Read on for news, events listings and updates on history, wildlife and more.

Christmas Carols at the Bandstand

MONDAY 19 DECEMBER, 7.30 – 8.30pm Come and hear the wonderful Norwich Community Choir in full festive flow, and sing along with some of your favourite carols. A twinkly Eaton Park Café will be open before, during and after the concert serving mulled wine, sausage rolls and mince pies. And the café’s putting on a Christmas fair too so you’ll find some nice options for presents for family and friends. Wrap up warm and if rain is forecast bring an umbrella or your own folding chairs – there’s plenty of space to stay cosy and dry under the collonades! Free community event. | Bring friends and family! | Donations...

Eaton Park Tennis News, October 2016

Tennis is booming in Eaton Park and across Norwich. Chris Evans of Norwich Parks Tennis updates us on the latest news. It costs £30 per year for a family/household to join Norwich Parks Tennis. Membership allows you to book a tennis court up to one month in advance and guarantees the court will be waiting for you when you arrive. The scheme is massively popular and the number of registered players has recently exceeded 1500. It’s great to see such a wide variety of people playing tennis whether this is in the coaching sessions we offer, or with friends and family; daytime or at night, when the floodlights are turned on. More and more people are taking up the game and accessing the coaching programme to brush up on their skills. Norwich Parks  Tennis offers a wide range of professionally led coaching options including sessions for children, adult and cardio tennis, as well as our female only Tennis Tuesdays which are part of the This girl can campaign. All sessions are competitively priced and offer different options for different levels from beginners to experienced players. If you think you might like to get involved you can book a free first session to see what it’s like. Often with tennis the challenge is finding someone to play with. Our coaches offer social sessions on Saturday afternoons where you can come and meet new players. You don’t have to be a member to take these up as they are open to the all members of the public. To ensure everyone gets a good game there are two sessions, one for beginners...

Get Active in Eaton Park

Sunday 10 July from 9am to 4pm, come along and try out some of the many activities that Eaton Park is home to. Featured activities are all free or reduced price. Visit the information point for full details – it’ll be near Eaton Park Cafe, in the rotunda. Highlights include Hellesdon and Sprowston Band, on the bandstand from midday to 2pm, and Bicycle Links who’ll be offering advice and repairs to get your bike finely-tuned and ready to pedal, from 11am to 2pm. Plus, outdoor ping pong, cricket, pitch and putt, train trips, croquet, rounders, Skyride local, footgolf, cycle speedway, basketball, tennis, bowls and more! Travel: Parking will be very limited so why not walk, cycle or take the bus? First bus services 25 and 26 and Connectbus services 50 and 50A. Thanks to Norwich City Council’s sports team for organising this great...

Spring Cleaning Eaton Park

On Thursday 17 April children from Bluebell Road School spent the morning in Eaton Park helping give it a spring clean to make sure it looked its best for the visit from the Green Flag judges the next day. Equipped with litter pickers, buckets and scrubbing brushes thirty boys and girls from year three set out around the park to clean benches and pick up litter. The visit was organised by Pat Garner of the Friends, who said “the children worked really hard and were very enthusiastic. We’re looking forward to their next visit when we’ll be exploring birds and insects in the park together with RSPB”. The Friends are keen to encourage volunteering from an early age and to organise activities that bring different generations...

Music in Eaton Park 2016

This summer four bands are scheduled to play on the bandstand in Eaton Park. Warm thanks to Norwich City Council and organiser Brian Dermott for this super programme! Hellesdon & Sprowston Band Sunday 12 June, 3pm to 5pm Cawston Brass Band Sunday 3 July, 3pm to 5pm Taverham Band Sunday 31 July, 3pm to 5pm Pavilion Brass Quintet Sunday 21 August, 3pm to...

