2018 Barnard Park Pop-Ups June 2 and 9

Summer dog fun at Scruffs


The two Barnard Park Pop-Up events this year will be on Saturday June 2 and 9 from 11am to 4pm. Save the date! We have a terrific line-up. It’s free fun. Attractions include a brass band, Mr Bubbles, Scruffs dog show, bouncy castles and a big bird show. Ms H and the Singalong Band will perform on June 2. The events are in partnership with the Adventure Playground which will lead their own brand of exciting play.

We’re always looking for volunteers to help. Contact us at friends@barnardpark.org. Join the party.

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Back to Nature at the Adventure

It’s creepy crawlies that fascinate young gardeners from Thornhill School

Children from Thornhill School are learning gardening skills at the Adventure Playground in Barnard Park. Jo Murray from the Friends of Barnard Park is leading a group of young gardeners. Fourteen kids from Year 5 and 6 alternate weeks in a school programme aimed at greater community involvement. There were lots of winter chores to do at the Playground – litter picking, leave raking, composting and weeding. And the kids are up for it.  There is a particular fascination with worms which improve the soil. The school children have made bird feeders with Jazz and Karon from the park department. With spring coming, the next tasks will be planting up the wooden boxes around the playground amphitheatre and a terraced area nearby. Edibles plants – potatoes, green beans and chilies – will be put in the ground soon. Children in the Playground will then use these plants in cooking. There’s an outdoor pizza oven and herbs now growing will be a delicious addition

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Friends of Barnard Park AGM

The Friends of Barnard Park will be holding their Annual General Meeting at 7:30pm on Thursday 15th March at Church on the Corner. The Church is located on the corner of Barnsbury Road and Copenhagen Street, opposite the Adventure Playground.

The agenda will be:
1) Presentation of accounts
2) (Re) Election of committee members
3) (Re) Election of officers (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer)
4) Plans for Pop-Up events in June
5) Update on community gardening
6) Any Other Business

Tea and coffee will be served. Come and join us. Support your local park!

*Due to a lack of availability of booking dates at the Church on the Corner, our AGM is two weeks later than constitutionally indicated.

What’s happening at the pop-up events in June?

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Park Planning Application Withdrawn

As you may already know Islington Council’s park department, Greenspace, decided on Friday to withdraw its planning application for proposed regeneration of Barnard Park. Sport England had objected to the park plan submitted, which led to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government “calling in” the plan and a Public Inquiry being organised for next year.

However Greenspace has now reached a compromise acceptable to Sport England based on a 9-a-side football pitch, not a 7-a-side football pitch, as was in its proposal. This means that there need not be a Public Inquiry, and also that the regeneration of the park could take place in one phase instead of two (as was previously anticipated). It will allow also the Council to bring forward plans to provide a community hub building that would include new park toilets.

LBI’s press release suggests that the detailed design of the compromise has still to be worked up, but it is to be consistent with the key elements of the plan in the application (see below). It will involve a new planning application and further community consultation.

Although the Friends of Barnard Park supported the application, we are open minded as to what is now proposed and are relieved that there is no longer a possibility of an 11-a-side destination pitch in our community park. We will be following these new developments over the next few weeks and will post updates on our website as we have more information.

Meanwhile we would like to thank everyone for all their support to date.

Design will be consistent with key elements of the existing plan

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Adventure Playground Gets Major Spruce Up

Lloyds team free dragon

The Adventure Playground received a serious dose of TLC from a volunteer work group from Lloyds Bank. Katie Walsh, the manager of the playground, had a long list of tasks for the group of 30 plus volunteers from Lloyds branches in London and far beyond. The very able volunteers painted amphitheatre seats, built a mud kitchen and sorted the container storeroom where playground tools and equipment is stored.

But the most visible transformation was on the gardening front where paths were cleared and a sea of nettles plucked from next to the big swing. Jo Murray, from the FoBP gardening team, supervised the pruning of overgrown shrubs on the site. Invasive buddleia was cleared from the playground wall. Cllr Rowena Champion lent a hand in this super tidy. The beloved dragon artwork appeared again after a wall of neglected shrubs was tamed. The totem pole is now visible too. The children are thrilled and will paint their newly emerged dragon friend. Job done!

Mud Kitchen for Outdoor Fun


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Barnard Park Volunteer Gardeners Take Gold

Barnard Park has received a gold award in the Best Community Park category in Islington in Bloom. Congratulations to our volunteer gardeners who put in hundreds of hours every year to make the park bloom. A gold award is a very high standard. The volunteers achieve this level of proficiency while gardening with all comers – dogs, foxes, children and all manner of visitors. Dog walkers are among our biggest supporters!
The park came in third place in this category. Caledonian Park was first with also a ‘Champion of Champions’ award. Penn Road Gardens, a lovely space off the Caledonian Road, came in second. With Frieightliners Farm and Culpepper Gardens, there is a real horticultural skill flourishing in our area for the public to enjoy. We’re all working together to create a natural environment in a crowded urban space.
Islington has a knack for this. The borough has the least amount of green space in London, save the tiny City of London. Islington was selected this year as a candidate for Britain in Bloom, bestowed on the best urban  growing displays in the county.
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Park Planning Application Call In

The planning application for the regeneration of Barnard Park has been ‘called in’ by the Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government. A public inquiry is being scheduled to determine the matter, taking the decision out of local control. The Secretary of State will make the final decision. We are urgently asking you to again comment online by the deadline Friday, 13 October, 2017 to give your support to a versatile community park for all user groups.

