These are the proposals that the Parish Council believe will be of most benefit to the Village, it is these ideas that we would like the residents of Honingham to consider and tell the Parish Council (via the Survey which will be delivered to residents) how we should proceed.
My idea is that we develop the bowling green into a Sensory/ Community garden. The green would be loosely divided into 4, hopefully 5, areas to represent the 5 senses. When I was headteacher, I created a garden that contained things like the following:
Sound – gravel paths that made a noise as you walked on them, wind chimes that could be hung from branches or man made features, “weeping” type shrubs that rustled in the wind.
Sight- plants of different colours and height, paths that make patterns such as a spiral or zig zag, a “dry” garden built on a rockery to add visual interest, mounds of different sizes created and planted with grass seed.
Touch – plants such as different grasses, rockery plants, stones, logs, a water feature even ( utilise the pipe that is already there). I had a solar powered pump for the water feature at one of the schools.
Smell – any plants that smell nice – lavender, jasmine, honeysuckle. The climbing plants could be trained to grow up a trellis. Bees and butterflies would be attracted then, adding to sight and sound.
Taste – apple, pear, walnut trees. Nothing that needs a lot of looking after.
In the centre of the garden, there could be an arch or pergola with a bench. The garden would be ongoing and added to, with interested villagers encouraged to make it “their own”. There would be an initial financial outlay depending on the garden design and we would need several volunteers to do the work but once that was done, it should not need much maintenance. Any grass may need to be cut, but some of it should be left to grow wild on purpose. Some weeding and pruning may be needed.
There is a good sensory garden in Hunstanton that we could visit to get more inspiration. I don’t know if there is one nearer.
- The area of the actual bowling green would lend itself to a compact area for either a putting green or even a form of Pitch and Put or crazy golf.
- However, it would require to be maintained to the standard of grass that was used for bowls – regularly close cut. It would not be suitable if the grass was cut occasionally as per the football pitch area and children’s playground. Alternatively, a different surface could be laid down such as AstroTurf or a softer tarmacadam type surface. This too would require maintenance in that it would need to be regularly swept of leaves etc.
- There is also the question of clubs and balls for this activity. Do we ask players to bring their own? Would we need someone to hand them out and collect them back? If not, is there anywhere in the village that they could be safely kept? Ideas so far are perhaps the PhoneBox? Or an off the wall idea (not put to the owner yet) would the pub hand them out for the village, hoping that they would return the clubs and balls after the game and maybe buy a pint or a lemonade?
- We have not put any costings together for this idea so far because we think that with the need for regular maintenance and the need for a person or group of people to volunteer to run it, it is not going to be suitable.
- If there are people in the village who would be prepared to take this on as a regular volunteer commitment, we think a working party could be formed to explore this further. We have contacts for some of the materials that would be necessary. We also know that a £500 grant would readily be given by BDC towards some of the costs.
ADULT TRIM TRAIL AND IMPROVEMENTS TO THE PLAY AREA:
- This proposal follows a discussion between Linda Human and Trevor Smith: the idea is that with a small outlay we can improve upon the present Recreational Area to give more space to the Childrens Area, the Football Area, and incorporate an Adult Play Equipment Area (or similar)
- This proposal does not include the continuance of the Club House or outside buildings. We are concerned that they would 1. Require upkeep ie someone needs to continue looking after them, and 2. That over time they would become dilapidated and could pose a safety issue. We think it is possible that some villagers could take this wooden building down themselves?
- Once the building is removed, we could also remove the driveway gate as it would not be needed.
- The outside toilets are at present connected to a septic tank and soak away – it will need emptying. Again, if these toilets were to be kept on then someone would need to be responsible for their cleaning and maintenance.
- The water and electricity would need to be disconnected and made safe.
- There is a ditch that needs cleaning 2 or 3 times a year to prevent water over flowing and flooding the Hall Drive area. At present this is done by Ted and Trevor.
- There is, near the ditch, a small Pump House; this takes water from the ditch into a sump. This was then used (after storage) to water the Bowling Green. However, the present football pitch and playground area are not watered, so we do not see the need to continue with this. It would therefore need to be made safe and/or removed. Does the pump belong to the Bowling Green? Is it saleable?
- As you can see from the Diagrammatic Plan (kindly drawn up by a colleague, thank you) the area of the Bowling Green is surprisingly large – 40 x 40. There is a wall area around the Bowling Club House which could be demolished when the building is removed. The Bowling Green is sunken with a wall around the inside – what Health and Safety issues are there with this? eg, young children falling over the wall and onto the area, unlit at night etc. Could a fence be erected around the bowling green to prevent falls? We would need to take proper H & S advice over this matter.
- Once the Club House and other buildings have been removed, and consideration taken over H & S re inside wall, our proposal is that we move the present football pitch to occupy half of the present bowling green – this to be fenced off to protect other users of the area. This would give a much larger area for football playing ie a pitch of almost 40 x 20. Where the football pitch has been vacated, we could increase the size of the present childrens play area, and include eg climbing equipment to appeal to older children. Such equipment would require suitable base to limit damage of falls etc. This has not as yet been costed but brochure from Play Quest and others suggests that we would be looking at between £10K and £15K depending on what we decided would be appropriate. We would like to propose that the other half of the bowling green area, or smaller depending on football pitch considerations, could be used for Adult Playground Equipment – yes, playgrounds for the elderly! Actually, they are great fun and several have been installed (and used) in Norfolk. The best example locally is one at Cringleford (New Estate, near the Community Café) Again, not definitive costing, but probably a similar amount of £10K – £15K, or a lot less depending on what people think we want.
