Young Ambassador to Bathurst Blog 3

22nd-28th October – Week 3

My final week in Bathurst involved lots of travel to events and catching up with locals. On Tuesday I visited Graham Russel’s cattle farm to assist with inoculations and weighing of the cows, with a visit from the Western Advocate too. It was a real learning experience and was great to experience rural farm life – it’s not easy!

On Wednesday I travelled into Sydney and explored Darling Harbour and China town in the evening. I was in Sydney for the Invictus Games for the athletics on Thursday, which truly were spectacular. It was amazing to see so many heroes surpass their own expectations, pushing past any mental and physical limitations and for the crowd to support them in such an engaged and supportive manner. I was so fortunate to attend the games and it truly was a marvel to see, and I really encourage everyone to try to attend the games in next year’s location.

On Friday I had a jam-packed day of catching up with people. I visited Tremains Mill to see the great work that Steven Birrell is doing to restore the mill and the plans for what the whole site will be developed into in future; which I think will serve as a real asset to Bathurst. I then caught up with friends over ice cream and enjoyed the sunshine in the park. Later in the evening was the Business Chamber’s Business Awards, which was a lovely event recognising local business and the hard work that they and their employees do to provide the best services to Bathurst. It was brilliant to be able to support so many deserving winners.

At the weekend I did my second park run, even beating my previous time! We then brunched and headed out into the hills for camping with friends. Despite it being very windy it was a wonderful night, aided by marshmallows, beers and great people. – A perfect way to round off my time in Bathurst. I really have had the best time in Bathurst and I cannot thank everyone enough for all their support and the memories made.

 

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Young Ambassador to Bathurst Blog 2

Blog post 2

 

Week 2 15th-21st October 2018

After my crazy first week in Bathurst I didn’t think that my next week could be anymore full on, how wrong I was. On the Monday, after eating the best ice cream of my life (hazelnut chocolate at Anne’s ice cream parlour) I attended a youth council working party meeting where we discussed upcoming events, they have all planned as a group. I also questioned the group and Youth Mayor on their role in the community and had discussions following on from this. Later on, in the day I also went on the local 2BS radio station where I discussed being in Bathurst and my thoughts so far. 

Tuesday was a very interesting day, I helped the Business Chamber host their BX Business talks an then attended it myself. It was a very insightful day learning from a social media sociologist and business futurist and was great to see so many local Bathurst businesses attend too. I then visited the mental health charity Headspace in Bathurst and found out all about the amazing work they do that is so vital to the young people in the area. Following this I visited the Reliance Bank start-up Upstairs facility where I learnt how the facility helps to support new business and enterprises, and how the internet café is available to all of Bathurst for free proving access to technology a, Wi-Fi and services. – which is a real asset to the community.

On Wednesday the Duke and Duchess of Sussex went to nearby Dubbo, so mayor Graeme and I set off to try and catch a glimpse. Despite the thunder and lightning I managed to see Harry’s wonderful speech from less than 20 metres away and was right on the barrier when they drove past – a success! Graeme and I later attended a council meeting where during the Public Questions time I spoke about my work in Bathurst so far and gave thanks to everyone supporting me, it was also a good opportunity to hear from local people the changes they wish to see occur in Bathurst.

On the 18th I headed to do my skydive! This was the most amazing experience and the weather turned out perfect for it, enabling me to see for miles the farmland and cityscapes. I even got too steer the parachute and taken us through a cloud, I really recommend this to everyone and I will certainly be doing it again further up the East Coast soon! The rest of the day was left to seeing Sydney, driving over the Harbour Bridge and exploring Manly.

Thursday was another adrenaline filled day as I went to the Blue Mountains, getting to see the Three Sisters and other famous sites. Scenic World is perhaps the best way to see the Blue Mountains and I did so by going on Australia’s highest cable car, with a glass bottom overlooking the canopy and travelling on the worlds steepest train! In the evening I attended lots of events, including the Mayoral Reception held at the Motor Museum, the public cool Climate Wine Tasting, and a performance by L-Fresh the lion with the Mitchell Chamber orchestra. It’s fair to say, Thursday was a manic day!

