Apex Wildlife and Leisure Park
Spring Bulb Planting
Wild Flower Meadow
Why do you come to Apex Leisure Park?
Wild Flower Meadow
Having been granted £9,000 to re-create the wild flower meadow in Apex Park - we first seeded Yellow Rattle over the area to tame the grass which was taking over the meadow. Children from Beechfield Infants and St John's Junior Schools in Highbridge helped with this seeding in November 2007.
On April 23rd 2008 children from Beechfield School and the Science after school club at King Alfred Comprehensive School helped to plant some of the 7,000 wild flower plugs that had been delivered. The next day children from St John's Junior School came to help plant the plugs and on Saturday 26th April Brownies, Cubs Scouts and Guides planted the remainder.
Another 2,500 wild flower plugs were delivered so a few more volunteers came to complete the planting.
The weather was most favourable - giving fine sunshine for the actual planting times and refreshing rain during the following week so there was no need to spend valuable resources on extra watering over the area.
Unfortunately in 2010, ragwort began to appear and although a sub-committee was set up to deal with this the problem became too large for them to cope with. The Egologist from the District Council put grids on the flower meadow to measure the development of the ragwort and reported back to the Friends of Apex Park at their meeiting on Wednesday 10th July 2013.Although there had been no noticeable increase of the ragwort it was suggested that instead of the yearly 'cut' to the wild flower meadow, a system of 'ploughing' could be undertaken - one section at a time to try to eradicate the problem.
The Wild Flower Meadow
Children from the local schools (St. John's Juniors- now the primary Churchlands) helped to plant the wild flower plugs. Unfortuntely ragwort appeared among the flowers, causing concern among The Friends.- Patrick Stokes, Fay Burston and Derek Chivers spent a considerable time attempting to pull out the ragwort but it became a losing battle. The District Council Egologist - Pete Grainger - told the Friends that the Council did not have a duty to remove it and he set up grids and counted the number of ragwort in each. This to be monitored and reported in August 2012. Patrick was so dejected he resigned from the group and since then Fay has also left.
The matter was re-assed in JULY 2013 and thought to be under control lt was suggested that a form of ploughing section of the meadow could be tried.
The next meeting of The Friends will be Wednesday 11th September at 3 p.m.
FRIENDS OF APEX PARK IMPROVEMENTS GROUP
AGENDA for 11th September 2013 3 p.m.
1. Apologies for absence
2. Notes of meeting held 10th July
3. Report from Chairman
4 .Report from Harley Cook
5. Secretary's report
6. Treasurer's report
7. Report on annual Play Day
8. Bulb planting
9. Father Christmas
10. Members' concerns
11. Date of next meeting.
NOTES OF LAST MEETING
Notes of the Friends of Apex Park Improvements Group meeting held on Wednesday 10th July 2013 at 3 p.m. at the Park Office.Members assembled at 2 p.m. to join Pete Grainger to assess the ragwort situation at the wild flower meadow and then returned to the park office.
Meeting commenced 3 p.m.
Present - Derek Chivers (Vice-Chairman),Joyce Beard, Sue Bashford, Valerie Morley, Pete Grainger (Ecologist), Marina Turner (SDC), Harley Cook(SDC),Pam Donovan, Russell Chilcott, Caroline Wynn, Patrick Stokes, Dave Aggett (Clean Surroundings) and Graham
No apologies had been received although it had been hoped that a Natasha Sleath who had enquired about our next meeting might come.
Appointment of Chairman - Joyce nominated Pam to be Chairman and this was seconded by Derek and agreed unanimously.
Pam took the Chair and the Notes of the meeting held on 29th May were approved.
Tresurer's report- Sue said the cheque for Play Day had been passed over to Rosie and a cheque had been sent off for the croquet and other portable sports equipment as listed on the pro forma that she passed round for members' perusal. Although the account was now rather depleted thewre is still sufficient funding for the purchase of wild bird seed, brown paper bags and an inking stamp.. Sue to access the bird seed, Joyce to get paper bags and enquire about a self-inking stamp which could be used fot other occasions. Caroline said she wanted the Friends to purchase the seed and bag it and Lizzie and she would sell it to their customers. The money to be given to 'The Friends' for re-inbursement.
Woodland Trail - Valerie has applied for a grantto get a seat put round the white poplar in the woodland area and is negotiating with a colleague at Bridgwater College to get this project underway. Dave said that an ordinary wooden seat might be easily vandalised and that a product similar to that used for the picnic tables might be better.
Green Flag report - Harley reported on the judges visit to the park on 18th June. Two male judges, one from Bath and the other from Bristol,had been very thorough and spent more than four hours - first asking questions with 'the Friends' and Sedgemoor employees in the office, then taking an intensive tour of the park and back to the office to disseminate.By sheer coincidence two couples were playing 'doubles' on the recently installed tennis table as the judges made their return. The Judges finished by sampling food at Lizzies' Kitchenn Harley was of the opinion that we would regain the Green Flag but with a lower score as the newly-cut grass had been left on the ground and was being blown around. The results should be known before 29th July.
Community Games - Pam said that Mike Land serves on the committee which gave us the grant for the games equipment and they were still waiting to hear how the project was going. It was explained that the adverse weatherhad delayed the project and Pam had 'lost' all her photos which had been taken of the field. Now that the equipment had been ordered it is hoped that the games can be used during the school holidays.
