• Friends of Acton Park – Review of 2018

    Another successful year for our group, despite the uncertainty over our future following WCBC decision to go ahead with their cost cutting budget and reduce the number of park ranger posts across all their Country Parks. Unfortunately we had to say ‘goodbye’ to Richard, who chose to seek employment elsewhere, but his legacy as our Ranger will always remain throughout the park, in the various projects he guided and encouraged us to achieve.

    The wooden structure in the Japanese Garden was completely refurbished thanks to a £2000 grant from Acton Community Council. This enabled the group to assist Mac by employing outside contractors which added to the professionalism of the work.

    Heather, our Seasonal Ranger, joined us throughout the summer months and organised several well attended children’s events including a very popular ‘Bat Walk’. Our Easter Egg Hunt went extremely well as did the August Treasure Trail. As a result we were able to add several hundred pounds into our account which will enable us to work on more projects throughout the park in the coming year.

    The Green Flag Award was retained for the coming year. Many thanks to all the members who worked so hard ensuring the park looked great for the judging panel. The Co-op in Borras agreed to sponsor our gardening day refreshments which Gill provided so willingly and were much appreciated by everyone following a hard morning’s work! Thanks to the generosity of Liz Carding WCBC, we were able to replace stolen shrubs in the Japanese Garden and had sufficient left to add to several of our other beds.

    As our year ended we received the good news that Acton CC will once again fund a seasonal Ranger for Acton in 2019, our monthly gardening days will be able to continue and we should have a ranger presence at least one day per week for the foreseeable future. Our gardening day volunteer numbers have increased during the past year and hopefully we will be able to welcome more people to join us on these special days.

    Last but not least, in November we celebrated ten years of the Friends group and marked the occasion with a small gift and Christmas lunch for all our members. Looking back to those very early days of monthly litter picking and general tidy up days, I’m sure that none of us thought we would achieve such a milestone! We should all be very proud of our work and projects to date, as together we have made a real difference to how the park is enjoyed and appreciated by all our visitors. Long may it continue!

    Christine Cribbin

    Chair of Friends of Acton Park


    Friends of Acton Park – Review of 2017

    The past year has been one of our most challenging to date with both highs and lows. Overall however, we should all be very proud of our achievements in the park. Our main highlight, following many years of hard work, has to be achieving and retaining Full Green Flag status. Our new flagpole was sited, the flag raised and can now be seen proudly flying to mark everyone’s efforts.

    In early spring, with grant funding from Acton Community Council, new wildflower beds were prepared and planted close to the Tapley Avenue end of the park. The beds have added wonderful colour to the previously green area around the car park, but more importantly provided habitat to so many wildlife species.  An additional notice board and wooden seat, both made so expertly by Mac, were sited near to the bowling green entrance and opposite the lake respectively, providing visitors with more information about the group’s activities and adding another place to sit and enjoy our wonderful park.

    Once again, our successful Easter Egg hunt, Fun Dog show and August Fun day generated more funds for the group. These monies, plus individual donations from park users and the  members of Dewi Jones fitness groups, have enabled us to replace a damaged litter bin and donate £100 towards replacing a newly planted tree, damaged by vandals. More importantly, we can now help with the cost of repairs/restoration to the wooden gate structure in the Japanese Garden. Following several discussions/site meetings, the work has been estimated at around £3,500 – £4,000. However, Acton Community Council, as part of their commitment to the community, have agreed to donate up to £2,000 towards this project. A very big thank you from us all!

    We did encounter a few upsetting incidents during the summer months – fire damage to wooden seats, stolen plants, broken trees and even an attempt to remove a picnic table! This handy work no doubt caused by some of our more unsavory visitors, who have no appreciation of all the hard work and dedication that members of the Friends group willingly give throughout the year. However, as usual a few stalwarts answered my rallying cry and soon the damage was repaired and looking good again!

    As our year drew to a close we received the upsetting news that WCBC, as part of their budget cuts for 2018/19, plan to reduce the number of Ranger posts across all the Country Parks. Whilst Acton doesn’t have a full time Ranger, we could be affected. My thanks to everyone who helped canvass the public, completed questionnaires and helped distribute flyers locally. Special thanks to Mac, who accompanied me to Executive Council meetings, they certainly knew who we were both representing!  No news to date, a new working model is planned for all parks and we will retain our seasonal ranger post over the summer months, so we must remain positive. My thanks to you all, also the new volunteers who joined us throughout the year. Hope to see you all again soon at our first gardening day of 2018 on Thursday 8th February at 10am.

    Christine Cribbin     Chair Friends of Acton Park  

    Friends of Acton Park – Review of 2016

    As another successful year comes to an end we should all be extremely proud of our achievements to date. When our group was formed in 2008 I don’t think any of us believed that all our ideas and hard work would culminate in Acton Park gaining such recognition by achieving full Green Flag status following a visit from the national judge’s panel during the summer

    Much of our year has centred on the maintenance of our beds/shrubs, painting picnic tables and the cleaning of our notice boards/litter bins and information boards. However, despite the enthusiasm of our volunteers, our wildlife garden area has proved difficult to control. We have now decided to let nature take its course in the garden and we intend to plant a new wildflower area, probably close to Tapley Ave. car park.

