We are very happy to announce that Bestwood Country Park has received a Green Flag Award. The Green Flag Award scheme is managed by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. It recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management.
This is the first year that Bestwood Country Park has been included in these awards and we are bursting with pride at this recognition of the efforts of everyone associated with the park. Gedling Borough Council manage the park and there are several groups of volunteers that help out with everything from hedge laying to maintaining the Winding Engine House and from baking cakes for the cafe to organising litter picks. This award is an acknowledgement of all their efforts
The four parks in the Gedling area receiving the award are Gedling Country Park, Arnot Hill Park, Burton Road Jubilee Park and of course our own Bestwood Country Park. Well done to all concerned.
Autumn Harvest 9 October 2020
It is that time of year when a walk in the park can be very rewarding. Not only will your spirits be lifted by your closeness to nature and your body be improved by the exercise but you might be able to find some chestnuts. For those who know where to look there are horse chestnuts (conkers) to play games with & sweet chestnuts to roast and eat. Whatever you do, don't muddle them up. Hopefully the images below will help you identify each of them and avoid any confusion. If you should be lucky enough to spot some please only take the few that you need and leave the rest for others to discover and enjoy.
Having reviewed the situation regarding social distancing the County Council have sadly had to temporarily suspended the monthly Wednesday health walks. Sue McDonald will review the situation again in early 2021 and we will publish details as soon as there is a plan to restart the free guided walks. Of course that doesn't stop you taking yourself for a walk to take in the start of the autumn colours arriving in the park.
Virtually There 4 August 2020
As you can't get into the Winding Engine House at the moment you can now experience the next best thing - a 3D virtual experience using photogrametry. Not sure what that is? Well, photogrammetry is a technical term that means to create accurate measurements from photography. Michal Gniady, a student from NTU (Confetti), has been doing some drone work around the Winding Engine House in order to collect valuable photos for the project. This was the only way to get accurate measurements of the place. He would now like to share the results of his project with us all. By clicking on the links below you can see what he has been up to and the amazing images and models he has created.
Someone has lost a pendant during their walk in the park. Although it is not of much intrinsic value it has great sentimental meaning to the wearer. It is thought that she lost it somewhere close to the Bestwood Lodge Hotel part of the park. If you happen to find the pendant please get in touch with us via the contact form and we can arrange to reunite it with its owner.
Adventures In The Park 4 July 2020
It is time to celebrate the relaxation of restrictions on your enjoyment of the country park. Andy's Adventure Playground is now OPEN. If you are passing through Bestwood Village on your way to the country park you will see that the play park on The Square is also open for play. Please use the play facilities responsibly and stay safe .
July Update 1 July 2020
Very little has changed since June. We have arranged for additional bin emptying to keep pace with the increased usage of the park but we would still appreciate it if you could take your litter home wherever possible rather than using the bins. Despite the imminent relaxation on the opening of restaurants we have no plans at the moment to reopen the Dynamo House Cafe. The very limited space inside the building and no facilities to operate on a cashless basis means it may be a while until we return to normal service. The Park Run at 9am on Saturdays is also still suspended but you can run the route at any other time and submit your time to take part in a virtual park run. Stay safe.
Zoom In To Action 30 June 2020
Well the Friends of Bestwood Country Park moved into the 21st century today by holding their first monthly meeting remotely using Zoom. Despite a few early technical issues the meeting went well and everyone agreed that it was great seeing the team again, even if it was only on screen. The meetings are going to continue this way in the months ahead so watch out for details of how you can "attend" meetings in the future.
June Update 1 June 2020
Due to the on-going issues with Covid-19 the Dynamo House, Winding Engine House and adventure playground remain closed. The car park is open for you to take your exercise in the park, but please remain socially distanced from people outside your household and respect the park by taking your litter home. Thank you.
Trees of Bestwood 26 May 2020
With so many new visitors to Bestwood Country Park we are trying to find as many ways as possible to enhance their visit. One way we can do this is by publishing our Guide to the Trees of Bestwood on-line. Whist the Dynamo House is closed you can't pick up a hard copy to help you enjoy your walk but you can click here and see the information for a limited time at least on the website - just click the image. Should you require a hard copy you can pick one up for just £1 from the Dynamo House as soon as we open or use the contact form to order one by post for £1 plus P&P.
Pony Trekking in the Park 23 May 2020
If you have been walking in the Country Park you may have seen the posts around the Winding Engine House compound with images of mining equipment and a QR code on them. They form part of a trail around the park aimed at our younger visitors where they can find out more about the history of mining with the help of a friendly pit pony called Peter.
Find out more here & here then start scanning those QR code links to the extra information.