On Friday, I maintained my adrenaline rush by participating in my first ever 5km Park Run! Which certainly wasn’t easy, but it was fun, and I can definitely say I will be doing the Cirencester runs when I’m home! That being said, I am having way too much fun in Bathurst to think of coming home yet!

 Link to headspace website for if you would like to find out more or to donate to the charity:

https://headspace.org.au/get-involved/donate-now/

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Young Ambassador to Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia

On the 4th October 2018, Alice Chandler, 18, a former A Level student of Cirencester College, became the first young person to go out to Bathurst, New South Wales as part of the Cirencester & City of Bathurst Friendship initiative.

Alice is our trail blazer for this part of the friendship; she will help us shape the scheme going forward and is reporting back on the adventures she is having on her trip of a lifetime.

Apart from the weekly blog that Alice will send back, you can also follow her exploits on the Cirencester & City of Bathurst Friendship Facebook page and on Instagram @CirenBathurst

Week 1 6th-14th October 2018

Arriving into a wet and dark Sydney wasn't quite the first impression of Australia that I had expected. Especially given I was running on around 4 hours sleep from over 30 hours of solid travel. That being said, after settling in my hostel, I felt wave of realisation that I was pursing my dream and had quite literally made it to the other side of the world.

Waking up at 6am to catch the train to Bathurst was undoubtedly a struggle but it was made entirely worth it by the scenes encountered travelling straight through the renowned Blue Mountains. And by watching the city fade away to reveal vast open plains and blue skies. It was lovely to step off the train to not only be greeted by the Mayor, Graeme Hanger but by warm weather too. - However, that was the warmest day so far and Bathurst really does have four seasons in-a-day, so pack for everything!

The next day was the Bathurst 1000; the biggest SuperCheap Auto event of the year. I was fortunate enough to have a place in the council box, overlooking the track for the 6 hour race. Taking the bus up to the top of Mount Panorama to watch the race at such a close distance was incredible, too. This was an amazing experience and no photo does the crowd, drivers or atmosphere justice.

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Monday was magical; we went to nearby Kanagra-Boyd National Park. Again, the photos don't do this justice and it was stunning to see rainfall in the distance whilst sitting on a rocky outcrop, taking in the marvel of the Blue Mountains. For anyone interested in bushwalking I would highly recommend this, and for my first experience the bar has been set very high.

Later in the week I visited the Fossil and Mineral museum, bursting with history and precious stones - and even dinosaurs! That same day I attended a wine tasting event with the Business Chamber, supporting local produce and in preparation for the National Cool Climate Wine Show.

For two days I stayed with another family on their farm where they support and rehabilitate unwanted animals, with the aim of releasing many back into the wild. The farm is entirely volunteer led and does amazing work for all the animals; including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, goats and possums. With the family I also visited another home in Orange that serves as a sanctuary for animals, with owls and chickens too. It was amazing to spend time with these families and see the tireless work that individuals are doing to care for animals in the area, which is so imperative.

To finish off the week I played bowls with my host families’ friends, ate great food and went hiking at Edwards Crown Nature Reserve. It's been a crazy first week in Australia, and despite being over 10,000 miles from home, I've absolutely loved it.

RAU Bus to continue to offer it services for a fee

As many of you are aware the RAU shuttle bus opened its doors to the public for a six week trial. The trial has now ended. It appears that it was very successful although the timing could of been better and not taken place in the summer holidays.

We have had many parents asking if this service will continue and we are hoping it will. The RAU currently pay for this service for their students and have allowed extra pick ups to cover areas such as Stratton & also Bowling green. We are now in discussions with the RAU about how we fund this, therefore for the next couple of weeks the service will run but it will be chargeable . We have tried to keep the costs minimal. Please note we are still in the early days of negotiation and this could possibly change, we will of course keep you posted. The RAU are still running an out of term timetable however in October a new timetable will be produced.

A day pass will cost £4, Weekly £15, Monthly £50. Tickets are available via the link below of from The Cirencester Town Council Office in Dyer street.  Please use the link below to purchase your ticket. Please ensure you complete the dates you wish to travel on the form. No cash payments are allowed on the bus and only entry will be permitted by a ticket holder.

