Exhibition Park goes wild

The original Brandling Park is long gone – the paddling pool, seats and attractive flower beds had been replaced by graffiti, litter and the underpass. But thanks to local residents and volunteers, the park was rejuvenated as a place where people can meet and enjoy bright flower beds and rows of flowering apple trees. The result? The park was awarded a prestigious Green Flag.

Now, the Friends of Brandling Park want to brighten up Exhibition Park by giving children the chance and space to enjoy wildlife, including a project to create a “wet area” at the end of the lake. Water depths will be shallow enough to be safe yet provide a good environment for tadpoles and small fish to grow. There will also be duckboard access through marsh plants and small islets in the lake.

The project has the support of the Northumberland Wildlife Trust (NWT) and has received first stage approval from Changing Spaces, including £50,000 towards the £90,000 needed. Schools and members of the community are being invited to contribute ideas and join in.

The Friends are also seeking more volunteers to help maintain and support the parks. For more information about the opportunities and how to get involved, email me at lauren@jesmondlocal.com