- We think we could also make the area more attractive to families and visitors with the addition of some picnic benches sited in the area where the Club House was, but this would also mean the need for some rubbish bins. Obviously there would be a cost of picnic benches, and someone would need to keep an eye on these – as we do with the present play area – and the bins would require regular emptying. We could have a rota of people looking after the bins and general maintenance?
- Grass cutting would need to be continued, and now to include the bowling green area. However, as this area is sunken, a method of getting the grass cutting equipment onto this area would need to be found – a ramp perhaps? The hedge area would also require frequent cutting/trimming – consideration could be given to removing the hedge and replacing with fencing of some sort (wooden or open wire)
- This proposal, we feel, would greatly benefit the people of Honingham. It has not been costed as such, but we would hope (depending on what is wanted) that we could do it for around £30K – less if less new equipment is bought. We also think it would be possible to apply for grants and funding, and a fund raising appeal could be launched. It would also require a group of people willing to share the not too onerous general maintenance stuff.
- If this proposal appeals to the good folk of Honingham we suggest a working party is formed to decide what needs doing and what it will cost, it is a long term plan rather than an overnight quick fix.
PUTTING GREEN AND PLAY AREAS:
- The area of 40 x 40 metres is a good size and could accommodate three areas of separate usage within the 160 sq metres
- The grass would need to be close cut, as at the bowling green standard, for this area to be of use as per proposal – it would therefore require the purchase of a second hand but good quality roller mower, which Ted Perrit is happy to source. (and possibly pay for out of the Bowling Club funds?) £500
- The third of the area closest to the Bowls Club building, and running alongside it parallel to the A47, could be used for a Putting Green and would support 6 or 9 holes within the 40m x 13.3m area – or could be increased to 40m x 14m. This would require golf sticks, and balls. Golf balls Rog can obtain with little if any charge. Golf putters would cost £20 each or less if second hand, A hole cutter would cost approx. £135 (although if we had a pattern for one, Paul Blythe happy to make one) A hole cup and pin would cost approx. £20 per hole, and again Paul could possible make these for us.
- Other costs would be maintenance of the mower and petrol, cost £400 per annum. Maintenance of the holes, clearing of leaves etc. Mr Terry Sapey has kindly offered to cut the bowling green and recreational areas for free, therefore maintenance by outside contractor no longer a cost.
- This could therefore be up and running quite quickly with a budget of under £3K
- The middle third of the Bowling Green area could be used for other outside activities such as Bowls, Croquet, or outdoor Badminton. Equipment such as large plastic golf clubs and plastic holes for children could also be considered. This equipment could be stored in the shed with the golf equipment and borrowed/used as and when.
- Security of equipment stored for these 2 activities: suggest that we purchase a keypad entry lock – we have to trust that users of the equipment would collect and return the equipment and that the code would not be shared with non villagers? Code could be made available to villagers by various means, word of mouth from the PC? In the Phone Box? Via the Pub?
- The final third of the former Bowling Green, closest and running parallel to the children’s playground, could be used – eventually – as an adult trim trail. Latest quote is for £12,406 which includes £2,067.72 VAT which we could claim back making a total of £10,338.60. This is to include 6 pieces of equipment (Air Skier, Double Rower, Arm and Pedal Bike, Hip Twister, Seated Chest Press, Double Air Walker and Fixing posts) and delivery and installation. Linda Human is applying to the Lottery Fund to see if we could obtain this in a form of a grant. If successful there could be little cost to the village. (it takes at least 4 months for this to be processed) An alternative is that we purchase just 1,2,or 3 items – PC funds – and see if the idea takes off. If it does then a further 3 or more items could be purchased at a later date through funding or fund raising. Meanwhile, ie through the Summer months, this area could be an extension of the middle third area.
- To encourage usage of these areas it would be nice to purchase some picnic benches (3 for £945 from NBB recycled furniture, with or without umbrella hole) which could be placed along the former driveway up to the Bowls Club.
- It would also be nice to purchase an outside table tennis table at a cost of £695
Putting Green: 6 x putters = £120, hole cutter £135, 9 x hole cup and pin = £180
Equipment for middle third: £120 for croquet set and £140 for a badminton set, both from Jacques of London, kiddies golf set probably from Toys R Us? Total £300? Any one any equipment they could donate, in a reasonable condition?
Picnic benches £945
Table Tennis Table (outdoor, concrete) £695
Total = £2375 (does not include store room lock, or mower or maintenance costs per annum)
However, if VAT involved in any of these costs then we could claim it back.
This does not include the Trim Trail equipment, costs are:
Air Skier £794, Double Rower £1252, Arm and Pedal Bike £798, Hip Twister £888, Seated Chest Press £1945, Double Air Walker £1239, Fixing Posts (11@ £30) £330, installation £2250, Safety Surface 30 @£35, £1050. Discount -£207.40
An idea has been put forward for a Honingham Sports Day…..later in the Summer, for people to come along and try out the equipment? Could use the Club House or Village Hall facilities? Bring your own picnic, teas and coffees and soft drinks for sale?
The Bowls club and Play ground area currently provide an important habitat for a varied and important array of wildlife. It is frequented by; Barn owl Tawny and little Owl It is the hunting ground for Sparrowhawk, and is regularly patrolled by Common Buzzard and the Impressive Red Kite Rabbits Fox Stoats Weasle, Vole and Shrew rely on this type of sanctuary. A number of finch and song birds also enjoy this relative safe haven. We have an opportunity to develop and nurture this environment to further encourage all of these and more flora and fauna. We can take advice on the types of plants and trees which would enhance such a project and, hopefully create an area that would remain a valuable legacy for present and future residents of the village. We could appoint voluntary stewards to oversee the development of this area and also encourage Junior Stewards to assist in this management. This can be a very rewarding exercise for many
parishioners. Although I cannot include myself in the category of Junior Steward, I am happy to volunteer as one of the initial Stewards.