Wild Things 12 May 2020
There was a thought provoking article in The Guardian, featuring Wild Things - one of the Forest Schools that have been using Bestwood Country Park as one of their sites for many years. The article discusses the benefits of forest schools for refugee children and makes a very interesting read. It also shines a light on how wonderful our park is too. You can read it by clicking here.
Park Life - A Virtual Walk in the Park With Gill 10 May 2020
I'm very lucky as my house is only a few yards from one of the pedestrian entrances to Bestwood Country Park, so my daily walks have been a great escape from lock-down. The flowers and the bird song seem to me to have been especially good this year. At present the hawthorn blossom is at its very best. Some of you may not have been able to get out, so I've set out below a few of the flower pictures I took to remind you to come back as soon as you can! There is also a special photo from our member Alan - who was out very early one day to take an amazing bluebell photo. I had noticed how deep the blue of the bluebells has seemed this year, but this one, taken in the early morning light before the sun was quite up, shows it so well. Maybe all that rain in the winter, then the strong April sunshine combined to create that special blue. Bird song has been special too - each year I love to hear again the songs and calls of birds arriving back - mostly from Africa I think - to set up territories in the park and raise their young over the summer. This morning I was up early and walking as the sun came up. I heard my first cuckoo of the year, and saw and heard my first garden warbler. Blackcaps, nuthatches, blackbirds, robins, tits (3 sorts), a green woodpecker, buzzard, pheasant, chiff chaffs, mistle thrush and song thrush were all in good voice. Willow warblers were heard earlier in the week. For me as a birdwatcher it's like meeting up again with old friends. Because of social distancing it may be a good while before we humans can meet again as we used to, at our meetings, volunteering, or at the Dynamo House Cafe - but I know we will meet again. You can all break into song now! Best wishes, Gill
Jay Walking 23 April 2020
It seems like more and more of you are out walking in our big, beautiful park at the moment. Meanwhile the birds and other wildlife are busy with their spring activities of staking out a territory, finding a mate and raising a family. If you are out and about and spot something of interest, humour or beauty in the park please let us know by emailing your pictures to email@example.com. That's what Diane and Stephen Plewinski did last week when they captured this lovely image of a jay.
Nature's Calendar 15 April 2020
Many local people are choosing to take their daily exercise in our wonderful country park. Whether that is a jog around the relentless hills of the main park or a leisurely stroll along the paths surrounding the Mill Lakes, visitors will be soaking up a little of what nature has to offer at this time of year. If you are new to visiting the park, or just unaccustomed to visiting on such a regular basis, you may need an observation guide to what is happening to the trees, plants and animals there. Things change on a daily basis as spring takes hold and nature responds. Take a look at our nature calendars below so you know what to look out for as the days go by. We have put the whole year on the calendar although we hope the lock-down doesn't last quite that long.
All Stitched Up 8 April 2020
While stuck at home on lock-down one of the cafe volunteers has been using her time very creatively. Carol Hart, (aka Mrs H Seamstress) has been turning one of her photos of the Winding Engine House into an embroidery project. Small but beautifully formed it will eventually be framed and take pride of place on her craft room wall.
Boredom Busters 1 April 2020
Despite being April Fool's Day, being stuck at home is no joke. To help pass the time we are posting a few ideas for crafts you can do at home. These are things we have already done at Mini Miners craft sessions or ideas we had in mind to do this year but may not get a chance to do. Check out the ideas by clicking on What's On - Mini-Miner-Activities and choosing your craft to have a go at. Happy Crafting!
Volunteer Groups and Health Walks 17 March 2020
We have heard today from Sue McDonald that all the park volunteer working parties will be suspended for at least 2 months. The guided health walks are likewise suspended for 2 months to avoid large groups walking in the park. As and when this situation changes we will let you know either via the FoBCP Newsletter or via updates on here. You are, of course, free to take yourself for a walk in the park, It may well cheer your spirits to see spring arriving in the great outdoors.
Cafe Closure 17 March 2020
Very sadly due to the current advice on coronavirus restrictions on gatherings, we have decided we must cancel the Dynamo House Cafe for the present, until the situation changes. So there will be no cafe this Saturday. We are also suspending our FoCBP meetings for the foreseeable future.
Pocket Money Presents 13 March 2020
There will be a selection of beautifully bagged chocolates on sale at the Dynamo House on Saturday 14 and Saturday 21 March. These will make wonderful Easter or Mothers' Day gifts as they come with their own pretty gift tag for you to write before you pass them on. The chocolates have been donated by John Lewis & Partners and the making up of the gift bags have been carried out by a group of local ladies during their regular coffee mornings. At just £2 they are a real bargain and a pocket money present.
