Coronavirus precautions
We have taken the current government advice and cancelled all Friends’ meetings and planning of events for the foreseeable future. The car park gates have been closed by Northampton Borough Council and the Drovers Return has had to close in accordance with government instructions.

But the parks are still open for that essential once-a-day exercise subject, of course, to respecting social distancing, and the play equipment must not be used.

Our activities which do not require physical interaction, such as our Winter Photo Competition and our Northampton Lottery support page are both still going. We have posted our Mothering Sunday Poems-in-the-Park in to our Gallery, and our Tree Trail will still be there when this is all over.

Please keep an eye on this website and on our Facebook page for updates.

Winter Photo Competition
Our Winter Photo Competition to find the best Winter photo taken of, or in, our parks runs until Easter, so there are still a few weeks left to get something in. Doesn’t have to be a new photo, it can have been taken at any time in the past. If you have already submitted something, please submit it again as we have now refreshed our email link, which wasn’t actually going anywhere. More details here.

Poems in the Park
Following on from the popularity of the Poems in the Park for Remembrance Day and Valentines Day, we are going to do something similar at various times throughout the year. We have now added our Valentines Day poems to our Gallery and have put another six poems and ‘inspirational quotations’ in the Country Park for Mothering Sunday. We are also working on some for VE day and are thinking possibly Halloween as well. Other suggestions welcomed. Keep your eyes peeled.

Please respect our Bluebell Wood
The bluebells we planted a few years ago were beautiful last year and we are hoping for the same again this Spring. We urge you not to walk, or let children or dogs play, in the area where they are planted. Rather than saying “Keep Off The Bluebells”, we think the Chinese version is nicer : Bluebells smiling, please let them alone.

Monday 13th April ~ Easter Pebble-Egg Hunt          
We have decided we should cancel our plans for an Easter Pebble-Egg Hunt this year, in line with current government advice and guidelines. We apologise for any upset this may cause.

Tues 19th May and Thurs 21st May ~ Painting Play Equipment
This is another event that we consider prudent to postpone until the Coronavirus crisis is resolved. We will let you know through our website when we once again plan to go ahead.

Sat 11th July ~ Hunsbury Meadows Party in the Park 3  
Hunsbury Meadows Parish Council website is currently saying that this will not be going ahead but that they will review this regularly. We will do the same.

11th – 20th September ~ Heritage Open Days
NBC have yet to confirm when they will be arranging the Northampton Heritage Open Days, but the HOD website is quoting 11th – 20th September.

At the moment, HOD website is saying that they are following government advice but hope that the HOD’s will happen in September in some form or other. Northampton Borough Council website does not have any information about 2020 HOD at present.

We shall keep an eye on this and let you know if we will again be taking part and arranging something to attract you all in to our parks.

Other Events
The other events that we have been working on for you to enjoy in our parks throughout the year have now been put on hold. We will let you know about these once we have something definite planned. Don’t want to say too much at the moment, but we’ve put some hints in the current montage poster for Events Being Planned.

The Friends and Northampton Lottery
We now have a dedicated page with Northampton Lottery, which enables you to help fund our events while giving yourself a chance to win up to £25,000 every week. Why not give it a go. At the moment, there is also a special tech-bundle promotion which also gives you the opportunity to win a Fitbit and a Google Nest mini. More details here.

2020 Litter Picks and other “Work” Events
At the beginning of 2019 we started doing a litter pick at least once every month, but towards the end of the year we cancelled or postponed quite a few as it seems that a number of park users are not dropping as much litter about or, at least, are binning it or taking it home.

Thank you to everyone who is doing this and helping to keep our Parks looking good.

We have therefore decided that in 2020 we will only schedule litter picks when we think they are needed and, of course, will let you know through this website and our Facebook page as soon as we plan any where we think we need some help.

At the moment we are not planning any “volunteer litter picks”, because of the Coronavirus, although we will individually continue to litter pick as we think it is needed and welcome any similar efforts made by park users.

Don’t Forget the Tree Trail
This is a nice gentle walk around and about the Hillfort and its ring of trees. It normally takes 45-60 minutes. Maps and leaflets are available from the Drovers Return café and can also be downloaded here (coloured). The coloured leaflet is for everyone, the black & white leaflet (download here) is specifically for young children, who can colour it in after the walk.

We will keep this going as long as there is a demand for the leaflets. Don’t forget to install a QR Code reading app onto your mobile phone.

You can read the Tree Health & Safety Report on which the Tree Trail is based (and all the other surveys and reports from the last year) via the links in ‘Our Lottery Year’.