Play Day - is fixed for 7th August from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Discussion about charging for car parking resulted in the decision that this would be impractical. Help would be needed with directing cars for parking at Cassis Close. Dave said that other than helpers for Play Day - visitorswere being advised to park elsewhere. The 'Friends' agreed to have a Tombola stall and to help on the entrances with 'counting'.
Father Christmas - Marina said she had contacted Ted and booked him to come to the park office on 14th December from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Marina said she would organise a strip sign that could be used with changing dates.
Members' concerns - Harley informed the 'friends' that there was the possibility that Sedgemoor would try to put the toilet block out to tender. He had been asked to consult the 'Friends' on the matter. It was understood that public toilets would always be a service for the public and a costly one. He said there would always be a meeting room and it was pointed out that the games equipment would require storage space and must be avaiable on request.
Dave reported that a memorial seat had graffiti on it - this would be dealt with.
Derek voiced the difficulty of getting water to the saplings planted outside the skateboard park.
Joyce asked Pam if she had any more thoughts on doing a Hallowe'en event in the park. Marina and Pam spoke of an event held in Weston which had got too large to handle and did not think we could do this with our limited help.
Joyce reported the lock mechanism to the toilet facility for disabled people was broken and that anyone using a key could access it even if the door was locked from the inside.
Russell told of a large BMX event held at the beginning of the month which had caused problems with parking for boat owners and other park users. It was found that the event had been publicised on the notice board but members were not fully aware of it.
Pete reported that the ragwort appeared to be well under control and numbers were half of last years - except for quadrant 2 which had doubled. The matter to be examined next year.
Valerie asked if the grass cutting arrangements could be changed but Dave said it was difficult to alter the present programming. Pete suggested that instead of cutting, a system of ploughing might be tried on part of the wild flower meadow.
The date of the next meeting was fixed for 11th September at 3 p.m.
APEX WILD LIFE AND LEISURE PARK
The leisure park has been developed from old clay pits, all the ponds are man-made.
In 1974 Sedgemoor District Council took over the running of the park and in 1999 a group of volunteers was set up to liase with the Council to set up improvements.This was called the Apex Park Improvements (API) Group.
The car parking area was tarmacced, a higher path was formed round the large lake as the lower path was subject to flooding, spring bulbs and shrubs were planted between the BMX area and the car park and the BMX club was formed to avoid insurance claims to the Council. A cycle path was put in .to allow people to cycle from Burnham to Highbridge - avoiding the busy Burnham Road.
Spring bulbs were planted either side of the cycle path by local children.
Picnic tables and seating was introduced and nenorial seats were erected in the park.
In 2005 it was suggested that the volunteers become a constituted group of 'friends' and at the AGM in 2006 the constitution was agreed and the group became 'The Friends of Apex Park Improvements Group. This enabled the Caouncil to apply for grants on behalf of the group.
Grants have been given for skate board park improvements, children's workshops, another cycle path - leading from the River bank to join up with the first cycle path at the far end of the park leading to Tyler Way, fishing stations, improving the wild flower meadow, History boards, signage posts and community games equipment.
There is a concrete table tennis table off the car park and croquet, large draughts and chess, boules and clock golf equipment can be borrowed for use on the Junilee Field.
The toilet block was opened in the late 1980's and an 'office' was created behind in 2009. This enabled the 'Friends' to meet regularly at the park. Previous meeting places had been - Highbridge U.K.Online Centre, Morland Hall, the Gospel Centre, the Pepperal Resource Centre and Trowbridge Close Community Hall, .
Unfortunately there are not sufficient volunteers to open the office more than a couple of afternoons each week.
History of the Park
Apex Park has been created on an area once used for digging clay. Two brickworks used to occupy the area where the car park is now. There were four kilns, each with a capacity for 20,000 bricks, operating here. Bricks, roof tiles and pipes were all made on site.
A branchline of the Somerset and Dorset Railway ran from Highbridge Station along the course of the present Lakeside Path cycleway and Marine Drive to the seafront at Burnham-on-Sea. This line transported goods and passengers from train to ship, linking Somerset to South Wales. It finally closed in 1965.
The site was acquired by Burnham Urban District Council in the late 1960's. In 1971 the site was cleared and landscaped into its present form, and in 1972 drainage works were carried out. The entire area became a water park for public use and was given the name 'Apex' after a brick and tile company that previously worked the site.
In 1974 the whole area was taken over by Sedgemoor District Council and is presently the responsibility of that Council.
The site covers 42 acres. It is designated as a County Wildlife Site. The man-made lake provides various leisure activities as well as opportuntities to see wildlife.
Various habitats can be found here includung the lake, hedgerows, copses, reedbeds and the wild flower meadow.
Management of the park is ongoing with continual improvements whilst conserving the natural features at the park. Efforts are made to improve the water quality for the benefit of the wildlife which it supports.
The wildflower meadow was created in the early 1990's and covers 3 hectares of the site.
The trees on the site mostly date back to 1971, but some have since been planted as memorials to past members of the public.
Seats around the park also bear memorial plaques.
Picnic benches, a skateboard park as well as BMX track have been added to the amentities.
A concrete table tennis table is fixed on the grass off the car park. Visitors may bring their own play equipment or borrow from the park office.
The park office is manned by volunteers so is not always open.
Contact may be made by e-mail to the Hon. Secretary on email@example.com to arrange for the hire of games equipment -
DRAUGHTS TABLE TENNIS BATS/BALLS
Groups and Families are invited to play community games on the Diamond Jubilee Field.
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