View of Braidburn Valley Park - March

Braidburn Valley Park

Awards

Green Flag Award logo

What your Friends do

There is ample evidence of the work of the Friends spread through the news items on this website, the pages of two decades of our Valley Voice newsletter, and even (if a little buried) in the reports we bring to each year’s AGM. But, for the sake of anyone wondering about whether to give us their support (through membership or volunteering), it may be helpful if we gather a few things together, showing what the Friends actually do for Braidburn Valley Park.

First, be clear that there is much that the Friends don’t have to do because the Council (funded by our Council Tax) does it for us: regular grass mowing, care of tarmac paths and bridges, upkeep of the burn, management of trees, collection of waste – all of these and more are in the hands of the Council. Our role in such matters is mainly to provide eyes-on-the-ground so we can alert our excellent Council Parks Officer when the bins need emptying or the burn bank is beginning to collapse. But the Friends do much else, through the contributions members make – both of time and money.

The income we receive (it amounts to around £1000 a year) through members’ subscriptions and donations allows us to fund a range of projects to enhance the Park. Typically we do so by supplementing contributions from our own reserves with grants from other bodies. Being able to demonstrate that we have healthy membership numbers (and matching bank balance!)  is a key factor in making the case for such funding. Here are some recent examples of projects funded like this:

  • With the aid of a grant from Tesco we created the small community garden (“Dianne’s Garden”) that lies just inside the north entrance.
  • The Park’s distinctive trefoil of cherry trees is the subject of a continuing process of renewal: a major grant from the AEB Charitable Trust has funded the next phase, due in spring 2022.
  • We funded the creation of a Wildlife Art Trail, featuring designs by local children.
  • Grants from the Council and Tesco (through our local Brownies) have allowed us to install 3 picnic tables, one being accessible to wheelchair users.
  • With the support of the Council we commissioned artist Chris Rutterford to provide nature-themed murals, transforming the electricity substation into something park visitors will want to look at.

Members also bring their time and energy. Our ongoing volunteering efforts (sometimes drawing on other organisations such as U3A) include:

  • Coordinated park clean ups (in Covid times, uncoordinated ones by individual members)
  • Planting of bulbs and trees
  • Clearing of paths
  • Maintenance of Dianne’s Garden

Other projects are on the horizon; and the volunteering work does not cease. If you want to help please join us. It’s painless: just go to our Join page . If you already have done so, please don’t forget to renew your membership! To register your interest in our volunteering efforts, please email volunteering@braidburnvalleypark.org.uk.   You don’t have to join as a member to be a volunteer; but we hope you will want to.