Administration Manager for CCDT

Cirencester Community Development Trust

Job description

Administration Manager
Key Aims of the Trust:
- help to make Cirencester a great place to live;
- assist in community development in Cirencester;
- help young people build skills and access opportunity;
- advance the Arts & support understanding of the town’s history and heritage

Job Overview: To provide the secretarial and administrative support for the Board to help them to achieve the Trust’s objectives. The main tasks are dealing with regular correspondence and help the Chairman organise the monthly Board meetings. To be familiar with the rules and regulations of the CCDT and assist the Board in ensuring it complies with them.

Reports to: The Chairman of the Board

Roles & Responsibilities:

To work approximately 4 hours a week, mainly at the Cirencester Town Council (CTC) offices where the Trust have a desk allocated and meeting rooms are available. A laptop and other office facilities eg photocopier are provided by CTC.

Deal with routine communications with the Trust via post and email. Ensure that the CCDT desk and the records stored at at the town council offices are maintained in good order. 

Assist the Chairperson to prepare the agenda and manage the distribution of all key documents for the monthly Board meetings in a timely manner.  This also applies to AGM and Town Team meetings which are held twice a year. To book the rooms for these meetings, take the minutes and distribute them promptly.

To help organise and attend various events to promote the trust and the various projects it supports.

To work with the Social Media Manager to help to ensure that communications within the Trust run smoothly.

To be aware of the duties of the Treasurer and of the importance of financial controls and reporting to the Board. To assist him where necessary in carrying out these tasks.


To be willing to provide additional hours of voluntary work for the Trust.

If you would like to apply for the role, please email ccdtltd@cirencester.gov.uk with your CV and a covering letter

Applications close on the 30th August

Social Media Manager Job

Cirencester Community Development Trust

Job description

Social Media Manager

Key Aims of the Trust:
- help to make Cirencester a great place to live;
- assist in community development in Cirencester;
- help young people build skills and access opportunity;
- advance the Arts & support understanding of the town’s history and heritage

Overview: To make use of social media to help promote the work of the Trust and of the projects it supports using multi-media platforms.  

Reports to: The Chairman of the Board

Roles & Responsibilities:

To work approximately 4 hours a week, the work location is flexible and it is worth noting that office accommodation is available at Cirencester Town Council offices and at the Growth Hub at the Royal Agricultural University.

Advise the Board on a social media strategy to help communicate with the local community about its activities.

To manage the Trust’s website content as a prime source of information on what the Trust is working on and keep it up to date with current activities in conjunction with other platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and any blogs.

To collect information relating to the Trusts projects e.g. press releases from the relevant project leaders or Trustees on a regular basis. (This may involve ‘pestering’ these people as politely as possible to ensure you can carry out your job!)

To liaise with other organisations that the Trust works in partnership with e.g. Chamber of Commerce and Cirencester Town Council for information on related activities.
 
Monitor output via these platforms to ensure that outgoing communications are appropriate and that they have not been corrupted e.g. hacked.

To provide the Board with regular reports including performance statistics associated with PR and social media where it is considered useful. In addition to attend all board meetings.

If you are interested in this role please email your CV & Covering letter to ccdtltd@cirencester.gov.uk

Closing date 30th August 2018

To celebrate Love Parks Week, AQIVA will be hosting an afternoon of activities on Friday 27th July at Four Acre Field, Chesterton Lane, Cirencester:-

To celebrate Love Parks Week, AQIVA will be hosting an afternoon of activities on Friday 27th July at Four Acre Field, Chesterton Lane, Cirencester:-

2.00pm - 5.00pm

• FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT AND TRAINING SKILLS FOR 8 - 12 year olds - no need to book, just turn up in good time.This event is sponsored by Tesco with equipment kindly loaned by Cirencester Primary School.

• NATURE TREASURE HUNT - become an intrepid explorer and hunt for the most dangerous animal in the world!!