Last Call For Soup 6 March 2020
This Saturday 7 March will be the last time this season that we will be offering home-made soup at the cafe. It will also be the mini miners craft day and we will be making origami flowers like the ones we display on our tables. All activities are free. There will be some chocolates for you to taste and, if you like them, buy, as a preview of something exciting we have planned for the coming weeks.
Youth Event 4 March 2020
On Sunday 1 March the Winding Engine House compound was the site of an exciting youth event. It was part of the big conversation trying to find out what residents want to happen to the old school site and this event was specifically aimed at finding out what younger villagers want. There was a great range of free activities on offer including beatboxing, bike MOTs, spray-paint tagging and a smoothie bike. It was very satisfying to see our heritage buildings helping to secure the future of another village landmark.
Quiet Quarry Please 9 February 2020
There were noisy bikers in the sand quarry at Bestwood Country Park yesterday, Saturday 8th Feb. The quarry has many important habitats, fragile and developing since the quarrying stopped being operated, with several rarer species involved, which is why biking has always been discouraged there. It has been reported to the police and the incident number is 0445_08022020. If you have any information about it please let them know. If you can, please help reduce this disruptive behaviour. http://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk
Good Luck With Mini-Miners 31 January 2020
The February Mini Miners craft activity will be decorating horseshoes with hearts and flowers for Valentine's Day. It will take place on Saturday 1 February starting at 10am. All craft activities are free so come along and have a go.
As it is the first Saturday of the month there will also be home-made soup on sale - spiced sweet potato - for just 75p a mug. Combine that with a home-baked bread roll or a cheese straw.
The usual selection of cakes and hot & cold drinks will also be available from 10am to 1pm. All profits from the cafe are fed back into purchases for the park such as picnic benches or winter feed bird seed.
Good Crafternoon 11 January 2020
Do you enjoy doing crafts, knitting or crochet but can't find the inspiration to finish a project? Do you feel guilty sitting crafting whilst the household chores need doing? We have the perfect solution. Come and join our Crafternoon session at the Dynamo House. Held every 3rd Wednesday of the month between 1,30pm and 3.30pm we offer a guilt-free space where you can enjoy crafting with like-minded people out of sight of the ironing heap.. It is free to join in and you might even pick up a few tips or learn a new craft while you are there. You will certainly have a warm welcome and a cup of tea or coffee to chat over. Pop along anytime during the session to find out more. First session is on Wednesday 15 January.
Nell Gwynn's Footsteps 2 January 2020
Stride into the New Year with a walk in Bestwood Country Park following in the footsteps of Nell Gwynn!
A free guided walk, on Saturday 18 January starting at 11am, will take you round the new 6-mile route, which starts and finishes at Southglade Leisure Centre. The walk is guided by members of Nottingham's Local Access Forum.
Full details are on the poster - click to enlarge
New Year - New Record 1 January 2020
The extra Bestwood Park Run held on New Year's Day broke the record for the number of runners taking part on our course. An amazing 406 runners took the challenge of walking, jogging or running round our hilly 5km track. The higher numbers were possibly due to the later start which suited both those wanting an extra hour in bed and those committed runners who wanted to do the double - a 9am run elsewhere followed by our run at 10.30am. Most of the runners called in at the Dynamo House before or after to take advantage of the 50p drinks and selection of free biscuits and mince pies.
Happy New Year 27 December 2019
There will be an extra Park Run in Bestwood Country Park at setting out at 10.30am on New Year's Day. Inspired by this the Dynamo House Cafe will be open from 10.30am to around 12 noon on NYD for anyone to come in and enjoy a hot drink and a biscuit. Sadly there won't be any home-baked cakes that day but normal service will be available on every Saturday 10am to 1pm.
Merry Christmas 18 December 2019
Over Christmas the Dynamo House Community Cafe will be open as follows: Saturday 21 December 10am to 1pm Thursday 26 December 10am to 1pm (Boxing Day) Saturday 28 December 10am to 1pm Wednesday 1 January 10.30am to 12.30pm (NYD) Saturday 4 January 10am to 1pm - including Mini Miner activities
Scarlet Ribbons... 8 December 2019
...and blue, silver, pink, purple, gold and green ones. All the colours of the rainbow were used by the mini-miners who visited the Dynamo House Cafe on Saturday to make striking Christmas cards. As usual the free mini-miners activity was enjoyed by lots of children of all ages and they each went home with something lovely that they had created with varying degrees of help from the crafty ladies running the event. Next month the activity will involve snowy pictures of the park.
