Friends of Baysgarth Park
Baysgarth Park is a 30 acre site of open access parkland in the market town of Barton upon Humber. Maintained by North Lincolnshire Council it is well used by the local community for dog walking, picnics, bowling, sports and general leisure activities. It is the main open space used by local organisations for community events.
Baysgarth Park is an important part in the life of Barton residents. The park is where families take young children to the playground, as they grow young people use it to play sports from organisations like the street sport team or just to 'hang out'. It is where families attend open air theatre and music, a place to walk your dog and where older people meet to play bowls. It frames Baysgarth House the magnificent Georgian house that holds the town museum run by the volunteers of the CHAMP Development Trust. Following public consultation the group set out with a five year plan to improve access to and amenities in the park for everyone with the aim to be awarded Green Flag Status.
The Friends of Baysgarth Park formed in 2016 as a volunteer group and started to raise funds to restore the Park which had started to look a bit tired. The group also meet regularly to assist with litter picking, weeding and other maintenance jobs. In 2017, after successful funding applications totalling £120,000 were awarded, a new perimeter footpath 2 metres wide to DDA standard around the park was installed to replace the existing sections which were unsuitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs and limited access in poor weather conditions. The new paths cover the whole of the park making several new areas accessible to all the public. Additional seats and litter bins were installed around the new paths. There has been a marked increase in people using the park all year round since these improvements.
In 2017 the group raised £14,000 to turn a disused bowls green into a commemoration garden for Chad Varah the founder of the Samaritans. Chad Varah was born and brought up in Barton and the group worked with The Samaritans to develop the site. Work started in late 2017 and the first phase of the garden was completed in 2018. This lovely garden ideal for contemplation and quiet reflection was opened by Chad's daughter Felicity Varah in July and is already being used by a large number of people. A week after the garden opening the group were informed that on only the second application the park has been awarded Green Flag status three years earlier than we had anticipated. This fantastic news accompanied by glowing reports from the Green Flag Judges about the improvements made to the park have really spurred the group on to work even harder to restore all areas of the park.
The Friends of Baysgarth Park are now looking to raise funds to install additional footpaths to the south of the park in early 2020 to make this area accessible for all to enjoy all year round. We have already raised most of the money but just require this last push to achieve the project.