Shoots of recovery in Victoria Park

Victoria Park is one area of North Stonehouse which hopes to benefit from support and funding from Stronger North Stonehouse.

It is a very busy and popular park even though many locals don’t seem aware of what it has to offer.

Michelle Quintrell, chair of Victoria Park Community Project, says improved signage at either end of the park would increase community use.

“The more we use the park, the less popular it will become for those who want to behave antisocially or illegally,” she said.

“We do hear about people doing bad things in the park. I doubt if they ever get reported to the police but I would urge all residents to make sure the police are aware.

”People seem more likely to report things to us than go to the police, but we know that if things are reported properly the neighbourhood team will try to do something about it.”

One of the project’s recent success stories is the work to improve and tidy up the shrub areas at the edge of the park.

“Previously the shrubs have been used as a hiding place by criminals, by couples behaving inappropriately and even lazy footballers using the bushes as a toilet instead of going to the changing rooms,” she said.

“We have started at the bottom end of the park and have worked our way around, we are over halfway around the park now, clearing all of the very overgrown shrubs

“We have started on raised flower beds and wildlife garden, built a squirrel feeder, bee housing and bug house.

“By tidying up this area we have been able to not just made the shrubbery look smarter – it is now not so welcoming to those who wish to use it to disguise their activities.”

Michelle says the community project has other big ideas including a disabled swing, a zip wire and a dog agility area.

“We want to remove graffiti and paint the changing rooms. There is also an area behind the café which has huge potential and we would like to develop,” she said.

“With a little more funding to get things like bat boxes and bird feeding stations and better gardening equipment we can achieve so much for the community and make this a lovely place for us to enjoy the area.”

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