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

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Snug as a Bug…

Last summer we created a ‘bug hotel’ – somewhere for insects to over-winter – out of old pallets stuffed with wood chip, pine cones and twigs. This summer, with the help of our Park Ranger, Emma Keane, we have added to the ‘filler’ and covered the whole thing with roofing felt. We are going to have the snuggest bugs in the city!

Dyke Road Park bug hotel

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Table Tennis Table

Table tennis

The table tennis table has at last been put in position and is being enjoyed whenever the weather allows. Hopefully, the Council will soon attach it firmly to the ground and also supply the promised bats and balls, to be kept in the Café.

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Brighton Open Air Theatre – approval granted

The Brighton Open Air Theatre team has at last been granted permission by the Council Planning Committee for the construction of a small amphitheatre on the site of the ex-bowling green. This will be available for use by touring theatre groups, and by local groups.

The group still needs to raise more money to be able to fund the full project. You can get in touch with them via their Facebook site:

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Dyke Road Cycle Route

Revised plans are now being drawn up for dedicated cycle lanes on both sides of Dyke Road, between the Tesco junction, and the Old Shoreham Road junction.

Following pressure by the Friends group and others, earlier plans to replace the pelican crossings with zebras were dropped. Similarly, earlier plans to remove the guard rails from outside Windlesham School and the top of Crocodile Walk were also ditched.

Consultations at the Friends group September meeting also led to the revised plans being further revised to remove any ‘shared areas’ whereby cyclists would be permitted to mount the pavements around bus stops and crossings.

So, all in all, we feel very pleased that the Transport Planners were happy to listen to our views (in which we hope we represented the majority of park users) and to adjust their intentions accordingly.

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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] or phone on 509653.


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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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