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“ A green  lung in a densely  urban area.” Sir Gerald Kaufman MP 1930 - 2017 Home

News Update 13th January 2016

Happy New Year 2016.

One of the things likely to come increasingly to the fore in the coming year(s) is the importance of parks in national life and the nation’s health. So called ‘green prescriptions’ – getting people to take more outdoor activity than more medication – are common in places like New Zealand, Australian and the US and becoming increasingly popular here.

In this parks play a key role. Liverpool has just invested £1.5M into working with the council to get more people into parks. This is just one of many schemes. The health benefits of being out and about in green spaces include less tension, stress and depression; lower blood pressure; improve immune system responses; lower levels of obesity and milder ADHD symptoms in children, to name just a few. A recent survey found that for every £1 spent on establishing healthy walking schemes saves the NHS £7.18. So expect parks not pills from your GP!

As you know Debdale is already outstanding in the opportunities it provides to address this issue. Thanks to your efforts over the years we now have a variety of projects providing for health improvement and the Friends have invested considerably in improving the infrastructure of the park and surrounding area to make it more attractive and after many years of complaining Tameside MBC have finally committed to extending the Upper Reservoir path along Mere Bank to create a new link with King’s Road.

We have also just received a further £3K to renew the main herbaceous border and other flower beds: this is underspend from Clean City which we have been very fortunate to access and has come at just the right time in enabling us to make the park look even better. We want there to be a ‘Wow factor’ about Debdale.

The above photo is to give you an idea of what is planned. After asking Fr Xmas for a number of superb planting manuals I have spent the Christmas period drawing up flower bed plans, trawling the web for nurseries and visiting gardening centres. The best I have come up with for our purposes is Lymefield at Broadbottom, which the park has used before a number of times. Not only can they provide all we need in the way we need it at a good discount but the head gardener, Robert, has been very helpful with planting suggestions and comments on my designs which I hope to be able to present to you at the meeting for further discussion.

This is our priority for 2016 – to make Debdale a great place to visit that will be attractive for everyone. As well as improving the flower beds we will be installing the new play-ground equipment and also opening the new Kick Boxing Gym. Green Fingers will be refurbishing their new centre and the Nursery will be opening their new extension. The restored Gorton Heritage Trail will also be completed.

These are all fantastic developments which reflect the great efforts being made by many volunteers and we have already booked Sir Gerald for a great opening event – A Great Day for Debdale -on the Spring Bank Holiday on Sunday 29 May. We want to make this a real shop window and show-stopper of an event. If you have any further ideas let us know.

There are also other projects in hand such as the Heroes Wood which is making progress with plans to plant 40 oak trees. I would also like to see if we can make progress with the outdoor Green Gym, another great health facility.

It has been noted that people are healthier for living near a park – I hope this is also true for those working in the parks and our many volunteers and friends. I hope it is a great year for you all.