Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Turnberry Park walkabout

Yesterday a committee called the Perry Barr neighbourhood tasking group took a walk-about in Turnberry Park accompanied by Jon and Ray. The group brings together the police, councillors, council officers from various departments and community representatives. We also had with us some of the youth workers who operate from the Trehurst Centre and Pete Short the local parks manager. So, as you can see, it was quite a large group.

The police community support officers have undertaken a project which has suggested a number of small ways and big ways of improving the park. The police have special concerns about the safety of people who use the footpath from Trehurst Avenue to the main park - and the youth workers seemed to share a few of their concerns.

The parks department have already made a start on some of the simpler suggestions and it was good to see a big effort had been made to cut away the undergrowth on this footpath. They had also taken a digger in to clean the main drain, which sits between the playing field and the wooded area. One of the questions is how much it will take to drain the playing field so it could be got into use for football all the year round.

There are quite a few ideas in the plan, some more achievable than others, and once it has taken more shape it would be good to see it published for full consultation.

The party walked up to Cardington Avenue, where we met residents who want some more fencing to protect the back of their properties. One of the issues the NTG has resolved is that all future fencing around the park will be green and will, preferably, be reasonably attractive.

Other ideas being kicked around include:

  • put some markings around the basketball hoop in the middle of the park and maybe add a second hoop;
  • maybe also a kickabout wall in this area where footballs can kicked off;
  • get some banners on the lampposts at the main Turnberry Road entrance - a simple way to let people know there is a park there. At the moment there's nothing to tell you - and for years people called this land by at least three different names!
  • regular clean up teams around the wooded area;
  • There's a question about whether it's worth putting more lighting on the footpaths. Two or three years ago we lit the main path across, known as Forger's Walk, but this was comparatively short compared with the long path to Trehurst;
  • removing some of the barriers at the Trehurst entrance - while keeping it secure. The entrance here is forbidding and the barriers have had the perverse affect of providing a hang about area for young people, enabling them to jump on neighbours' garden walls;
  • extend the toddlers playground just behind Turnberry Road.

We've done various consultations with residents in recent years about the future of this park and they have generally been positive about developing it. Some ideas cost more than others - but there are also possibilities for funding. For instance the planning permission for the development on Booths Lane requires funding to be put into this neighbourhood.

If you have ideas, please feel free to post them here!

Swans back

The swan family in Perry Hall Park returned this week - sadly minus the father. The family were taken to the Wychbould Swan Rescue centre after the father got into a fight with a dog. Unfortunately he failed to heal and the rest of the family was returned this week.

Dog-owners have been urged to take particular care - and the rescue centre has posted notices all round asking people to restrain their dogs. The dog-walkers group, Bark for the Park, has been helping raise money for the rescue centre in recognition of their efforts for these delightful birds.