2.00pm -3.00pm

• GYM SESSION -with a qualified instructor who will be down by the outdoor exercise equipment to give instruction to anyone who would like to use it but isn't sure how to get the best from it - you're never too old to do some gentle workouts!!

5.30pm - 6.30pm

• 5-a-SIDE FOOTBALL MATCH - between staff from Tesco & Aldi. Come and support your favourite supermarket!!

6.30pm - 7.45pm

• GUIDED ROMAN HISTORY TOUR OF THE AMPHITHEATRE - NOTE: Please meet at the Scout Hut car park on Cotswold Ave.

 COME AND SUPPORT WHAT PROMISES TO BE A VERY ENTERTAINING DAY WITH SOMETHING FOR ALL AGES. BRING YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ALONG BUT, PLEASE NOTE, THAT ALL CHILDREN MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A RESPONSIBLE ADULT.

Six Week Free Trial of Shuttle Bus

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) is making its 16 seater town shuttle bus available to all Cirencester residents after reading about bus cuts, parking issues and efforts by local campaign group ‘Cirencester Action on Buses’.
 
Claire Bloomer, local town councillor and secretary to the Cirencester Community Development Trust championed the project after her daughter’s school bus to Cirencester Deer Park was cut.
 
The service will start from Thursday the 12th July for a six week trial.
 
Commenting on the launch Cllr Bloomer said: “I am thrilled this service is being trialled, we hope that students from Deer Park, Kings Hill and Cirencester College will benefit for this new service as well as residents wanting to pop in and out of town.”
 
The service will not take cash and you will need to print your ticket via Cirencester Community Development Trust website www.cirencdt.org.uk or collect from the local information centre and Bingham House on Dyer Street.

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Graham Barton at the RAU said: “The RAU is committed to supporting the town and this partnership with Chedworth Travel and Cirencester Community Development Trust shows what can be achieved when we work together.”
 
Chairman of CDC’s Cirencester parking board entered discussions with a view to helping to reduce the reliance on cars by local residents.
And a quote: Commenting on the scheme Cllr Harris said: “This is great news, every opportunity to reduce the pressure on parking should be welcomed. I hope it’s a great success.”
 

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Final Event for Abbey 900

Have you seen the Mosaics yet?  They are mounted on a wall near to the Norman Arch. More than 150 people congregated in the Abbey Grounds on Sunday 1 July to view the 42 mosaics created by local schools and youth groups as part of the Abbey 900 Festival that took place throughout the year of 2017, to see them “unveiled”.
Corinne Lamus, Chair of the Festival organising committee explained “The project had to be postponed because of ill health but I am sure you will agree with me that the outcome has been worth waiting for and we give thanks that Debbie (Stirling) recovered to inspire these wonderful mosaics designed and made by the younger element of our community”.
She thanked all the schools and youth groups for their hard work and thanks were expressed to John Tiffney, a member of the Abbey 900 steering group who secured the funding in this instance – the West Mercia Decorative and Fine Arts Societies and the Ernest Cook Trust. Help from Travis Perkins was also acknowledged.
Mark Harris who is the Town Councillor for the Abbey ward and has the portfolio for Community Affairs on the council officially “unveiled” them for our community – the people of Cirencester.
A short walk took the assembled group from the Mosaics to the environs of the Abbey 900 tree, planted at the Opening of the Festival in 2017 by Right Rev.Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, where a second ceremony took place.  A Time Capsule was buried near the tree by members of the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts who had been involved in the Mosaic making, but before the actual planting, Corinne took the opportunity to address the gathering: -
“It is because of you – our community in Cirencester that the Abbey 900 Festival was such a success.  This is a last chance for me to thank all our sponsors, volunteers and the Abbey 900 steering group I was privileged to work with, for helping to provide an amazing year of events and projects in 2017.
We have endeavoured to find some objects - for example a scale model of the Abbey and some LEGO examples of bricks and model canons, together with a few posters and a programme of events to put in the Time Capsule.  We have also placed inside a USB data stick of more documents and pictures.  We can only hope that a future generation uncovering the Time Capsule will know what a data stick is!
We, as the older generation are guardians of the future and have to try to lead by example as we hand over the future of this lovely town and its community to the young.
I would now like to ask representatives from our young community to put the Time Capsule into the ground where it hopefully might be discovered by Cirencester generations of the future.”
The Rev Katie Richardson officiated throughout the afternoon, a reading was given by Tony Coleman (Corinium Radio) and Sabrina Poole (local Councillor and Trustee for Youth on Cirencester Community Development Trust) David Fowles (Deputy Chair CDC) and other members of the schools and youth groups had parts to play in the proceedings.
All were invited to a celebratory reception in the Parish Church at the end of the event.

