Category Archives: Newsletters

Chair’s annual report

Our Chairman has produced his Report on the activities of the Friends in the past year.

You will be pleased to hear that he has confined himself to 2 sides of paper (with big print!) so if you want to be reminded of what we have achieved, and what we hope to achieve in the next year, Read On……..

Friends of Miss Whalley’s Field Chairman’s Annual Report May 2023


  • Partnerships are strong especially with the Gregson, local community, politicians and Lancaster City Council
  • A new access path from Kentmere Road was opened by Caroline Jackson
  • 3 wild flower ‘meadows’ are now planted- approx. 8000 plants, many grown from seed by our members Richard and Catherine – an astonishing effort. 
  • New fruit trees have been planted, with a member again taking the lead.
  • Kings Award for volunteers – good progress has been made on our application.
  • Jean Argles wood – 750 native trees planted and doing well following our pruning efforts.


  • Flooding near the main path– the City Council are to resolve
  • Vehicle driven on the Field causing significant damage – repaired by our volunteers
  • Notice board damaged – repaired by our Committee
  • Graffiti on the benches – removed by the City Council
  • ‘Attack dogs’ destroying trees – dog warden etc. informed

How to deal with anti-social behaviour and vandalism?

  • Please pick up your litter/dog mess etc. and politely challenge anyone failing to do so.
  • Publicise and shame – web site, Facebook etc.
  • Put any damage right ASAP – we have funds to repair/replace damage.

2023 Focus

  • Town green status – work with County Council to progress this application.
  • Promote greater use of the Field as an outdoor resource by the Gregson; the “Gregson Garden” 
  • Renovate and replant the Memorial garden and bench  
  • Willow –  cut back excessive growth; coppice to encourage new (light) growth, reduce shading and allow a new orchard to be planted. Use the wood to build animal refuge areas.
  • New orchard – replace the millennium orchard, which is in poor shape
  • Install bat/bird boxes – raise funds if required
  • Pebble art – like in Williamson Park. Maybe the Gregson/others can play a key role in this project.
  • Web cam of wild life – check legalities and logistics as this may be too complicated.
  • Drone survey – check licensing requirements etc.

2023 onwards

Maintenance and management

All our good work will fail unless we carry out regular maintenance and management . Our partnership with the City Council is critical to sustaining the effort. Fortunately we have developed a very good relationship with them and they know we have an enthusiastic volunteer “army” to sustain the various initiatives they help us with. All members have a vital role in this.

Lead roles for volunteers

We already have several volunteers who take the lead in particular areas.

Initiatives that do not currently have a lead volunteer include:

  • Establishing and monitoring bird/bat boxes
  • Maintaining a planter to be installed on the new path
  • Carrying out an ecological survey of the Field
  • Helping to control species such as Brambles and Ivy

If you would like to help lead or support one of these initiatives, just get in touch. Contact the Committee

Increase the social aspect

We have been asked if it would be possible to start organising some events with a more social aspect. This would particularly benefit people new to the area. Ideas include:

  • Going for a tea/coffee/cake (at the Gregson?) following volunteer events
  • Getting together on the Field, perhaps with Children’s games, during the summer months
  • Having a social event e.g. at the Gregson, at Christmas

Do you like the sound of this? Any ideas for other events? Would you be willing to lead? Please contact the Committee         

Paul Wiggins – Chair: Friends of Miss Whalley’s Field





2022 was a lovely, sunny summer and it was good to see so many people of all ages enjoying the field.

New Access Path and Drainage Area

We were awarded a grant from the Dulverton Trust to enable us to finance the long-awaited plans to alleviate flooding at the Kentmere Rd entrance and provide an access path. This was opened on 27th July when members of the public came along to join Council Leader Caroline Jackson who ‘cut the ribbon’,  plus Cat Smith and Lizzie Collinge.

New Wildflower Meadow

In late September the Council cleared the new area and in early October around 26 hard working volunteers planted approx. 3000 plug plants! Further planting continued over the next few days plus the addition of more wild flower seeds. A tremendous effort by our volunteer force plus a big thank you to Richard Evans and Catherine Walker who grew and nurtured the 1000’s of the plug plants from seed.

New Fruit Orchard Plans

An area at the bottom of the Field has been cleared by the Council to allow a new fruit orchard to be planted in Winter 2022. This will extend our flora and fauna, providing another valuable habitat for wildlife and the opportunity for locals  to pick free fresh fruit in the future. We will be asking for volunteers to help Ben Ruth, the lead volunteer who researched and instigated this development.

Planting in Existing Apple Orchard

The apple orchard planted in 2000 is in a poor state. The Council have strimmed between the existing trees to help us to access the area and we aim to plant new apples and pear trees that are more suited to the site.