    Our Easter and summer events were very successful again, as was our Fun Dog Show. Several hundred pounds have been added to our funds and this will be used for more additions and improvements to the park over the coming year.

    Funding from Acton Community Council once again ensured we had help from a seasonal ranger over the summer months. Lawrence’s hard work was much appreciated by all our visitors, as were his various children’s craft events and the educational visits to the park involving local primary/junior schools.

    Unfortunately we have lost the services of Groundwork volunteers as their organisation is unable to fund permanent staff this year. A big thank you from all of us for the support you gave us. Hopefully we can encourage other residents to come along and join us in the coming year!

    My final thanks to everyone who has volunteered their time, skills and enthusiasm over the past 12 months. I look forward to another happy and productive year in 2017.

    Christine Cribbin, Chair.

    Friends of Acton Park – Review of 2015

    As another year draws to a close, evidence of the group’s hard work can be seen all around the park. In terms of projects, our new History Information Board and additional waste bin have been welcomed as great additions by visitors, as has our work to increase the size of our wildflower garden.

    The majority of our gardening days have been very well attended, with several new volunteers joining us. The Groundwork organisation also came along, providing welcome help through their own volunteering scheme…obviously word has spread that Gill provides excellent tea, coffee and biscuits with the occasional sausage rolls and mince pies!

    The group also carried out repairs and repainting work to the wooden structures in the  Japanese Garden, along with the re-staining of our picnic benches and to Mac’s seats in the wildflower area. Additionally, thanks to Richard finding spare grant money, the Council also tidied up the beds by laying wooden edging boards along the pathways. Unfortunately, once again, several plants were taken from our small beds and generously replaced by group members. Larger shrubs taken from the wildflower beds are to be replaced by the Council Parks Dept in the spring. Rockery stones donated by a regular dog walker have also been used to define the beds…hopefully this will prevent the grass cutters wiping out our wildflower display yet again this year!

    Both our park events were very successful again thanks to the hard work of the committee and friends. Generous donations from residents and local businesses ensured the Easter egg trail and Summer family fun days were very well attended and the inclusion of the Fun dog show was an outstanding hit – we hope to be able to include it again this year.

    Acton Community Council once again funded the post of the Seasonal Ranger and Rachel returned to help us with our events and projects. Her craft/fun events for children over the summer holidays were very popular and we look forward to seeing her again this year!

    As a result of our very enjoyable and successful year, the group have raised a considerable amount of money towards park funds and over the coming months, we  will be using it to maintain existing facilities and to improve others.

    Once again our small group of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers have contributed their time and skills (in all weathers!) so that others can appreciate, but more importantly, enjoy everything that our beautiful park has to offer. My personal thanks to you all and I look forward to working together again in 2016.

    Christine Cribbin     Chair.

    Friends of Acton Park – Review of 2014

    The past year has certainly been another challenging one for the group, but thanks to the enthusiasm and hard work of all our volunteers, our successful grant applications, the support of Acton Community Council and WCBC, the park has continued to welcome hundreds of visitors to see and enjoy everything we have to offer.

    Our project to develop a new wildlife area on the site of the old rose garden was finally completed and is proving to be very popular. New benches, wildflower beds and pathways have now opened up a previously inaccessible area to everyone.

    Our two new additional picnic tables, sited next to the children’s play area and alongside the lake, have also proved to be a big hit with visitors. Throughout the summer months, many families could be seen enjoying their picnics whilst also appreciating the surrounding views.

    The addition of another notice board sited next to the lake, has increased the amount of information we are able to provide for visitors. All our latest news and current activities can be found here, sometimes accompanied by members pictures!!

    Following some very intense lobbying of WCBC officers, plus pressure from the wider Acton community, the grass cutting program in the park reverted to eight cuts throughout the growing season. We understand that the council plan more more budget cuts in the coming year, but hope our park will not suffer unnecessarily.

    Along with the Angling and Bowling Clubs, the Friends group once again retained The Green Flag Community award for 2014 – a great achievement for everyone involved! Another surprise for us at the end of the year was an unexpected award from Wrexham Area Civic Society. This was presented to us for our outstanding contribution to the quality of the environment in the park. My personal thanks to everyone involved, long may we continue!

    Chris Cribbin

    Chair, Friends of Acton Park

    Friends of Acton Park – Review of 2013

    The group enjoyed another successful year working in the park and my thanks to everyone who helped us in any way, either by volunteering their time, giving us donations or simply by attending/supporting our annual Easter and Fun Day events. This generous support has enabled us to provide new planting areas, maintain and improve existing park facilities and to develop our ever growing and very popular web site.