 

THE FIRST official visitors from Australia have visited Cirencester as part of a growing friendship.

THE FIRST official visitors from Australia have visited Cirencester as part of a growing friendship.

Visitors from New South Wales, Australia came to the town last month as the friendship between the two continues to grow.

Brother and sister, Andrew Prior and Denise Garland, were made aware of the friendship through the Bathurst press as well as Andrew’s within the city’s regional council.

When they decided to visit the UK, specifically Old Sodbury where Andrew has relatives buried, it made sense to then take a look around Cirencester.

Upon visiting, Andrew and Denise were given a guided tour of Cirencester, taking in sights such as the Corinium Museum and Black Jack street before being taken around Cirencester Church by Abbey 900 founder Corinne Lamus.

They were also joined by Earl Bathurst who showed them round Bathurst estate.

Simon King organised the visit, who recently spent time in Australia as part of a fact finding and relationship building tour.

“It was great to show them round our town and talk to them about the possible links we can develop with their council and educational bodies,” Simon said.

“We are expecting other visitors from Bathurst over the coming months and this was a significant step into bringing the town and city of Bathurst closer together.”

Bathurst Regional Council approached the Cirencester Town Council with a view to forming a friendship in 2015.

Since then, a series of events have taken place to further the friendship between them.

There are plans to send someone to Bathurst from Cirencester as part of an educational opportunity coming up later in the year.

Cirencester Big Picnic

The Cirencester Big Picnic 2018 was greeted with fantastic weather as it welcomed families to come together and take part in various activities.

The children got involved with the Arts & Crafts and Cake Decorating stalls, as well as the various games provided.

Lively music was provided by the Yukey Dukes and a large crowd gathered even with competition from the World Cup game in which England beat Panama 6 - 1

New memories and a new journey began for the event organiser David Gardner, too.  He was reunited with his long-lost brother, who arrived to attend the day’s event.

The event was an enormous success, thanks to the support of friends, sponsors and the Big Picnic Committee and it was supported by Cirencester Community Development Trust.

A special thank you to local businesses who donated prizes to the raffle : -
Jesse Smiths, Xanadu, He Says She Waffles, Tesco, H G Knights Stationery and Waterstones.

Food donations for the Community Food Table were gratefully received and the surplus at the end of the day was distributed to the local homeless, who also attended the event.

The Phoenix Festival Team win two awards

The Phoenix team were delighted to be runner up in team of the year and winner of Hospitality and Entertainment of the year. The Cirencester Chamber of Commerce awards took place at the Kings Head Corn Hall on the Friday the 11th May 2018. The phoenix will be back again on the 25th and 26th August 2018 in the Abbey Grounds, please visit their new website for more information.

www.phoenix-festival.co.uk

 

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Business ideas will become a reality thanks to £4.2m initiative at RAU

A £4.2m project which will support both rural and agritech businesses is taking shape at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU).

The building, on the RAU’s campus near Cirencester, is set to be a hive of activity – housing two initiatives which will provide vital support to a range of businesses.

One floor will be used by Farm491, the RAU’s expanding agritech innovation and incubation hub. Opened in 2016, Farm491 offers an affordable and flexible co-working environment for entrepreneurs looking to set up businesses which use technology to improve sustainable food production. As well as providing its members with office space, workshops and business support, there is also access to 491 hectares of farmland for research and testing. This new building adds to its current RAU sites at Trent Lodge and Harnhill.

The new structure will also be home to the Cirencester Growth Hub, an initiative which will help boost the county’s economy by assisting local businesses, of all sizes and from all sectors, to accelerate growth, create new jobs and achieve their potential.

