Friends of Dyke Road Park

Welcome to the Friends of Dyke Road Park Blog. If you’d like to join us in improving and enjoying the park please do, all welcome!

Use the Page Tabs above to find out what we’re up to. You can also search Posts by Categories on the right hand side menu if you know what you’re looking for

Our regular meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm, 48 Stafford Road.

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Hunting for bugs

Many thanks to Ryan Greaves and his colleague from Sussex Wildlife Trust, who provided the equipment and knowledge…

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that enabled a swarm of youngsters to swish around with nets on the ex-bowling green…

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and look through a magnifying glass at the mini-beasts they had caught.

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And while they awaited their turn, Gail Greaves helped them to colour a lovely animal mask!

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Building a Bug Hotel!

Thank to Park Ranger Emma Keane, who provided the basic framework, a very smart ‘bug hotel’ has been built by willing volunteers, who collected pine cones, sticks, dried grass and other materials and placed them between the slats of the palettes. The whole structure has been wrapped in chicken wire in the hope that this will keep it safe. It will provide a wonderful habitat in which insects of all kinds can over-winter.

Bug Hotel 2 Bug Hotel 1

Bug Hotel 3Introducing the first bug low res

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Go wild on 20 July

Plans are taking shape for the ‘bring and share’ community picnic, from midday onwards on 20 July, taking place next to the Community Garden by the tennis courts.

As well as the serious business of eating and drinking, there will be games, and fun activities for all ages, with a focus on wildlife. We will be going on a bug hunt to find out what insects live in the park, and building a ‘bug hotel’ in which they can hibernate.

So if you would like to know more – or are able to help in any way – please email Jannet on jannetking [at sign] sfep.net or phone on 509653.

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‘Bring and Share’ Community Picnic 20 July

At the recent PCA Committee Meeting we started making plans for a ‘Bring and Share’ Picnic in Dyke Road Park on 20 July to which is everybody is welcome.

We would like to include some activities on a ‘natural history’ theme, focused on the Park. If you would like to be involved, come along to the next FoDRP meeting on Tuesday, 6 May, 7.30, 48 Stafford Road.

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Community Garden Monthly Munch Saturday April 19th 12-2pm

This month’s activities include planting vegetable seedlings and further work on painting up signs giving info about the garden. Do come by and join us if you’d like to.

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Community Garden Monthly Munch – Saturday March 15th 12-2pm

Our garden currently needs a little revamp and this month we will be constructing some new edging to the beds. So if you are handy with a saw, hammer and nails we would love to see you. If all goes smoothly with this and we have time left then we will be adding a top layer of bark to the main garden area, turning compost and/or planting a few early seeds. Food to share afterwards.

Do come and join us and make the most of spring arriving in the park.

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Dyke Road Cycle Route – latest

Following lengthy discussions at the Friends meetings in Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb about the plans for the new cycle route alongside the park we decided to make a deputation to the B&H City Council Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee meeting on 4 March, to explain why we felt that it would be unwise to replace the two pelican crossings on Dyke Road alongside the park with zebra crossings, and to remove the guardrails near these crossings.

On behalf of the FoDRP, I read out a statement which expressed our general support for the cycle route, but explained our misgivings. (This statement had also received 25 additional messages of support (and 2 against) when it was circulated via email.) FoDRP statement on Dyke Road Cycling and Pedestrian Improvements

I was also able to respond to a recently published report, commissioned by the Council planners, on the use of the two crossings, which makes interesting reading, but which did not, I felt, take sufficient account of the experience and concerns of the people who use these crossings daily. Read report here.

A deputation was also made by Windlesham parents, written questions were put by three other people, and a petition was presented by Cllr Ruth Buckley of Goldsmid Ward. A wide range of issues was raised, including the wisdom of having a shared pedestrian/cycle path on the park side of the road (which was not something the Friends group had objected to).

It had always been the intention of the Committee to defer a decision on the pelican/zebra issue and on the proposal to remove all guardrails until a later meeting, but the planners were hoping for the go-ahead to start other aspects of the work. In the end, the Committee agreed that the planners should look again at the shared pedestrian/cycle path and try and find a ‘third way’ – maybe a dedicated cycle lane on the grass verge.

All three Labour Councillors, led by Gill Mitchell, and two of the Conservative Councillors, led by Geoffrey Theobald, stated that, after listening to the points made in the various presentations, they were persuaded that it would not be sensible to remove all the guardrails, nor turn the pelican crossings into zebras.

There will be a vote on the matter at the next meeting of the ETS Committee on 29 April.
Jannet King

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Community Garden – Possible Expansion

As we approach the end of the second year of the Dyke Road Park Community Garden there are some thoughts around a possible expansion.  Our Monthly Munch meeting on Saturday Feb 15th will therefore focus on discussing this possibility and we would love for anyone interested to join us.  Contribute your thoughts on design, what could be grown, how you would like to be involved, how we ensure sustainability and any other good ideas you have.

We will be meeting from 1pm to 3pm.  If you would like to join us we will be in the Dyke Road Park Café initially.  If there is still time after our planning session we will go over to the garden to attend to any practical work that needs doing.  Hope we might see you there.  Any queries please contact Alison Whiteoak on 07852 224937.

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Community Garden Monthly Munch – Saturday 18th January 12-2pm

This month’s activities at the Community Garden will include:

  • Wheel-barrowing bark chippings to the garden to give it a lovely deep surface.
  • Painting up signs to attach to the compost bins giving info about the garden.

Our first lot of compost is now ready for use.  For those of you that could do with a little compost at home, you are welcome to come down and collect some.  Your are also welcome to come and help yourself to some bark chippings from our rather larger heap at the corner of the park closest to Tesco’s.

It would be lovely if you wanted to come down for any of the above or just to pop by and say hello.  So maybe see you on Saturday.

 

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Cycle route on Dyke Road

The planning of the Cycling/Pedestrian Improvements are progressing and you can view the detailed Traffic Regulation Orders here:

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/parking-and-travel/parking/traffic-regulation-order-tro-proposals

Any objections need to be lodged by 13 January.

No decision has been made yet as to whether the two pelican crossings will be turned into zebra crossings. Abby Hone, Principal Transport Planner on this project, emailed on 3 January to say:

“I have been working on the latest revision of detail design and hope to have a final version to approve early next week. We are also planning further assessment of formal crossing provision, particularly in light of recent analysis of citywide data regarding safety performance of light-controlled and zebra crossings in the city.”

Although 55% of the 280 respondents to the consultation approved the zebra crossings, it would appear, from our November and December meetings, and conversations I have had since, that many people are strongly opposed to replacing light-controlled crossings with zebras for reasons of pedestrian safety. The characteristics of that road:

30 mph
tree-lined and poorly lit
used by unaccompanied children
used by queuing traffic and heavy goods vehicles

mean that many of us would feel more comfortable using a light-controlled crossing rather than relying on the quick reactions of the drivers of lorries, vans, cars – and of cyclists.

Please feel free to post your comments on this below.

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