Bird's Eye View 20 November 2019
On Monday one of our Winding Engine House volunteers was up on the winding wheel carrying out regular maintenance, greasing the headstock bearings. What was different this time is that the weather was great and Kevin remembered to take his camera with him so we have a few wonderful photos of the view from the top of the building.
Take a look in the gallery to share Kevin's heady experience.
It's A Girl! 19 November 2019
The Dynamo House has been the venue for many things in the past - birthdays, baby naming ceremonies, funeral wakes and wedding anniversaries - but never before has it hosted a baby shower. That is until last Saturday evening when over 30 ladies gathered to welcome another little girl, due to arrive on Christmas Eve, into their ranks. It is amazing how a dash of pink and some beautiful cakes can transform a room. To book the Dynamo House for your event please contact us.
Autumn Watched 2 November 2019
If you have been inspired by the BBC Autumn Watch programme to get out and see more of the natural environment and local wildlife, you need to visit Bestwood Country Park.
Even if the weather isn't at its best, the park is always full of wonder. If you take your camera with you on your visit you should send us your photos of the park any of its varied moods. Jennifer Ann Steele did just that with her very atmospheric photo of a path in the park.
Ever heard of Swishing? It's like shopping but it's free. You bring along items of adult clothing and go home with something that someone else brought along. Exchanging clothes means you refresh your wardrobe without new items being made or waste being created. The Dynamo House will be hosting a Swishing Party on Thursday 24 October. You can drop off clothes from 6pm and the swapping starts at 6.30pm. The Dynamo Café will be open from 6pm serving refreshments so you can socialise while we set up the rails for you to browse. There is no entrance fee so anything you go home with will be a real bargain. For more info email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Autumn Fayre 9 October 2019
Sitting Pretty 4 October 2019
The FoBCP have commissioned the installation of a new picnic table and benches at Andy's Adventure Playground. It was created and fixed into position by the Bolsover Woodlands Enterprise team who are pictured after their completing their work. Hopefully this will give the grown ups somewhere to sit and watch while their youngsters have lots of fun on the new equipment.
Doggy Daycare 3 October 2019
Thankfully, the rain stopped for a while to allow the Nottingham Branch of the Greyhound Trust to set off on their walk around Bestwood Country Park on Sunday morning. About 30 greyhounds and their owners enjoyed their walk and along the way admired the recently refurbished Andy’s Adventure Playground.They were very appreciative of the volunteers at the Dynamo café who opened up for them at the end of the walk for delicious cakes and drink.
Fun On The Move 27 September 2019
The Mini-Miner craft activity for October will be an autumnal mobile. On Saturday 5 October we will be helping our younger visitors to make a mobile with paper & fabric leaves, feathers, and pine cones. All mini miners activities are free and you get to take home what you make.
All Stitched Up 23 September 2019
28 Sept 9.30 - 11.30am
The Repair Café will be open again for business on Saturday 28 September fro 9.30am to 11.30am. Carol & Kay will be on hand to offer your clothes a second chance by mending seams, stitching on buttons and sewing up hems. The service is free of charge but they can't take on alterations, only repairs. The idea is to recycle clothes and avoid them going to landfill. We hope to see you on Saturday with your items of clothing that are in need of a little TLC.
Greenwood's Gratitude 12 September 2019
Last night the annual Greenwood Community Awards event was held at Swancar Farm, Trowell. There was a large contingent from FoBCP attending and all bar one of us knew there was an extra special reason to be there. Margret Vince, who has been a very active member of our group, is currently the chair of the Greenwood Group. She officiated effectively throughout the meeting, ably assisted by Cllr Philip Rostance. However, at the very last moment she was usurped from the podium by Rob Carlyle. He announced, much to her surprise, that there was one last award to be handed out and it was to Margret herself in recognition of her enthusiastic input to everything she does. There was also an honourable mention for Sue McDonald of Nottinghamshire County Council for her commitment to the Andy's Adventure Playground project. Well done to all the award winners.
Make, Do and Mend 3 September 2019
We are excited to announce details of a great new initiative based in our park. The Dynamo House Café will be hosting The Repair Café on Saturday 7 September. Following on from the trial last weekend we will be offering a free clothes mending service for 3 hours on Saturday from 12 noon to 3pm. Bring along any of your clothes or household linens in need of a little TLC and they will, where possible, be sewn back together by Carol & Kay. Whether it is a missing button, a hanging hem or a split seam they can bring your items back to life and save them from being thrown out - Reducing your need to buy new, reusing existing materials recycling your wardrobe.