The dual purpose building reached a milestone today (February 7) with a “topping out” ceremony, ahead of its opening this summer.

Professor Joanna Price, Vice-Chancellor of the Royal Agricultural University, said: “Entrepreneurship and innovation are central to the University’s academic mission; we have excellent links with industry and many of our students set up their own successful businesses.

 

“I am delighted that this new initiative will help such a range of businesses. Farm491 offers support to local, national and global agritech ventures, while Cirencester Growth Hub will provide a vital boost to the local economy; adding to the diverse range of prosperous rural businesses which Gloucestershire is already home to.”

GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership provided just over £3m towards the initiative. GFirst LEP Chief Executive David Owen said: “GFirst LEP is thrilled to support this pioneering project, the roll-out of more Growth Hubs across the county means that more businesses than ever have access to the very best business support. The Growth Hub at the RAU is the perfect location for rural businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and contribute to the local economy of Gloucestershire.”

The Cirencester Growth Hub will provide personalised support to rural businesses of all types in the region, from pre-start through to existing companies and organisations looking to grow.  It will deliver business development and support networks, as well as strategy and advisory services.

Aidan and Sarah Stevens, directors of Cirencester-based Stratton House Hotel attended the “topping out” ceremony. Mr Stevens said: “The Growth Hub network is a fantastic initiative. We have benefited from a number of services at the Gloucester Growth Hub.

 

“We would encourage other local businesses to take advantage of the Cirencester Growth Hub. The hubs provide excellent local insight and knowledge. Any business that wants to grow should be able to pick up the phone to the Growth Hub and ask for help.”

The Cirencester Growth Hub is one of an expanding network of Growth Hubs which will be placed in strategic locations throughout the county. Driven by GFirst LEP, this network will enable enhanced business support services to be delivered at a range of venues to ensure that location is not a barrier for businesses to get the support they need.

The plans for the Cirencester Growth Hub have been supported by a wide-ranging group of partners including; Cotswold District Council, Cirencester Town Council, Cirencester Chamber of Commerce, Cirencester Community Development Trust and Cirencester College.

To find out more about Gloucestershire’s Growth Hub Network and how your business can access fully funded support for growth, visit www.thegrowthhub.biz. You can also sign up for regular updates at www.thegrowthhub.biz#newsletter.

Cirencester Community Development Trust (CCDT) has great pleasure in announcing the appointment of Sabrina Poole as Trustee

Cirencester Community Development Trust (CCDT) has great pleasure in announcing the appointment of Sabrina Poole as Trustee.  Sabrina was co-opted at the last meeting of the board on Monday 8 April 2018.  She will have special responsibility for Youth, overseeing and helping to initiate projects aimed at the younger element in the town.
Sabrina is 27 years old and represents Four Acres Ward as the youngest Councillor on Cirencester Town Council. Having previously worked in international and national youth advocacy, she is looking forward to having a positive impact on the town she grew up in.
 

AQIVA Newsletter

 
Friends of the AMPHITHEATRE QUERNS WOOD and IV ACRE FIELD

Newsletter No. 14
Winter 2017/18

Mud, mud, glorious mud
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood
So follow me, follow, down to the hollow
And there let me wallow in glorious mud

You may recognise that as the chorus of the hippopotamus song by Flanders and Swann. Some of us prefer to think of it as the dog walker’s lament. But following on from the snow, rain and mud, we’ve had the big freeze – we wait with bated breath to see what comes next.

OBELISK

The site is looking pretty smart at the moment, but, be warned, we will be looking for volunteers over the course of the year to help keep it that way!


 

AMPHITHEATRE
The Gateway project (toposcope/roman seating/mural – see newsletter 13) is still very much alive, with various funding options still being looked at.

English Heritage have replaced the information plaque that was stolen back in May - our thanks to them. There are also new signs up reminding everyone that metal detecting is a criminal offence – there have been some instances identified in recent times.

We have our own snowdrop display, on the north side of the amphitheatre, towards the dual carriageway. Not quite Colesbourne, but a joy to look at, nevertheless.