    In recognition of us working together with the Angling and Bowling clubs, we once again achieved the ‘Community Green Flag Award’ and additionally were part of the town’s successful entry into ‘Wales in Bloom’ winning the Gold Award for the first time.

    A new picnic table was provided next to the children’s play area and several successful applications to the ‘Wrexham Small Grants Scheme’ secured funding to provide two more, along with a new historical heritage information board. We hope to install these during the spring/summer months.

    Towards the latter part of the year, new funding from ‘Tidy Towns’ meant that at last our project to clear and develop the former Rose Garden was able to begin. We hope to have our new wildlife garden, complete with seating, plantings and wheelchair/all abilities access ready for visitors to enjoy this summer. Special thanks to Richard Aram for pursuing the necessary funding from WCBC when all other budges were extremely stretched.

    Our monthly park visits from local school pupils continue, the nature walks being a very popular aspect: this year we have linked these informative walks with individual school curriculums. Our seasonal ranger and committee members also organised several educational and fun events for our younger visitors.

    As the year ended the committee decided to go for a new look in and around the park and can now be easily identified by their new green jackets complete with Friends logo!

    I hope that 2014 will be just as successful for us and we all look forward to meeting new volunteers as we continue to work hard for the park we all love.

    Chris Cribbin

    Chair, Friends of Acton Park

    Friends of Acton Park – Review of 2012

    2012 was an extremely busy and successful year for the group, as we continued our work of promoting the park and improving facilities. I would like to thank everyone who supported us either by volunteering their time, or by donations. Special thanks to Committee members who supported me as Chair and to Richard for all his valuable help and advice.

    Our major project of the year was to develop the former rose garden. In March we began to clear overgrown shrubbery from the site, whilst discussing our ideas. A public consultation meeting was then arranged, final plans and costing were produced by Richard, who also helped with my grant applications. We are currently awaiting decisions on these.

    Our Easter and summer events were the most successful ever. Sunny days, brilliant stalls and lots of hard work by volunteers, ensured everyone enjoyed themselves. Thanks to donations from local businesses, park users and Groundwork, we were able to raise substantial funds to improve park facilities.

    Our work with local schools continued – Rhosnesni Eco group providing valuable practical help at our tidy up days and the junior schools enjoying their nature walks led by Steve and Mac. We plan to develop these for the coming year by tailoring them to each school’s individual needs.

    Thanks to Wrexham Small Grants scheme, Keep Wales Tidy, Groundwork plus some individual private donations, we provided a picnic table next to the lake, increased our tools/equipment and funded pictorial tree information board, to be delivered and sited within the coming weeks. Trees and wildlife seeds donated by the Woodland Trust, planted by volunteers and school children, will ensure our wildlife visitors continue to thrive for many years to come.

    Our web site has been a real success story for us and this is thanks to Steve who donates his time by administering the pages. His daily tweets from the park, keep followers informed of the latest events/wildlife activities and the photographs/park memories donated by visitors, show we are providing a useful link to the wider community and also complements our two existing park notice boards.

    Our work with the Angling/Bowling clubs has helped ActonPark to achieve a prestigious Green Flag Community Award. This was in recognition of voluntary groups working together for a common interest, let’s hope we can achieve much more in 2013.

    Chris Cribbin, Chair, January 2013


    Friends of Acton Park – Review of 2011

    The group have been very active during the year and most of our goals have been achieved. Private donations and grant funding have helped us to improve facilities and volunteer help has provided much needed clearing and pruning of scrub/shrubbery. Additional tools have been purchased along with two gazebos and three large water flasks. For a list of donors please click here.

    Our logo has been re-designed to reflect our change of focus within the park. A second notice-board has been sited at the Herbert Jennings car park, and the Japanese garden project completed. Additional seating has been added new shrubs planted, pathways improved and wooden structures repaired and repainted. Thanks to donations from the Woodland Trust, Wrexham Council Nursery, volunteers and a seasonal ranger we have planted a combination of various tress shrubs and mixed bulbs.

    Our work with local schools developed, we now include a nature walk for younger pupils and more nesting boxes have been erected. Rhosnesni school youth group has been invaluable. Not only did they obtain grant funding for the benches within the Japanese garden, they worked extremely hard in preparing the ground and the pathways. Both they and the eco group provided much needed practical help at our monthly tidy up days.

    The Easter and summer events were a great success. Increased numbers of children and parents attended these days which provided educational and sporting fun. The appointment of a seasonal ranger was another plus; her dedication to work was appreciated by all our visitors and added to the experience of their visits to the park over the summer months.

    The groups work gained national recognition. Along with Acton Park Community Angling Club we successfully helped WCBC to achieve first plane in the Wales in Bloom competitions; a silver gilt in Britain in bloom and third place for groups contributing to the good of the community.Some of the friends receiving the Wales in Bloom award with Mayor and Lady Mayoress

    Our latest project, a bilingual information board will be sited next to the lake. This will provide visitors with pictorial information and data about the common wildlife species to be found in and on the lake.

    The Friends of Acton Park – January 2011