Annual General Meeting

The first Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Victoria Park will take place

  • at 7.00pm
  • on Thursday 24th October
  • at the Riverside Centre
    Clockhouse, Ashford, TN23 4YN

The agenda will include:

  • Reports from the Chair and treasurer,
  • Election of the management committee, and
  • a review of the constitution.

We also hope to have an update from Ashford Borough Council on the HLF project.

If anyone wishes to propose additional items for the agenda or nominations for the management committee then please contact us no later than 14th October

Family Fun Run photos

A selection of photographs from the Friends of Victoria Park Family Fun Run on 22nd September 2019.

All of the photos have been posted here

Our thanks to Kalysha Howard-Smith for the photos.

© You are welcome to copy/print photos of yourself and your family members for personal use. You must not copy photos of other participants or publish photos without first contacting us to gain permission.

Big Butterfly Count Results Revealed

This summer saw the biggest Big Butterfly Count to date, with more butterflies counted by more people than ever before. Thank you to everyone who took part - we couldn't have done it without you. Every single one of the 116,009 counts submitted will inform our work to save struggling species. As we suspected, Painted Ladies were the star of the season. Read the full results to see how other butterflies fared.

More than a million butterflies were counted and logged by Big Butterfly Count participants this summer. The full results have been published this week, revealing which species were seen.

The mass migration of Painted Ladies saw this butterfly rise up the ranks to become the most seen species of 2019's count. The iconic Peacock butterfly also had a good year, securing a solid second place.

It wasn't such good news for our blue butterflies, with sightings of the Common and Holly Blue both down on last year.

Discover how what you saw compares with the butterflies spotted by others across the UK.

Read the full results...

Family Fun Run

Come and join us for this Fun Run for all the family. There will also be an opportunity to complete the Friends of Victoria Park Phototrail and find out about the planned improvements to Victoria Park.

Sunday 22nd September 2019

11.00 am – 1.00 pm

All runners should check-in by 11.30 am.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Why not bring a picnic and enjoy the park after the run!

Register now on Eventbrite

Final Summer 5k route

By popular request we are going to repeat the August route for the final Victoria Park Summer Series 5k Run on 4th September. We have had lots of fun at previous runs, and can't wait for this one!  Sign up now 

Friends respond to the Kentish Express’s Stuart Barton

Copy of Stuart Barton ColumnThe Friends of Victoria Park have responded to comments by columnist, Stuart Barton, in the 1st August edition of the Kentish Express:

"I am writing in disgust regarding Mr Barton’s comments about the revamp of Victoria Park, Kentish Express 1st August 2019.

Victoria Park, as is the case with most open public spaces, suffers some problems. Most recently there have been 2 out of the ordinary attacks. Mr Barton's assertion that it is one of Kent's hotspots is unfounded; as would be shown by a quick reference to Kent Police crime statistics, which in recent months show significantly higher figures for both antisocial behaviour, and violent and sexual crime in the area around the Kentish Express offices than in the vicinity of Victoria park.

Mr Barton is also factually incorrect in the assertion that the fountain was white when made. The Hubert fountain is a cast iron structure and whilst it is possible to produce white cast iron, this certainly wasn’t the case for our Hubert Fountain. None of the pictures available from either the 1862 exhibition or from its installation in Victoria Park show the fountain as white. Alongside this the photograph from the presentation souvenir, the fountain colour is clearly shown as darker than the surrounding white wall. The most recent ‘refurbishment’ was not only a couple of years ago, but 12 years ago, with all this information readily available on the internet.

Perhaps rather than throwing around random assertions, Mr Barton would like to visit the park occasionally and enjoy some of the great community spirit which can be experienced in the park with many people enjoying the wildlife, fitness opportunities, and generally creating a sense of community on a daily basis. Not to mention the very successful celebrations which have taken place recently in the park with no incident: Armed Forces Day, Sausage and Cider, Create, Mr Harper’s Birthday and a number of successful running events which have been enjoyed by people of all ages.

Simon Howard-Smith
Chair - Friends of Victoria Park"

5k Summer Series Run 3 results

The results for Run 3 of the Victoria Park 5k Summer Series are shown below.

