Friends of Rodwell Trail and Sandsfoot Castle
Friends of Rodwell Trail is a group of people of different ages and interests who have one thing in common: we want to see real improvements to the Rodwell Trail.
Sandsfoot Castle Restoration Project
Working together, the friends and the council's parks team submitted and received a Second Round Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £194,700 to stabilise, preserve and monitor the structure of the castle and make it safe for public access.
David Carter said "We're absolutely delighted with the HLF's decision to support the Sandsfoot Castle restoration project. Our aim is to save the country's only example of this style of Tudor fortification from premature destruction."
Friends Support Connect2
The Friends supported the Connect2 project in the People's £50 Million contest and, as a result, a new bridge has been reinstated over Newstead Road. The purpose of supporting the project was to secure funding to improve walking and cycling routes throughout the UK and this has been successfully achieved on a local level so that the Rodwell Trail will be extended over a busy road into and out of the town centre.
WWII Anti-aircraft Emplacement
The Friends helped to turn the World War II Anti-aircraft Emplacement (above Asda) to a rest and observation area using Heritage Lottery Funding, a grant from the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership together with work in kind carried out by the Borough Council's Parks Section. The improvement plans included putting railings along the top of the gun emplacement, screeding the surface and installing new seating.
New 'Tudor' Flower bed at Sandsfoot Gardens
A generous local resident donated £500 to buy shrubs that would have been planted in the days of Henry VIII. The Parks Section were able to revamp an old rose flower bed adjacent to the fish pond. Once the shrubs have established the various colours should create the look of a 'Tudor' crown.
New handrail for footsteps by Sandsfoot Cafe
The same local resident, who has mobility problems, also kindly donated a new handrail for the steps by Sandsfoot Cafe to help visitors to the gardens climb the steps safely.
Reinstatement of a footbridge in Sandsfoot Gardens
The Friends worked with the Borough Council to link the ornamental gardens to the Grade II-listed Sandsfoot Castle by reinstating a wooden footbridge. The Friends donated £5,000 towards the £16,000 project.
S.R. Crumbleholme Ltd were appointed to carry out the work and now a stunning new bridge is a central feature within the gardens. The uprights and handrail of the replacement bridge have been built of oak to complement the natural landscape. The infill to the handrails are stainless steel wires and the footway is formed of softwood profiled deck panels.
Members of the friends group are working to produce a children's quiz sheet to keep younger residents entertained as they wander down the trail. As well as being fun, the quiz sheets will have an educational aspect to them and will be distributed to local schools for field trip purposes.
You may have noticed the 'responsible dog owner' signs on display at the entrance points onto the grail. Irresponsible dog owners who do not pick up after their dogs are a concern along the grail. The group is working with the Dog Warden, the Parks Section and other responsible dog owners to help tackle the problem. Grab it, Bag it and Bin it is our motto!
Up to 15 young people are out of work, have been supervised by an employee from groundwork, to clear a large area of gorse and vegetation along the Rodwell Trail.
The group then went on to re-lay paving slabs around the pond area in Sandsfoot Gardens as well as tending flower beds and cutting back overgrown vegetation.
The group carries out spring and summer litter picks along the trail collecting a number of bags of rubbish on each clean-up operation. Look out for posters along the trail advising when the next litter pick will take place.
Our current elected Chair is Claudia Moore.
Do you walk or cycle the Rodwell Trail? Would you like to be involved in helping to make this wonderful green route across town even better? If you would like to become a member of the group please see contact details below.