I am writing about Beechwood Park in Halifax - also a nature reserve.
As there is no longer a park warden to look after the park on a regular basis, since this post was removed many problems have arisen.
The park used to be an Army camp in days gone by, and was locally known as The Grange or The Camp.
It is now a park well used by the local community. There are playing fields and walks through the woodland areas. There is a BMX track and a skateboard area, a green gym, and picnic areas. There is also a permissive bridleway, costed to Calderdale Council.
There is a pile of abandoned black tarmac in the middle of the main path.
Since last winter, the park was flooded and the paths and tarmac are cracked and broken.
These paths have become treacherous. After complaints, the council filled in the worst areas with hard core, very difficult to walk on, and there have been trips and accidents.
Many of the park users are disabled, with mobility issues, using walking sticks to get around, and some use a wheelchair. There are also young families with push chairs.
This year the local dog walkers have taken an interest in the upkeep of the park. The Facebook page acts as a forum currently, alongside many pictures of happy dogs.
There are a wide variety of issues and concerns, presently the amount of litter and build up of rubbish generally is a major concern.
Local residents have been clearing this in their spare time. One man picked up three bags of cans from one car park alone, in one day.
Some people take a plastic bag, and a picker to collect rubbish as they walk their dogs around the park.
This is clearly the responsibility of Calderdale Parks and Gardens.
The time allocated by Calderdale Council for gardeners to maintain the park is merely one gardener, one day a week. The grass is mown when needed. This is clearly inadequate.
The pond is full of stagnant, and toxic water, as the flow through is blocked. Residents have cleared this, as a temporary measure. A proper channel needs to be created. Also the leaking sewage pipe flows out onto the main path. This is a real and present health hazard. Particularly when water levels rise.
There have been two reports of harassment of a young girl, and an older woman, by men on small motorised bikes, in recent weeks.
There is no lighting of any kind on the main pathway through the park.
Various meetings and an inspection walk around the park with local councillors, and Calderdale staff in the summer, produced no positive results.
This park is in need of attention and repair,
The Friends of Beechwood have formed to start working on these issues, and will be meeting regularly, at St Andrew’s Church in Holmfield. Dates for these meetings will be shown on Beechwood Dog Walkers’ Facebook page. The next meeting will be in November.
Imelda Higton, Chairwoman, Friends of Beechwood Park