Play Day 7 August 2019
Sheila & Kay were representing FoBCP at the Arnold Play Day today in Arnot Hill Park. They had a stall offering the children the chance to make a collage picture of Bestwood Country Park with both the heritage of the old colliery and the wildlife in the woods and fields of the park. They entertained around 100 children who all went away with a colourful reminder of what is on offer in our big, beautiful park.
The Early Bird... 4 August 2019
...catches the worm, or so they say. Well in this case Jean Bryden managed to catch sight of two of the deer that roam around Bestwood Country Park on one of her early morning dog walks.
If you manage to capture pictures of interesting things in and around the park please send them to us on email@example.com and we can share them with other park visitors.
Open For Business 13 July 2019
Sue and Sue cut the ribbon
Something amazing happened today. The love of a mother joined forces with the tenacity of a Council Officer along with the dedication of a team of volunteers & fund-raisers and together they created a lasting legacy which everyone can enjoy. Sue Maycock, mother of Andrew (who was tragically killed in a traffic accident in 2000), and Sue McDonald, Community Liaison Officer at Nottinghamshire County Council, jointly cut the ribbon to open the totally refurbished area of Andy's Adventure Playground. The play area had originally been created in honour of Andy but had fallen into disrepair. Funds were raised for a second time to refurbish the playground and it was rededicated to Andy's memory in the opening ceremony today. The event was well attended and once the speeches had been made, the blessing given and the ribbon cut, an army of local children ran in and put the equipment to the test. It was particularly fitting to see a contingent of Air Cadets at the ceremony as Andy had been one of their number as well as being a Country Park Volunteer. You can see more photos of the event in the gallery.
What3Words 12 July 2019
There is a new way to identify any place in the world accurate to a 3m square of land - What3Words. This system has allocated 3 random words to each 3m square and using those words can help you locate places where postcode and road names are not really suitable - such as in a park! For example the Dynamo House can be found using "Dollar.Like.Noon" and the Winding Engine House using "Taking.Snap.Season". It might help you track down the Adventure Playground site to look up the words "Runs.Both.Jumps" which seems highly appropriate for that location.
Almost There 9 July 2019
With just a few days to go until the official re-opening of Andy's Adventure Playground it is looking marvellous. There are just a few last minute things to be completed and everything should be ready for the ribbon cutting on Saturday. Do come along and support the rededication event - details are on the poster in the news stream below.
Making The News 4 July 2019
The imminent re-opening of Andy's Adventure Playground has made the local paper again. The Nottingham Post ran a story today telling the story again and giving an update on progress.
Please note that there is limited parking at both ends of the park and the hotel now charge to use their car park. If you can walk, cycle or use public transport please do.
AGM 20 June 2019
Our AGM was held this evening at the Bestwood Lodge Hotel. The transcript of the Chair's Report summarising our achievements throughout the year can be found here.
All Change! 19 June 2019
We are about to implement a new regime for our meetings. In the 2019-20 season we plan to hold the meetings only every other month. The venue will vary between the Bestwood Lodge Hotel and the Dynamo House. The time of the meetings will also vary so we can accommodate as many interested parties as possible. The details of times and places are set out below and more details of the meetings can be found here.
Health Walk Cancelled 17 June 2019
Sadly this month's health walk planned for Wednesday 19 June has had to be cancelled. Sue is not well at the moment so there will be no one to guide the walk. Feel free to wander in the park on your own on Wednesday as this will do you just as much good but may not be quite as educational as the walk with Sue might have been. Normal service will be resumed next month.
Playground Update 14 June 2019
Here are a few photos of Andy's Adventure Playground taken today showing how close to completion it is. The official opening is likely to take place in early July so keep your eyes peeled for an announcement of the date on here.
Your Café Needs You 13 June 2019
Almost There... 8 June 2019
The refurbishment in the park of Andy's Adventure Playground is well under-way. We don't have a firm date for the reopening yet but we will post on here as soon as we know the details.
Looking at the progress that has been made over the last few days that date can't be far off now.
Parking Charges 31 May 2019
We understand that parking charges have been introduced at the Bestwood Lodge Hotel car park at the Arnold side of Bestwood Country Park. Don't get caught out and incur a fine. The council run car park back down the approach road to the hotel (the one with the toilet block) is still free to park in, so save your money by walking the extra few yards.
The Adventure Begins 30 May 2019
Work has finally started on the refurbishment of Andy's Adventure Playground in Bestwood Country Park. It isn't much fun at the moment; more Bob the Builder than Playaway, but things will begin to move very quickly as the work proceeds. We will try to keep you up to date with progress and we will let you know as soon as we have a date for the planned grand re-opening.