    

Work is planned to refresh/improve the pathway running into the amphitheatre from Cotswold Avenue.

We will be carrying out a further series of visitor counts during the course of this year. We’ll keep you informed of the dates, but if anyone can spare an occasional hour to assist with this task, it would be much appreciated.

QUERNS WOOD

Not a great deal of activity this last quarter, but general maintenance work will continue during the year.

The pathway from the woods into the amphitheatre remains a problem and has been very difficult to negotiate during the early part of this year (see our opening paragraph!). Solutions are being sought within realistic budget constraints.


FOUR ACRE FIELD

GREAT  NEWS:   the exit from the field onto Chesterton Lane will soon have a self closing gate. This has been a  joint initiative between the town council and AQIVA, with the cost being shared. Our sincere thanks, and a big merci beaucoup, to all those who have been wonderfully generous in giving donations and helping to make this happen. It will make for a much safer play and recreation area.

                  


WATCH THIS SPACE


If you have been in recently, you will have noticed that considerable planting has taken place along the eastern border –  in excess of 70 shrubs and bushes, including holly, guelder rose, dog rose, hebe, cotoneaster, blackthorn, and many more. These have been provided and planted by the town council – thanks, guys. Given time, this will grow into a very attractive screen, but, guess what? It will need plenty of maintenance work. At the moment it extends about half way along, and the remaining length will have wild flowers sown.
   


You may also have seen the new(ish) signs that have appeared in the green spaces around town, including 4 acre field, regarding dog fouling and littering. It is sad that resource has to be put into things that should be the responsibility of everyone, but twas ever thus.


VISITOR COUNTS

We will be repeating our amphitheatre visitor counts that started last year: these are for more than just academic interest. Amongst other things, if it can be shown that visitor numbers increase year on year, this gives much greater strength to the justification when applications are made for funding for further development and improvement. And the more visitors we can attract, the more money will be spent in the town.
It is worth repeating a paragraph from the previous newsletter.
“The amphitheatre is now receiving an increasing number of posts on Trip Advisor. Peoples’ opinions vary, some love it as a ‘hidden gem’ and others are unimpressed, seeing only ‘grassy mounds’. If you visit the amphitheatre, please feel free to post a comment on Trip Advisor or Facebook, all feedback is useful, and if you come across any interesting visitors, particularly organised groups, please let Alison know on aqivasec@gmail.com”

VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME

We have a provisional programme for the year and most of the maintenance work will be focussed on 4 acre field and the obelisk. This can be quite arduous, but we’ve also had a lot of fun. This is very much a case of “Many hands make light work” and definitely not “Too many cooks spoil the broth” We need more cooks!

However, not all our volunteering opportunities involve heavy spade work; we also need help with, for example, visitor counts, litter-picks and organising and stewarding events such as Love Parks Week and Heritage Open Days. We will keep you informed as things are planned, and even if you can only spare an hour or so on occasions, this will make a big difference.

More detail will be circulated at the appropriate time.


EVENTS

We will probably be participating again in Love Parks Weeks, although a lot of effort went into organising 4 different activities last year and to be honest, the level of support was disappointing. We will also again be part of Heritage Open Day, with, at the very least, our guided walks around the amphitheatre and the evening bat walk: contrary to the comment in the previous sentence, these two events have always proved popular.

COMMUNICATION

Apart from this newsletter, you can find information and photos on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfAmphitheatre?fref=ts

We also have a twitter account:
@aqiva_ciren

See also the notice board at the entrance from Chesterton Lane into 4 Acre Field

And don’t forget the website www.aqiva.org.uk

If you would like any more detail, please contact our secretary, Alison, at aqivasec@gmail.com.

If you have friends, family, neighbours or anyone who might be interested in learning more about what is going on, please pass on our contact details.

MEETINGS
Our committee meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of every month at Chesterton primary school, starting at 7pm. Anyone is welcome to attend and contribute, either as a visitor, or to become a member of the committee. However, please note that our March meeting has been cancelled. Dates for the next 3 months are:

March – no meeting   26 April     24 May (AGM)