Formed in 2018, the Friends of Ilkley Riverside Parks has now become a Registered Charity (No. 1189048). The work of the Group has also been recognised by the Ilkley Civic Society who awarded FOIRP a commendation for their work in improving the Parks environment.
Chair, Ed Duguid said, “We are so pleased that the work we have been doing since our formation in just August 2018 has been recognised, and we are excited that we can now look forward to seeking funding for some of the larger projects we envisage in the future which we will be consulting about in due course. We found that some of the larger funds were not as keen to provide us with funding because of our lack of charitable status. We felt we had to develop a track record in order to demonstrate what we were about. We think we have done that.”
Since its formation the volunteers from FOIRP have done much to improve the way the Park areas look; tidying pathways, clearing and replanting some of the flowerbeds and planting bulbs each autumn to increase the Spring displays in the Park.
Benches have been renovated, new bins have been acquired, working with the Council, including new Children’s bins in the Playground at Riverside Gardens. The new entrances to each of the three parks areas have been planned with the Council and these are now in the process of being completed (following a slight delay because of the “Lockdown”).
Following this, new signage, which has been designed by local graphic designer, Hattie Clark and funded by funds raised by FOIRP will be erected to improve information about the Park areas and encourage responsible use. Plans to have wildflower areas within the parks are underway and areas have already been cut to designate specific wildflower areas to be planted.
“And there is far more coming up for the future where we think the charitable status of the Group will help us raise the funds.”, said Ed, “Of course, there is our Playground Appeal which we will supplement with a number of grant claims to support its improvement and renewal, and various other large projects to improve the Parks, such as renovating and improving the Steps entrance and embankment down to the Memorial in Riverside Gardens, new bins and benches and improvements to the infrastructure to on the north side of the Parks and generally more tree planting to both enhance the Parks and replace some trees that are coming to the end of their lives. We are excited about the future and cannot wait for the Lockdown to be eased and to get back out there, getting this done.”
FOIRP will be launching their new website during the summer, which will reach a greater number of people, the Group hopes. However, if you are interested joining FOIRP or volunteering, please contact the Chair of FOIRP at: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find Friends of Ilkley Riverside Parks information and lots of examples of their work in their Facebook group and on their Twitter feed.