Picture Perfect 24 May 2019
FoBCP Vice Chair, Keith Stone, has been busy with his tool box today in the Dynamo House. He was hanging the three new paintings donated to us by Rodney Fogg so they can be seen by all our visitors. Do take a look at them next time you visit - they are superb and really capture the mood of the park. You get two chances to see them this coming weekend as the site is open on both Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday. Check the What's On page for details.
Pupils Meet Peter 23 May 2019
On Monday 20 May a class from Hawthorne Primary School came along to the Winding Engine House to learn more about mining heritage by helped by Peter the Pit Pony. In a very hands-on session Jackie told the story of Peter and how he helped miner Bob find his lost equipment. After the story-telling session the children followed the trail around the park to discover more about coal mining. Once back at the Dynamo House the class made themselves a bight yellow canary just like the one Bob used in the mine. The event was observed by Councillor Phil Rostance who popped in to the morning session with his wife and daughter. You can purchase a copy of the Peter the Pit Pony book for £3 from the Dynamo House. There are more photos in the gallery.
Publicity for Peter 17 May 2019
There is a new interactive outdoor trail educating youngsters about the mining heritage of Bestwood Country Park. The launch of Peter the Pit Pony book and the adventure trail, which is centred around the Winding Engine House, has been featured in the press. The Gedling Eye ran an article today and you can view it here, or check out our what the papers say page here. You can pick up a copy of the book at the Dynamo House Café for just £3.
Another Bank Holiday! 15 May 2019
Having just got over the early May Bank Holiday we find that there is another one coming along at the end of May. The Winding Engine House and the Dynamo House Café will both be open on the BH Monday 27 for the usual Saturday opening hours. Please come along and support the park by treating yourself to a coffee & cake.
WREN Becomes FCC Communities Foundation 14 May 2019
WREN (the body who have granted us funding to refurbish Andy's Adventure Playground) have changed their name – they are now known as FCC Communities Foundation.
Check out all about them on their website by clicking here.
Sunday Supplement 26 April 2019
On Sunday 28 April we will be taking part in Radio Nottingham's BIG Day Out. This event highlights Nottinghamshire visitor attractions and encourages the public to go out and see them. Most locations offer free entry on the day but as we are free anyway the added extra at our venue is that we are open on a Sunday. Do come along & support us by taking a tour of the unique Winding Engine House or checking out the historic photos and literature in the Dynamo House, perhaps over a cuppa and a cake. We open at 10am and tours run until 12 noon, and the café closes at 1pm.
Step Back In Time 20 April 2019
We have been sent a few photos snapped by John Palmer showing Bestwood Country Park in autumn 1980. Taken when out walking Eric, the pub dog from the Bestwood Hotel, on a Sunday afternoon, they show the park in an very different state to how we see it now. The Winding Engine House doesn't look in too bad a state as it stands in splendid isolation, but Alexandra Lodge is in very poor condition. We also have a mystery view we would like you to identify. To check out the photos and the story behind them click here.
Film Début 17 April 2019
This film features footage from the Bestwood Colliery site and should be well worth watching. There is a short preview available by clicking here.
We Need Your Ideas 17 April 2019
WE WANT TO KNOW YOUR VIEWS - our Chair, Rob Carlyle, is very keen to gather
new ideas, and hopefully some new people to help put them into practice, and
to attend our monthly meetings. We have had thoughts about holding our meetings less frequently and maybe at different
venues & times. None of these changes are going to happen until after our AGM in June and would be well publicised, but we would love to have you thoughts now so we have time to consider them. So please get in touch if you have any ideas or if you feel able to give us some time / energy
/ brain power! Contact us here.
Extra Opening For Café & WEH 16 April 2019
The Bestwood Colliery heritage site will be opening on two additional days in April. Bank Holiday Monday 22 April, and Sunday 28 April as part of Radio Nottingham - Big Day Out. On both occasions the tours of the Winding Engine House will be available 10am to 12 noon and the café will be open 10am to 1pm. Do come along and find out more about your local history and enjoy a lovely home-made cake.
Picture The Scene... 13 April 2019
Below are photos of four paintings by Rodney Fogg; three of Bestwood & one of the Welbeck sinking team. These were painted in 1996 when he was living locally. Although he now lives in Radcliffe on Trent he and his wife recently visited the Winding Engine House & Dynamo House and had an interesting conversation regarding mining in the locality and local characters in general. Rodney has been kind enough to donate the paintings to the Friends of Bestwood Country Park and they will look great on the Dynamo House wall once we get them mounted.