The call in is very unusual. Only 5 out of 2000 applications have been called in this year. This step is normally taken in matters of national importance such as a runway at Heathrow. This local application has been opposed by football interests advocating a destination 11-a-side pitch, which would overwhelm our community park.

We think there is a strong legal case for the application as does Islington Council. The planning inspectorate will now look at the matter afresh, potentially setting aside years of costly local consultation. Hence, the need to comment YET AGAIN in support of the proposal.

Why do the Friends of Barnard Park support the application?
The proposal is a good compromise for everyone. It will provide:

* A modern 7-a-side astroturf pitch. It will be smaller than the little used gravel pitch but used much more. We will fight for as much free play time as possible for local children. A modern 11 a-side pitch as promoted by the football lobby is more likely to be used as a “destination pitch” by football leagues from the City.

A flexible central grass space. It can be used for formal and informal sport, children’s games, events and other recreational activities. Two five-a-side pitches can be marked out on the grass. There is the possibility of a fence to make the circular area dog free.

A new layout. It opens sightlines to discourage anti-social behaviour. There will be all-weather paths for running, exercising and walking through the park, meaning better connectivity and more suitable for the less mobile. It will be a lovely landscape to enjoy, and which promotes biodiversity.

What Can I Do?
Please act by supporting the application with a positive comment directly on the Planning Inspectorate website. https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk  All comments must quote the reference APP/V5570/V/17/3183311 It will take less than 10 mins.

If you don’t have access to the internet, you can send THREE copies to: Leanne Palmer, The Planning Inspectorate Room 3/0, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN.

You can also see application plans and documents ref P2016/1109/FUL at www.islington.gov.uk/planningsearch

Public Inquiry for Barnard Park Plan

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Second Pop-up Is A Sizzling Success

Mr Bubbles charms the children with shimmering bubbles

A brilliant day for the second Saturday pop-up in Barnard Park on June 17. Big thanks to all who made in happen. Perfect music for a summer afternoon from Oxjam and other talented local performers. Young Actors Theatre charmed with joyful dance moves. Mrs H and the Sing-along Band performed under the trees. It was hot, hot, hot! The children loved the show. The event was in partnership with Adventure Playground. Katie Walsh and her Playground crew created water fun to beat the heat. Tracy and Ken kept the kids bouncing on their castles. Mr Bubbles made mountains of bubbles that floated through the park. Children threw pots with Pauline from Happy Pots. The art bike was there too. Kids created spin paintings hung to dry on a line between the trees. Visitors filtered in to see the three garden areas in the park tended by volunteers, highlighted in the Open Garden Squares Weekend. Five hundred people enjoyed the day chilling under the trees. It’s the way the park should be.

Mrs H and the Sing-along Band rock under the trees


Young Actors Theatre do cool dance moves on a hot day

Betty Steeles sets the tone for the afternoon – chill!


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Pony Party at June 10 Pop-up

Making friends with a pony

Ponies! were the stars of the Barnard Park pop-up on Saturday June 10. The day was hot and sunny. Two Welsh ponies, Wally and Bertie, appeared in the park with Caroline Hadden-Wright and Sue Byrne from Think Like a Pony interactive work shop. Volunteers built a corral from crowd barriers. Small children were fascinated by the ponies, who they became acquainted with by gently stroking.

Ponies, dogs and children proved a good match. Everything was calm and under control. Dogs and their owners congregated for Scruffs in a hilarious session with an agility course and prizes for the best trick and other capers. Greenspace, the Park Dog Squad and Animal Welfare Officer Joe Clark hosted. Humour was combined with dog education. It was amazing how positively children responded to the animals.

There was a surprise bagpipe serenade by Connie Longmate. The sound drifted softly through the park. Little Viet Kitchen of Chapel Market served barbecue and noodles while families picnicked. Local folk dropped by to have a snack at the Friends Café and to chat with the neighbours. It was a special summer afternoon with 200 people enjoying the park.

Fun and dog education at Scruffs

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What’s On: Park Pop-Ups June 10 & June 17

It’s time for fun in Barnard Park. The Friends of Barnard Park are organising two pop-up events of free family activities on Saturday June 10 and 17, 11am-4pm.

On June 10, ponies are back in the park! Children can make friends with ponies at Think Like a Pony, an interactive workshop. Pets can win prizes at the Scruffs dog event on an agility course.

We are working in partnership with the Adventure Playground, which opens for an Awesome Family Playday on Saturday 17. Mrs H and the Sing-along Band kick off the day. There is live music throughout with Oxjam and other local music charities.

See the line-up on the poster below. Check for updates on our website www.barnardpark.org and on Facebook.

The Friends Cafe will be serving coffee, tea, homemade cakes and ice cream. If you’d like to volunteer please email us at friends@barnardpark.org. It’s a good way to get to know your neighbours.

See you in the park!

Check out the line up for activities on offer

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