Northampton Borough Council have advised us that they will not be locking the car park gates or putting the play equipment “out-of-bounds” during the month-long Lockdown starting Thursday 5th November, as was done for the previous lockdown (although the gates will still be closed at 5pm every night).
So everyone can continue to enjoy our parks for that essential exercise, whilst maintaining social distancing and all other applicable ‘Coronavirus Lockdown’ regulations.
The Drovers Return café is also staying open for takeaways, so be sure to get something to enjoy once you’ve had enough exercise.
Please help everyone stay safe by respecting social distancing of 2m when in the parks, and limiting contact, and not sharing items with those outside your immediate household or bubble.
We were able to complete this year’s poppy collaboration with Hunsbury Hill W.I. before the Lockdown started, and have once again positioned them all round the entrance to the Country Park. A big thankyou to the W.I. for all their hard work knitting, crocheting, felting and crafting, as well as helping us to put them all up. They made a special effort this year as it is the 75th Anniversary of the ending of the 2nd World War.
Please visit to take a look and, if you are inspired, visit the Drovers Return café to leave a donation to the Royal British Legion in the donations box there. Click here to see a taster. There are details of other ways to donate on our display and also in the café.
It does not look like the ‘Rule of Six’ will be relaxed any time soon, even if there is no lockdown, so our short-term plans for events remain on hold. This includes the autumn Race Night which we had started planning and also another of our Winter Walks, which have quickly become something of a tradition for us and would have fallen on a Sunday this year if we held it on 27th December as in the previous couple of years.
For longer term events, we have started thinking about an astronomy evening in February, involving telescopes and moon-gazing, but will have to wait until nearer that time before we can firm anything up.
If Coronavirus restrictions are relaxed sufficiently by next Easter (which is the first weekend in April in 2021), we will probably re-arrange the Easter Pebble Egg Hunt which we had planned for this Easter (2020).
Then, of course, there is International Dawn Chorus Day, on the first Sunday in May (which will be 2nd May next year). A Dawn Chorus Walk has been mooted at one of our committee meetings earlier this year, although we have yet to draw straws to see which of us are going to get up early enough to lead it.
Whilst on the subject of getting up at dawn, we have initiated contact with the Druids group which held one or more summer solstice events in our Hillfort back in the 1960’s, and hope to be able to get them back again some time in the near future to talk about their experiences and their history.
Once we get a spell of dry weather next summer, we will have another go at painting the play equipment in Ladybridge Park. We originally tried to do this in 2019, but weather and circumstances have conspired to stop us getting back to it.
Although we have now achieved our ambition to get Shire Horses (well, one anyway) back in the park fields after possibly a hundred years or more, by having Hartwell Shires’ William chain harrow our Wildflower Meadow on Sunday 20th September (check out photos and videos). We unfortunately were not allowed to make this a public event due to the COVID-19 restrictions, but we WILL be bringing William back to Hunsbury Hill next year once we are allowed to hold public events again and have already started thinking of some ideas for what we can arrange.
We will undoubtedly try and get William back for 2021’s Heritage Open Days in September (we’re thinking of a chain-harrowing competition, but probably not as you know it) and would like to have him visit us in the Spring, if his other commitments and COVID permit.
In the meantime you can always enjoy our Tree Trail and can buy Northampton Lottery tickets using our dedicated page at any time. You can also read our Poems in the Park for Humour, VE Day, Mothers’ Day, Valentines’ Day and Armistice Day by scrolling through our website Gallery at your leisure.
We have also re-erected the poems we put up last November for Remembrance Day, in the Country Park. There are five in all; see if you can find all five.
Please keep an eye on this website and on our Facebook page for updates.