Planting bulbs for spring

Today year three student volunteers from Bluebell Primary School walked to Eaton Park with Miss Davies and TA Mrs. Atkins.  Grey sky didn’t dampen their bright eager spirits as they happily assisted Eaton Park Ground Force volunteers plant crocus and narcissi bulbs.  Ground Force members turned over patches of soil on the grassy bank that slopes down to the Community Centre Car Park near the North Park Avenue walk-in entrance. Students sprinkled handfuls of bulbs into the open ground. When student volunteers Molly and Lola were asked what was the best part of their activity, they agreed that it was the planting of bulbs.  The more difficult work was turning the soil back to cover the holes and stamping it in place.  Both were eager to bring their families to the park to show them what they had accomplished today.  They suggested that those who are impatient for the arrival of spring will just have to wait. Lola said, “It will turn spring and you’ll see us again when the bulbs bloom.” Ceceile Strand, Friends of Eaton Park, 16 October...

Footgolf

Footgolf is one of the UK’s fastest growing sports and has now come to Eaton Park. The new game is a combination of football and golf. It’s played on a golf course using a size 5 football. Like golf, the object of the game is to get the ball into the hole in the fewest number of shots possible. Unlike golf you use your foot not a putting iron! Eaton Park’s newest sport uses the existing pitch and putt course but different holes. Footgolf times are Tuesday and Friday evenings from 4pm to dusk and Saturdays from 1pm to dusk. Winter opening times to follow soon. Footgolf is sociable and fun as well as a great way to get some exercise and some fresh air. In just over a month the cost of installing the new facility in Eaton Park has been covered by the takings – it’s proving very popular! Come along with your family and friends and find out what it’s all about! Full details here. Go-for-less discounts...

Captain Sandys-Winsch

Captain Arnold Edward Sandys-Winsch (1888 – 1964) was born in Knutsford, Cheshire. He attended Cheshire Horticultural College, becoming a landscape architect, and was articled to the renowned landscape architect, Thomas Mawson. During the 1914-1918 world war he was first with the Royal Field Artillery, then attached to the Air Service as a pilot and was finally with the British Army of Occupation. In 1919 he became Parks Superintendent in Norwich, a post he held for 34 years.In the early 1920s it was proposed that he use men unemployed after demobilisation to help construct some of the Norwich parks, a job he clearly carried out with dedication and meticulous attention to detail. At the time Norwich had very few open spaces (Chapelfield Gardens was one of them) but when he retired Norwich had about 600 acres of parks and open spaces. Sandys-Winsch also created model allotments and organised the planting of some 20,000 trees in the parks and streets. Norwich Corporation sought to provide for the recreational needs of Norwich citizens and the Captain proved just the person to turn their vision into reality. Because of his army career, he seems to have taken a rather military approach to the task of creating parks in Norwich but there is no doubt that, in his time as Parks Superintendent, he changed radically the appearance of Norwich and created green spaces on a huge scale for the future enjoyment of everyone. We should remember him for this. Sandys-Winsch was also a national authority on growing and judging daffodils and an active member of the Norfolk and Norwich Horticultural Society. Read more in...

Green Flag Update

Eaton Park has retained its Green Flag for a second year. This places our park alongside other great parks in our region such as the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmund, the Walks in Kings Lynn, Oaklands Park in Chelmsford and Verulamium in St Albans. Nationally Eaton Park is now up with Hyde Park and Green Park in London, Sefton Park in Liverpool, and Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow. Warm thanks to the Parks and Open Spaces team at Norwich City Council who manage the park and to the Norwich Norse Environmental team who work so hard to maintain the grounds and gardens. Read more...

Art in the Park

Last summer I noticed a shout out on Twitter for parks to host ‘art walks’. A few emails and a year later, artists Jo Dacombe and Carol Miles arrived with their wheelie trollies of materials and loads of great ideas. Rather nicely it was the start of Love Parks Week. Despite a rainy start 26 people joined them in three sessions that combined walking and looking with chatting and making. It was great fun! Jo and Carol loved with Eaton Park and we loved the installations they made for us. Read about the project here. Helen Mitchell, Chair Friends of Eaton...