Remembrance Day Nov 11th

The Rev Carol Backhouse of Christchurch has kindly offered to help co-ordinate and lead the service of our Annual Remembrance service at the Memorial Stone on November 11th. School children will obviously have pride of place but members of the public will be welcome to attend. More information will be circulated nearer the time.


Unfortunately there has been three notable issues of vandalism. Graffiti on the benches, the notice board at the bottom of the Field has been broken and a mattress and large plastic items tipped into the stream. The graffiti has been cleaned up but some reappeared. The notice board is being repaired. Large rubbish has been removed. This is disheartening and costs our charity money. However, the bigger picture is that the Field remains relatively free of vandalism and our daily visitors and volunteers continue to clear up rubbish and pick up dog mess on a regular basis – many thanks to you.

Bonfire Night Sat 5th November 

After a break of several years due primarily to Covid the Gregson Festival group laid on this popular event again this year.

Queens/Kings Award

Our FMWF group has been nominated for the Queens award for Voluntary Service. Our nomination has been accepted at the first stage but there are many stages to follow.  Even if we do not succeed any further it is a real recognition of the effort made by our volunteers. We will keep you updated.

Working with Lancaster City Council

None of this wonderful work, new developments and on-going maintenance of the field would be possible without liaison and a big, essential input from staff of Lancaster Council.

To contact our group or be added to our members/volunteer contact list, email:-


Review of the past year – WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED!

January 2022 Update – Although Covid had an impact on activity on the Field a significant amount of work was carried out and noticeable progress achieved over the past year by our enthusiastic volunteers and our main partners, Lancaster City Council………..

Wild Flower Meadows

Two new wild flower meadows have been planted with around 6000 plug plants. This was an incredible effort from our eager volunteers, police cadets and the City Council workforce over two sunny days in October. These meadows will need management to ensure that they evolve into a fantastic wild life resource with the bonus of looking amazing. Our volunteer scything team will have a key role in their management.


All Field users know how waterlogged the Field becomes in wet weather. Initially, there were proposals to drain the main pathway from the Memorial Garden to the main Kentmere Road access. Other sections of the Field were also considered. A professional survey has now been completed which confirms significant practical and potential issues with these ideas – apart from the considerable costs.

We are now focusing on the area around the main access path from Kentmere Road adjacent to the small stream. This is the wettest part of the Field which makes this access very difficult. When plans have been drawn up we will hold a public meeting to explain the proposals.

Remembrance Day

The Rev Carol Backhouse from Christ Church led this annual event which took place at our Memorial Stone.  Classes from four local schools attended and children gave readings and placed handmade wreaths. 

 Time Capsule

LRGS have produced a time capsule which they will bury early in 2022 under our most recently installed third bench.

Memorial Garden & Access

The two beds in front of the Memorial Stone were planted with wild flower seeds in spring 2021. An early drought delayed germination but eventually they bloomed. We will continue to plant bulbs and flowers each spring.

We are looking at improving access, especially for wheelchair users and pushchairs etc. The County Council have now confirmed that ‘dropped kerbs’ will be installed adjacent to the Memorial Garden/ bus stop area to improve access to crossing Derwent Road. 

Town/Village Green Approval

After several years of trying to register for Town/Village Green status, there has recently been some progress. A successful application would provide even more protection for the Field.


The City Council mowing team will now regularly mow the play area, the main pathways and areas around the Memorial Garden and the two notice boards.

Jean Argles Wood

The majority of the newly planted trees are thriving. However, work is needed to help the saplings grow i.e. hand clearing the thick vegetation around them and selective pruning.

These trees will be used as part of Lancaster City Council’s volunteer ‘Tree Warden’ scheme. The first session on the field will be on Fri 11th Feb @1 – 3pm.  Further details to follow.


The main willow copse has been thinned to stop it encroaching onto the saplings, the main field, pathways and the orchard. Cut wood has been used to form animal refuges.  Many thanks to hard work from our own volunteers and those from the police cadets. Other willows have also been coppiced, again to stop them spreading especially into the new wild flower meadows.


Work is needed to prune the orchard trees and keep the undergrowth shorter.  Maintenance will involve regular scything and possibly planting more fruit trees in the future.

Annual Meeting

We were unable to hold an annual meeting in 2021. We aim to have one in spring 2022 – probably at the newly refurbished Gregson.  This will be advertised this in advance.

First Aiders

When we hold an event on the field, we need to have access to first aid help. Currently, several local doctors have volunteered to be available. If there are any trained and qualified first aiders that could help could you please let us know.


We do not have any regular income and rely on grants and the occasional donation. If you would like to make a donation please contact us by e mail.


We use 5 different methods of communicating with the public.

Paul Wiggins (Chair – Friends of Miss Whalley’s Field)

Jan 2022