low cost to do and would benefit everyone. A lot of wildlife is subjected to people throwing at them or being chased by dogs off the lead.

Vandals

Vandalism everyone is against that of coarse and it needs to be stopped. New CCTV soon to be installed will go some way to addressing this but as the park may not be on the monitoring screens all the time so it may well be missed unless people can ring and tell the control room to turn the camera screen on. CCTV is no good unless someone can respond quickly to problems.

New Approach

New approach to the problems. A there are no wardens no one is stopping any of this and a warden approach can not always work. A new way to tackle this education its possible a few ladies with high vis jackets could be more effective this is not a sexist remark but a practical one often its young kids causing problems and a man approaching them in this day and age can give concern about paedophiles. Women can often deal with the children better being mother them selves and often if women with a baby approaches a dog owner and explains she is frightened for her child as the dog is loose will be more effective. In stead of a warden approach its an educational approach the same applies to people dropping litter which then reduces the time needed cleaning up.

At the present time these problems are not being addressed and to get the park back to its formal glory need a total approach to the whole problem not just some of the problems. As people see improvements and more people use the park so the problems ill reduce as lots of people in the park helps to reduce vandals as they don’t like lots of people about. Its really not new it goes back to the old days when the communities would police its self as there was always some stern granny who would tell kids off and would be supported by other people.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

ANTS day two

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The big clean continued today with more action in the Queens Park a lot of the activity today was on the overgrown Coronation Walk which was waist high in weeds. The paths and the stream were also cleaned out

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The water fall was cleaned up and let hope we can get it fixed as everyone used to like the water flowing down the stream

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The scented garden is so clean now you could eat your dinner off it

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Working on the stream above

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These two ladies assured me they were actual models on a photo shoot modelling florescent jackets  

ANTS Everywhere in the Queens Park

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The ANTS volunteer day started today and around 40 people of all ages turned up to paint bench's, pick up litter, clean paths etc. It was good to see children getting involved and even brushing up. We have one of those brushes at home but there is no instruction with it so we cant use it. Dont forget this Sunday 1st September lots more work to do so get down early and and make a day of it ALL are Welcome to join in

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A lot of the bench's were cleaned and then painted

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Path clearing by the lake

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Sanding down the bench's by the lake

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Community Fights Back

Another incident at the Queens Park as the community fights back. Cllr Maureen Grant was on site as she often is and her and her friend stepped in as wardens with me when 6-8 children started throwing bikes into the lake. After these children were causing problems and being yobish they started throwing bike in the lake. I was there as backup with my dog but to be fair Maureen and her friend handled the children and got a torrent of foul and obscene language from them. Never the less they persisted and stopped them running off and made them get the bike out of the lake.

More abuse followed but they then dispersed. It good to see a councillor who not only comes to our meeting and fights our corner at council but comes to the park on a regular basis and gets her hand dirty helping the communities fight  back against vandalism and yobish behaviour this is the second time in a week she has taken action to stop problems in the park so well done to MO.


The people who were fishing yesterday and hooked the baby swan were back doing it again today but what could I say as the Police took no action yesterday they would take no notice so the Police have set us back with this problem. How they can walk past Burma Island with kids fishing haven broke over the fence committing criminal damage I don’t understand. Cllr Jones has responded to my email and is trying to sort something out so as a partnership we can solve this problem. The simple solution is to some how grant the PCSO powers to remove anyone fishing or have to remove them if a volunteer warden asks for assistance, they say they must respond and remove people if a council officer requests it. While ANTS are doing a great job cleaning the place up none so far have volunteered to help with warden duties and I fear any work they do will be then spoilt by vandals. I am an OAP so limited what I can do but with more help we can take back our park and make it safe for wildlife and children.

Baby Swan Injured in Queens Park Again

 

Today 4 witnesses watched as a father and two sons were fishing near Tipkinder. They were not taking any care were they cast and the swans and their babies swam close to them. They then started throwing at the swans at which point we called the Police.

The RSPCA were called as by then they had hooked a baby swan and wrapped line and float all around its neck. The RSPCA arrived and did a good job of catching the baby and fighting off the father swan as he kept attacking. The hook was removed from the swans neck safely.
The RSPCA advised the fisher men of what they had done. The Police PCSO arrived and walked around seeing 10 other fishing under No Fishing signs and took no action. They spoke to the ones who had hooked the swan and took no action and left them fishing to do it again.

The PCSO said they don’t have the powers to shift anyone illegal fishing or take any action for dogs off the lead. Even when they break into fenced off areas to fish causing criminal damage they wont take any action. They will only take action if fish are removed from the park as then they will charge them with theft. In the past other PSCO have attended and taken action on the fishing.

Below the RSPCA remove line and hook from the swan if you view this full screen you can see the line wrapped around its neck

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They claim that any volunteer wardens can not stop anyone fishing or do anything about dogs off the lead. They say its down to the council or environment agency this puts the ball directly back in Cllr Jones court as people are volunteering but they are wasting their time as the council refuse to back the project. People volunteer and act as wardens to keep the park safe for families  risking abuse and the council wont help in anyway. Cllr Jones spoke on tv of a partnership but it’s a one sided one if the council wont do their bit

This is the second time in a couple of months a swan has been hooked up and one women has been hooked as well. A risk assessment would say the odds are that a person be it a baby an OAP or other is going to suffer horrendous injure   while the council refuse to take action on this fishing which is conducted next to busy public pathways by people who don’t care were they cast the line. The council have a duty of care to keep the park safe for people to enjoy by failing on Health and Safety grounds they leave themselves open to being sued if any one is injured given the fact they have been told the risk and taken no action on dogs or fishing. Evidence on Facebook and the website could be used by anyone suing the council if they get injured.

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Most people who visit the park do so to feed the ducks or show them to the children and they are horrified that they can be killed by people illegally fishing. One of the baby swans is missing and its possible its died a horrible death by fishing line, by a dog off the lead  or by a fox.