Media Mum 8 April 2019
Sue Maycock, mum of Andy after whom the Adventure Playground is named has been in the papers again. Read all about progress with the project on our What the Papers Say page
Let Them Eat Cake 1 April 2019
I know it is April Fool's Day but it was no joke when the visitors to the Dynamo House Café on Saturday found that we had completely run out of cake. Despite having baked over 200 pieces of cake & scones we managed to sell them all by about 12.15pm meaning that later visitors could only be offered packets of biscuits. It seems that we're the victims of our own success. It did mean of course that we had record takings on the day. Any profits will be directed in to our general funds now as our additional funding support of the Andy's Adventure Playground Appeal has now ceased following the news that we have been awarded a WREN grant. You can read the recent press release about the Playground Appeal by downloading the document below.
On Friday 15 March Gedling Borough Council launched their “Heritage Brought Alive Project” at Gedling County Park. The event included the launch of a new 80 page book written by volunteers, including our own Keith Stone, and compiled and edited by Dr Stephen Walker, of Friends of Moor Pond Wood. It is the first ever publication to talk about the heritage of the whole of Gedling borough. It contains information on local communities and historical sites such as Newstead Abbey, Papplewick Pumping Station and, of course, our Bestwood Winding Engine.
The project was made possible thanks to a £74,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the work of volunteers over the last 15 months. A short video accompanies the book and can be viewed here.
In The Meadow We Will Build... 10 March 2019
There was a flurry of snow in the park last night and looking out on the light dusting you might be forgiven for being disappointed. No chance of skiing, sledging, having a snowball fight or building a snow man - or maybe you could... Check out what someone managed to create from the thin layer of snow available. This image turned up on BBC Weather Watchers today - so the impossible was possible.
Playground Update 1 March 2019
The great news is that we have been formally awarded the grant of £50,000 from WREN - a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund. This means, along with the money from fund-raising, we can now afford to have the new Adventure Playground built.
However, before building can start we had to address a Health & Safety issue with a large sweet chestnut tree situated close to the playground area. Every year the tree would produce hundreds of spiky sweet chestnut seed cases, which would fall directly into the playground posing a risk to children playing who may sustain an injury from falling on them. A decision was taken that removal of the tree prior to the building of the new playground would be the best option.
Rob Wombwell (GBC ranger) & Dave Southward (GBC warden) undertook the felling work themselves, then invited Bolsover Woodland Enterprise in to process the felled timber. BWE is a social enterprise providing work experience & training in conservation & woodland management for adults with a learning disability. They brought their planking machine on site & planked the timber – they will now use it to make benches & other furniture to sell to support their enterprise. Watch out for further updates over the next few months & the whole project will hopefully be completed by the summer. Meanwhile check out the tree felling photos in the gallery.
Record Figures 28 February 2019
The unseasonally sunny weather we have experienced this month has brought lots of people out into the park. Dog walkers, families, Nordic walkers, horse riders, bird watchers and those just looking for a nice cup of coffee and a cake have been visiting the park and popping into the Dynamo House Café on Saturdays. We have had record takings for several weeks which is great news for the projects that we support in and around the park, such as winter bird food, benches and picnic tables as all the profits are used to fund these. We have also been supporting the Andy's Adventure Playground Appeal but since receiving the news that we have been awarded the grant from WREN we have put the café profits back into our regular funds.
Lost Keys 4 February 2019
We've been contacted by someone who lost a set of keys whilst walking his dogs in BCP on 2nd February. There was a car key and several other keys. One of the door keys had a light blue cover on the key. He was walking from the Dunvegan Drive Rise Park entrance past Bigwood/Oakwood school and returning back to the Dunvegan entrance. There's a £10 reward for anyone finding the keys - please get in touch if you find them via out Contact form.
Cold Snap 27 January 2019
In the middle of January the weather surprised us with some sub-zero overnight temperatures which were followed by bright sunny days. These were just ideal conditions for keen local photographers to get snapping in Bestwood Country Park. The resulting dramatic images are in our gallery. If you have any recent interesting, unusual or generally beautiful photos taken in the park please email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Runners Pass Milestone 25 January 2019
On Saturday 26 January the Bestwood Village Park Run will be celebrating their 2 year anniversary. This is likely to mean a higher number of runners than normal so do take care if you are passing the Park Road entrance between 8.30am & 9.45am on Saturday. If you are planning to run the 5km around our beautiful park please try to park sensibly and safely. You will be rewarded for your efforts with biscuits and cakes at the end of the race. Good luck on those hills!
