The Friends of West Hunsbury Parks group was formed in 2009 when the Parks were beginning to need rather more attention than they were receiving, and the Country Park in particular was suffering from vandalism, anti social behaviour and, on some days, could have up to three burnt out cars in it. We have a core group of up to eight people, have a constitution, and rely on volunteers to come forward to help us carry out work within the Parks.
Our enthusiastic volunteers join us on our occasional Practical Work ‘Days’ (which usually only last an hour or so), when we carry out litter picks, work on planted and wildflower areas and carry out any other tasks which will aid the West Northants Council (WNC) and their contractors to maintain the Parks. More volunteers are always welcome and refreshments are usually provided. We liaise closely with our local Councillors and WNC, as well as with the Veolia/idverde team who are responsible for the everyday maintenance of the Parks.
We take part in Heritage Open Days. This is a nationwide event held annually in September, which is supported by the National Trust. For more information about HOD, visit the Heritage Open Days website.
We have previously been asked to put together presentations as part of the successful entries of the Borough Council for East Midlands in Bloom and Britain in Bloom, and have entered Northampton in Bloom as a Group twice. Check out our Certificates in the Gallery. We hope to be invited to participate in future years both as part of the wider community and as an individual group.
We are always looking for funding opportunities to provide amenities which will enhance the visitor experience in all three Parks. In the past this has helped to secure more play equipment for the Parks, picnic tables, interpretation boards and, most recently, some notice boards.
We were also fortunate to be given Heritage Lottery Funding in 2017, to protect and discover more about the Country Park’s Iron Age Hillfort, which is a Historic England Scheduled Monument. Our initial Lottery funding allowed us to develop our website, which we use primarily to inform the community of what is happening in the Parks. It also gave us the opportunity to run a number of events throughout 2018 and into 2019, and share the reports and images relating to these Lottery funded events and investigations (check out our News & Events items, and also our Gallery), as well as some of the history, particularly that of the Hillfort.
We are no longer Lottery Funded and now rely for our funding entirely on donations (including those from Northampton Lottery tickets bought through our dedicated page) and sponsorships, although we are now working with the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) on a second Lottery Bid, to enable more investigation and protection of the ancient Hillfort to be undertaken.