Friends of Astley Park is a small voluntary organisation whose members share a common and passionate desire that this green and varied space, situated next to the Town Centre, is protected and maintained both for its heritage and wildlife, and the natural habitat that it provides.
The formation of the Group in 2005 coincided with the Heritage Lottery Funding secured by Chorley Council, and many of our early activities were to do with issues relating to this. We had concerns about the original plans for re-siting the children’s play area, a proposal for a permanent path across the Lake, and controversial plans for installing lighting on tall posts along the main path through the Park.
Through discussions with the Council, and in the case of the proposed lighting scheme, strong representations to senior Council Officials, we were able to secure the now established paths around the Lake, a more appropriate site for the playground, and the cancellation of the original lighting project. Subsequently, much more appropriate low bollard lighting has been installed by the Council.
Some of our recent successes include:
- Creating and extending the Astley Park Trail including providing directional/points of interest posts and producing an interpretative guide to the Park’s main features.
- Improving and upkeeping the Sensory Garden.
- Engineering a reed filter bed on the River Chor for the benefit of local wildlife.
- Restoring the ‘Lost Fountain’ and introducing appropriate shrubs around it.
- Providing and maintaining the Coach House court yard planters.
We pursue our aims in collaboration with Chorley Council, local schools and other voluntary bodies through work which ranges from regular maintenance tasks done directly by our members to commissioning specific improvement projects using funding sources not available to the local authority.
For our members we offer a range of volunteering opportunities and social activities. We meet fortnightly throughout the year on Saturday mornings as organised working parties but there is no obligation to do these manual tasks, there are other roles available to take part in.
Coinciding with the working party Saturday mornings during the summer months we run a ‘Welcome and Information’ table in the Coach House court yard. Why not come along for a chat to find out more?