Outside Catering 12 January 2019
Yesterday the Dynamo House Café supplied the outside catering at the annual gathering of the Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group (NottsBAG). The event, held at Brackenhurst Campus of the Nottingham Trent University, offers a chance for representative of groups associated with environmental & biodiversity improvement to get together and hear talks and exchange information in this field. This year the day also included a field trip around the Southwell area to see improvement schemes on the ground. The Dynamo House Café provided morning and afternoon refreshment with drinks & biscuits and a lunchtime treat of cakes. A big thank you goes out to all our amazing bakers who provided a great selection of home-made cakes & biscuits, even providing vegan options to support those attempting "Veganuary". A few doggy bags were given out at the end of the day and everyone seemed to go home happy. The participants were very generous with their donations and all profits will go towards improving Bestwood Country Park, so it really is a win:win partnership.
Volunteering Opportunities 2 January 2019
Sue McDonald, the Community Liaison Officer for Notts County Council, is setting up a new volunteer group to carry out work locally. The work will focus on habitat improvement to increase biodiversity at a site known as The Linby Trail. The first meeting will be on 23 January but from then on the group will run on the first Wednesday of each month; (6th Feb, 6th Mar, 3rd April). If you would like to be involved please contact Sue by 4pm on the Monday before each event. Phone:0115 927 3674 or 07971 328 105 email: email@example.com
New Year Resolutions 1 January 2019
OK, so you made a new year resolution to get fit, or to learn more about your local area, or to meet new people, or to save money, or to improve the wonderful natural environment. All these can be achieved by getting out into your local park. A walk, run or ride around the park is not only good for you, it is free. You can meet new people there by getting involved in a volunteer group doing work in the park like gardening, litter picking, engineering, tour guiding or even baking & serving cakes. Make sure you make the most of this amazing asset on your doorstep - don't miss out on the chance to have a great 2019!
Season's Greetings 19 December 2018
The Friends of Bestwood Country Park would like to wish all our members, supporters, friends and visitors a very happy Christmas. Please come and enjoy the park in the coming days as it can be at its most beautiful in its winter coat. The Dynamo House Café will be open every Saturday throughout the winter and there are additional opening days on Boxing Day and New Year's Day. See you there.
Christmas Cheer 14 December 2018
Last night the Christmas party was held at Emmanuel Church to say a big thank you to all the various volunteer groups that help out in the park. Funding was unavailable from the County Council this year but the FoBCP stepped in to make sure a good evening was had by all. Some photos of the night are in the gallery.
NEWS FLASH 11 December 2018
We have just been notified that our bid to WREN for £50,000 of funding to restore the adventure playground has been successful. This means that, along with the funds already raised by your efforts and donations, we now have enough money in the pot to make the playground a place to come and have an amazing adventure. It looks like 2019 will be a landmark year for the park with the new Andy's Adventure Playground at its heart.Thank you to all involved in the fund-raising and the bid.
Dark December Days 4 December 2018
After last night's first serious frost of the season the Winding Engine House was looking splendid in the morning sunshine. This image, captured by local photographer Tamsyn Cheetham, illustrates the grandeur of the industrial buildings and shows how they now nestle within their beautiful rural setting. More in the gallery. If you capture pictures of the park on your next visit please send them through to us on an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter & The Pupils 28 November 2018
Jackie and the pupils with Peter
On 27 November the first class of children came to the Winding Engine House to meet Peter the Pit Pony. A class of 3 and 4 year old girls and boys from Hawthorne Primary School came along and took part in an interactive story telling session run by Laura and Jackie to test out the timings and the effectiveness of the materials. From the feedback we have had the children and teachers loved meeting Peter and exploring their local history. We have a few more photos in the gallery. If you would like to meet Peter please get in touch with us, or for a self-guided tour pick up a booklet from the Dynamo House at just £3.
Mystery Helpers 27 November 2018
We have been trying to track down a mystery couple called Ray & Sue who said they would like to add their names to the mailing list and help out with the Adventure Playground Appeal. However, we sadly took down their email address inaccurately & we can't get a message through to them about the rota. Are you that couple? If so please drop us an email using the contact form.
Meet Peter 23 November 2018
On sale now at the Dynamo House is a great children's story book. Peter the Pit Pony is a beautifully illustrated storybook and guided trail based on the history of Bestwood Country Park from the time it was a coal mine. You can read how Peter the Pit Pony helps young miner Bob find all his mining equipment, and then go on a trail to spot these mining items yourselves around the park. School groups and Early years groups can book a guided workshop to accompany the book and trail or you can use it as a self-guided resource. Be sure to pick up a copy next time you are at the Dynamo House - just £3 a copy. Read more about the ponies of Bestwood Colliery here.
News from October 2018 - November 2016 is stored on our News Archive page here. News from October 2016 - November 2015 is stored on our News Archive page here. News from November 2015 and before is stored on our News Archive page here.