Sensory Garden

The six brick planters between the aviaries and the main children’s play area have been cleared by the Green Space Volunteers and will be covered in black plastic sheeting to kill off weeds before planting out next winter and spring. Design of the planting and information boards is underway. An advertisement has been placed in the ART e- bulletin (this is for local artists) inviting them to submit ideas for an artwork commission to enhance the garden and make it interesting and fun for children and their families.

Chris Archibald

Horticultural features

The Green Flag judges were keen on seeing some horticultural features in a park. With very tight budgets and disappearing skills in local authorities, flower beds are now mainly planted with shrubs and trees. While these can look attractive, they can sometimes lack colour and variety. The FoP Green Space Volunteers are helping to look after several feature beds in the Park: the Samaritan Rose Garden, the garden at the entrance gates (on Winchcombe Street), Bed 38 (on the corner of Evesham Street/ Wellington Road), the snowdrop bank, and the rockery next to the upper lake.  

At their last working party the volunteers added a lot more plants to the east end of the rockery, mostly plants provided by the council. These will add colour and interest in a similar way to the west end of the rockery. 

Chris Archibald

May Plant Sale

After weeks of rain the sun came out and brightened up everything, so there was lots of activity at the FoP Plant Sale. There were stalls from a number of local nurseries and the FoP stand included plants donated by members and friends.

A new feature this year was the Lucky Dip bottle stall, which was a great draw. With large bottles of wine, champagne, port and beer included amongst the bottles donated, there were also some toiletries. One lucky visitor TWICE won some particularly useful haircare products!

The final sum raised for projects in the park was a very impressive £794.10, the highest amount achieved since the sales began.  Many thanks to all who helped on the day, donated plants or just visited and made the day such a success by buying what was on offer.

Andy Hopkins

Cheltenham Town Wheelers in Pittville

If you’ve been walking in the far west of Pittville Park near the Prince of Wales Stadium on a Saturday afternoon, you may have come across the Cheltenham Town Wheelers. They run courses there for young cyclists who want to enjoy the thrills and spills of cyclo-cross and mountain biking. I went to find out more about it all from the chair of the Wheelers, Nicky Harverson.

The group has over a hundred young members from the age of six upwards, who gather to learn new skills while having fun out in the fresh air.  The whole site becomes a hive of activity, efficiently co-ordinated by Nicky, her eight qualified coaches and a number of young leaders and adult volunteers who look after the young cyclists and their parents (who spend a lot of time in the refreshments area that is set up for them).

‘We started as a small group in 2015 and were based in the car park at Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe.  However, we soon outgrew that space and after obtaining a “land use agreement” from Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC) in 2017, we moved to this much more suitable space in the park.  It offers perfect terrain for the young cyclists to safely acquire skills in handling their bikes as well as to develop great fitness within a growing community of like-minded friends.

‘Our young members learn essential skills to tackle their discipline from our team of qualified coaches.  We hold four different groups every week; two are aimed at 6 – 11 year-olds with differing levels of ability and experience and the other two are more for those older than 11.  Our sessions are fully inclusive, regardless of gender or level of physical ability. We are a Child-First club, which means we put the young riders at the heart of the club and the sessions, ensuring that what we deliver is based on their needs – resources and environmental issues permitting.  Individuals can opt to simply gain bike-handling competence while having fun or, for those who wish to train to be competitive racers, more technical and tactical sessions are provided. From time to time, we also hold guided rides on Cleeve Hill with our mountain bike leaders.

‘We are proud to instil a love of cycling in hundreds of young riders, and some of them see cycling as more than just a pastime. Last year one of our young riders started attending Oaklands Academy, in St Albans, training full time alongside his studies with the ambition of becoming a professional cyclist. In the younger age groups, we have seen success nationally and internationally. One under-12 youth rider won the Tour of Essen in Belgium, and another female rider is currently ranked in the top 10 under-16 riders for mountain bike. We also have riders selected into the British Cycling Talent Pathway programme, which enables them to work with some of the best coaches in the country.

‘Another aim as a club is to work with the CBC park management team to ensure the site we use is safe to cycle in and at the same time suitable from an environmental perspective for other visitors to the park.  We have raised funds to enable us, jointly with CBC, to plan in the coming months to introduce some extra landscaping that will enhance the area both for casual visitors and to provide increased challenges for our young riders.  These exciting developments include a stepped area, some small berms (banked curves) and a “rock garden” terrain.  This will also appeal to members of Cheltenham & County Cycling Club for adults, who use the track two or three times a year for racing meets.’

If you want to know more about this vibrant group of dedicated cyclists, follow them on Instagram @ctw_Cheltenham or  visit their Facebook page: – or go to their website:

John Holloway

The front garden at Holst Victorian House

Last Autumn a team of Green Space Volunteers dug out the old garden in front of  Holst Victorian House. Some weeks ago Chris Archibald spent a few sessions landscaping and replanting the garden, and now it really looks excellent. Thank you, Chris.

Sally Thomas

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