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Friends of Ingrebourne Valley & Hornchurch Country Park

Annual Report 2018/2019 from the Chair

 

Dear Friends and “volunteers”,

Another year gone by and I’m pleased to say that the “Friends of Ingrebourne Valley & Hornchurch Country Park” is still going strong.

Again, I must refer to the committee for their support throughout the year and pay tribute to them so, Ray, Liz, Brian, Dave, Sheila, Jackie and Stephanie, thank you for being there and making it all worthwhile.  Thanks also to Richard, our Council representative and Mick the Ranger and his team for putting your trust in us in our attempts to promote the Valley & Park.

 

I will put on record now, the great debt we owe to Brian who has been the long-suffering Secretary to the committee since its inception.  He is standing down at this AGM and will be sorely missed and difficult to replace.

 

We continue to bid for funding from various sources throughout the year and following the successful “heritage trail” that we sourced funding for and installed (the numbered posts throughout the park, each with a small plaque at the top denoting what used to be in that location), we are now pursuing a “nature & wildlife” trail.  There will soon be leaflets available telling visitors what they are likely to come across whilst they are walking about.

 

A recent successful addition to the Park has been the creation of an “extension” to the car park.  It has made a difference but some days, you would need a car park about the size of a couple of football pitches to accommodate the growing number of visitors.  Just one of the dangers of the growing popularity of Hornchurch Country Park and the Ingrebourne Valley.

 

Work is well underway on the old St. Georges Hospital site which flows along the western side of the Park so no doubt, in the not too distant future; the numbers of people using the facility on their doorstep will continue to grow.  Hopefully they will not feel the need to come by car!!

I will end as usual with a request for more committee members to join us.  You only have to give up a couple of hours once a month (the 1st Thursday at 7 pm) as we do need to be organised and ready with new ideas to benefit the cause.  If you are interested, please email admin@ingrebourneValleyfriends.org with your contact details.

 

All the best,

 

Jeff Stafford

Chair, Friends of Ingrebourne Valley & Hornchurch Country Park

30th May 2019

 

Friends of Ingrebourne Valley & Hornchurch Country Park

Annual Report 2017/2018 from the Chair

 

Another year seems to have “flown” by but first and foremost, I wish to pay tribute to the Committee, without whom this organisation would not function.  We meet religiously on the first Thursday of each month and the “Classroom” at the Albyns Depot in the Park can be a daunting prospect in January and February when it’s cold, wet and just downright miserable at 7pm in the evening!

 

These meetings are just the place where our deliberations start and sometimes finish or are just reviewed to see how we are progressing.  There continues to be much going on in the Park and the Valley and the Friends Group and its members perform some outstanding work at their regular “work parties”, which occur not only at weekends but during the week as well.  Our members also act as volunteers for Essex Wildlife Trust in all sorts of roles which I am sure is very much welcomed by EWT.

 

The Friends Group were successful in achieving funding from Tesco towards our “heritage trail” project which was completed in April.  The posts, with a plaque on each, depict the history of the Park during the existence of a military airfield and they can be seen spread around the Park.  There will be a map available from the Visitor Centre so that the public can explore the Park and identify what used to exist in various places for the past 100 years or so.

 

At this stage, a mention needs to be made of our Park Rangers team.  The Friends Group work closely with them and in times of almost constant cuts to Council budgets, the assistance we give goes a considerable way to making Hornchurch Country Park the best in Havering if not East London.  Sadly, we again hear that funding from the Council for projects will continue to be in great demand so the Friends Group committee will attempt to get any future funding from any source that we can find.

 

As the Park becomes more popular as a place for Havering residents to spend their leisure time, parking continues to be an issue.  There is again a plan to extend the car park but probably not until the autumn.  We hope that Havering Council do not decide to impose a payment for parking in the Park, but in a day and age where National Government “squeezes” Local Government funding to the extreme, it will not come as a surprise if they do!

 

The Friends of Ingrebourne Valley & Hornchurch Country Park will, as in previous years, strive to keep the area at the forefront of local people’s minds when deciding to go out and see nature at its rawest.  We look forward to the rest of this year and next in the hope that we can continue our working relationship with Essex Wildlife Trust and Havering Council and make the Ingrebourne Valley and Hornchurch Country Park even better in the eyes of the public.

 

Jeff Stafford

Chair, Friends of Ingrebourne Valley & Hornchurch Country Park

23rd June 2018

No Annual Report from the Chair 2019/2020 due to Covid