Results for all runs and details of how to register for the final race can be found on our 5k Summer Series page.

Race 3
Position Bib number Time Forname Surname
1 42 00:20:08 Jacob Henwood
2 59 00:20:35 Jake Davison
3 51 00:20:56 Chris Boyce
4 64 00:22:01 Austen Hardwick
5 49 00:22:06 Linda-Jean Delport
6 61 00:23:03 Henry Metcalf
7 55 00:23:19 Shane Snowwolf
8 43 00:23:23 Justin Burden
9 53 00:23:41 Owen Protheroe
10 60 00:23:46 Josh Whiten
11 54 00:23:54 Paul Dunning
12 57 00:24:48 Chris Trickett
13 63 00:27:46 Finley Paton
14 62 00:28:11 Karen Paton
15 45 00:28:42 Hannah Chambers
16 65 00:29:15 Sara Hunt
17 46 00:30:43 Rachel Theobald
18 47 00:30:44 Kevin York
19 40 00:33:34 Edwin Bartlett
20 58 00:36:42 Donna Morrison
21 56 00:37:25 Paul Bartlett

5k run 7th August

Still time to apply for our 5k run on Wednesday evening (£7.50 per runner).

Medal for everyone completing the run. 7pm start near the park gates.

If you’re not a runner or out due to injury at the moment then you can still join volunteer as a marshal. Send us a message if you are able to help – there will be cake for runners and volunteers!

Celebrating funding success!

The Friends of Victoria Park are delighted to learn that Ashford Borough Council has been awarded more than £3 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund to revitalise Victoria Park.

Friends of Victoria Park will be exhibiting some details of the proposals at Create and Mr. Harper's Birthday Party this weekend.

The funding, thanks to National Lottery players, means the council can deliver its exciting plans to redevelop and restore one of Ashford’s oldest and most-loved green spaces, working with the local community, volunteer groups and the Friends of Victoria Park.

Proposals include a new children’s play area, improvements to the river, improved lighting across the park, and a new community hub building with café, and new toilets. The iconic Grade II Listed Hubert Fountain and the surrounding piazza area will also be restored and repaired.

The council will be employing four new members of staff to manage the project, including a parks officer who will be based on site. There will also be opportunities for the community to get involved with volunteering roles as part of the project.

More than 1,000 people gave their feedback on park improvements as part of the council’s consultation process in the preparation of the bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The results showed the public wanted a café, better play areas and toilets, more events and activities, and improved safety and security. Thanks to this funding the council will be able to make improvements, which will hopefully encourage more people to enjoy Victoria Park for longer.

Almost £1.9 million will be spent on repairs and conservation of the historical aspects of the park, and another £1 million has been earmarked for new building work including access paths, signage, bridges, and dipping platforms.

For Ashford Borough Council, Cllr Peter Feacey, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Tourism and Leisure, said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded this money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund; this is a regeneration project that we can’t wait to start. The funding means we can make these exciting improvements, reconnecting people with this historic park and its heritage. Events and activities focussed on children and young people and resources for schools will encourage our younger residents to visit.”

https://news.ashford.gov.uk/news/celebrating-funding-success/

Ashford Council & Heritage Fund Logos

Create

Come to

Create on Saturday 20th July, the free one-day event hosting four live stages, local street food, children’s rides and entertainment and interactive theatre and

Mr. Harper's Birthday Party on Sunday 21st July.

Come and find us in the Community Marquee.

Victoria Park is a short walk from:

the Town Centre (cross the bridge between the Picture House Cinema and Travelodge Hotel and follow the footpath across Victoria Road), and

Ashford International Station (exit via the internation ticket hall, cross Avenue Jacques Faucheux to Beaver Road, follow the footpath from the south of the BP Service Station.

If you need to drive park in Watercress Fields (turn into Clockhouse/Arlington from Brookfield Road at the Knoll Lane/Clockhouse signalised junction then left into Clockhouse, right into Ford Way; Postcode for Satnav: TN23 5HD)