Our Vision

Welcome to the Friends of Leeman Park. We are a group of volunteers started in August 2014 with a vision to smarten and enhance Leeman Park, Back Park and our overall neighbourhood.

Our achievements to date include...

  • Smartening Cinder Lane tree bases, painting the entire 1/3 mile wall and planting bulbs under all the trees
  • Creating a nature reserve at the end of Balfour Street
  • Creating a community orchard behind the war memorial
  • Creating an Edible York community allotment in Back Park
  • Many, many small improvements and fixes, graffiti removal, litter picking and general smartening.

... But most importantly we've built an engaged community that is taking the destiny of its neighbourhood in its own hands. Join us!

Street Smartening and Grow Wild seed sowing

We have been Smartening the streets round the one way system in recent weeks. You may have noticed the tree bases have been cleared of weeds, but you probably won't have noticed that there is seed sown too, to bring native wild flowers to our circuit later this year.

The wild flower seed was provided by the lottery funded initiative "Grow Wild" and is chosen to be bee friendly as well as set to brighten up our neighbourhood.

Edible York Community Allotment

The latest endeavour of the Friends of Leeman Park group has been to bring fresh fruit and veg to the neighbourhood for anyone to help to grow and for all to harvest. This is part of a movement round York called Edible York, where similar communal food growing occurs in areas such as the Barbican, Marygate and The Groves (to mention a few!)

Hedge round the edge

We have had yet another phenomenal response from volunteers in the community, with 28 people turning up to our hedge planting event today. 350 saplings were planted round the edge of the nature reserve, and we had the whole job done in just two hours. Many hands make light work!

Nature Reserve Hedge Planting

Join in to help plant 350 native hedge saplings on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th February.

When we first established the nature reserve, we negotiated to retain a short section of the wire fence from the recent flood defence works as a short term boundary, with the long term plan to plant native hedgerow as a boundary and take down the wire fence when the hedge is established.

Olivia receives award from Lord Mayor

Olivia receiving her Shine award

One of our most consistent volunteers, and definitely our most entertaining, is Olivia, who has joined us most weeks since we started in August.

Her dedication and contribution has been recognised, and Olivia was nominated for a Shine Award from York Council. She won the category for contribution to Parks and the Environment, and her proud parents took her to the Mansion House to be awarded her certificate.

New Seat, Thanks John Boddy Timber

The picnic bench has only been half usable for some time, since it has been missing its seat from one side. As part of our Holgate Ward funding bid (which mainly was to fund the Spring bulbs for the Paint and Plant weekend), we secured funding for some repairs, including to replace the seat.

We sourced a suitable piece of hardwood from John Boddy Timber in Boroughbridge, and when they heard about the good work we are doing in our community they have donated the wood to us free of charge.

York Press article on Paint and Plant Weekend

Everyone who was involved in the Paint and Plant weekend have every reason to be proud of our achievement, and a great secondary benefit of the event has been the publicity that it has brought the volunteering group.

Thank you! Successful weekend

We couldn't have asked for a more successful Paint and Plant weekend.

There was a phenomenal response from volunteers (previous and new) with 52 people turning up over the weekend and we have successfully painted the whole 220 panels (third of a mile) of wall and planted all 4000 bulbs.

Plant and Paint Weekend

Our first BIG event - we are looking to get dozens of people to come along to paint the concrete wall along Cinder Lane and to plant Spring flowering bulbs under the trees that we've cleared of weeds over the past couple of months.

Volunteering article in York Press

The Press have a feature on volunteering, which features Friends of Leeman Park.

The date for the 'Paint and Plant' weekend was tentative, since we've still to get approval for the ward funding to purchase the 4000 bulbs (still feasible, but timing is looking tight), but the date has now gone public, so it looks like we'll have to make it happen! The paint is arriving from Network Rail very soon, so we should at least be able to do the painting that weekend.

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