Here are a few of the less recent things that have been on our front page as news items:

A note from Pam Laking, our chair

The Friends of St Ives are holding a short ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1 on Sunday 5th October at 2pm. This is not to celebrate the war in any way, but to acknowledge the loss of life and suffering which occurred at that time.

There will be an unveiling ceremony of a memorial stone created by the Co-op memorial group from Saltaire adjacent to the picnic area opposite the café. The British Legion, SSAFA and the army cadets will be present and there will be a display relating to the WW1 in the visitor centre from Saturday 27th September until Saturday 11th October inclusive. Everyone is welcome to attend.

What can only be described as a potential disaster
toilet closure protesters

Photograph by Kath Gabitas

Our picture shows just some of the people who came out to register their disagreement at the proposed closure of the toilets on St. Ives.

The St. Ives Estate has been one of the great success stories. The only country park with English Heritage status in the Bradford Area. It is visited by thousands of people a year, including school parties, who use it as a resource, parties of senior people, young families and every sort of group that you can think of. The new play ground is a big attraction, the Estate has an inestimable value to the whole community.

We regret to say that all this is now to be put in jeopardy. Just at the time when we would be expecting the toilet facilities to be enlarged to meet the requirements of the larger number of users, Bradford Metropolitan Council is to close the toilet facilities completely to save money. As far as the Estate is concerned this is a disaster, we cannot over state the importance of the toilets. The Friends of St. Ives was set up to make the public aware of the Estate and make more use of it. Now all that work is to be wiped out to make what we feel is a false economy. Without the toilets, even the Green Flag Award would go.

It is with some irritation that we have to anounce that Bradford Met has rejected our petition on what at first sight appears to be a technicality. They have given us a new link to their petition site and we would therefore urge all those who have kindly registered their feelings with the old site, to re-register on the new one. This is:- Petition

Just as an after thought. Surely the Bradford Council would want to provide toilets for its own people working on the Estate so why not make them available to the public at little extra cost?

We would wish to stress that we are not politically motivated in any way but do not want lose St.Ives whilst the public is deriving such great benefit from the Estate.

Easter at the visitor centre
Easter 2014 visitors

Easter 2014 saw lot of visitors calling in. Here are just a few.

Photograph by Kath Gabitas

Preparing the land

FOSI are creating a Poppy Meadow to commemorate the start of WW1. To prepare the grassed area adjacent to the picnic area on the Estate, STRI (who are based at St Ives) kindly brought their stripping and seeding machines along and firstly stripped areas that are to become a sturdy path for all users including wheelchairs, and also the beds for the poppies and then sowed the suitable grass seeds for us.

The sowing of the poppy seeds is taking place on Saturday 26th April at 2pm. Please come and join us in sowing these seeds and bring a small bowl to place the seeds in. We will be meeting in the grassed picnic area opposite Lady B's Café.

Text and photograph by Pam Laking

Participate comes to the rescue


On Friday 21st March "Participate", a group renown for team building, brought a group from "UKAR" to help sort out the garden. We are very grateful for the work that they did.

Photograph Kath Gabbitas

Teaching bird song
Bird recognition

On Saturday 8th March, Mark Doveston (picture right) installed a new system in the visitor centre for teaching bird recognition. The new interactive display boards have now been installed by Mark Doveston and Graham Hart in the Visitor Centre at St. Ives Estate, Bingley, the casing supplied by Experia. Great for kids to learn about birds and the sound they make....just push a button! After installation, all that was needed was a volunteer to test the system. At that moment Charlie (picture left) was passing and kindly offered to carry out the test.

Photograph Kath Gabbitas

Thrashing back the jungle

Helpt 2 Help 1

Photographs Kath Gabbitas

Further to our creation of a Poppy Field to commemorate the start of the WW1, the organisation called BEES (Bradford Environmental Education Service) very kindly came and did the first part of the clearing and preparing of the area to be planted with poppies. BEES is a charity and is part of the YMCA who work with community groups, schools and businesses to raise awareness of how to protect the natural environment and to work to create better habitats for plants and wildlife. Bob Taylor from STRI is kindly advising and supporting FOSI in the creation of this field and advised BEES on the day.

History walk
Seat 2

On Sunday 2nd March, Susan Hart lead a group of a dozen people round StIves, looking at many of the historical features.

New seat in herb garden
Seat 2 Seat 1

First photograph by Tony Laking, second photograph by Alex Anderson

Martin Bilj and team have delivered the circular seat to the Garden this week. The seat has come from the West Park area in Bradford where it was installed in a temporary garden, funded by a Postcode Lottery, to cheer the area prior to development. As this has now commenced the seats were put up for adoption. Twelve groups applied for the six seats and FOSI was lucky enough to win one. The seat is now installed round our Mulberry Bush.

More Ferrands come home

Over the 2013 Christmas break, a group from the Davies family paid us a visit. This family is currently living in Australia but have ancestral connections to the Ferrands.

Photograph by Kath Gabbitas

Hand rail to Baxter's Pond ripped out
Broken hand rails

On Saturday evening of the 28thDecember, a vehicle attempting to negotiate the pedestrian footpath below Baxter's pond became stuck. The hand rails on the steps appear to have been ripped out and used to free the vehicle.

We are very pleased to report that this has since been repaired by Bradford Met Council.

Pictures on a recent fungus walk

On Sunday 6th October 2013, Bob Taylor lead one of his renown fungus walks. The event this year was very well attended.

Photographs by Kath Gabbitas

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