Patchway English Oak
This is one of The Tree Council’s 60 educational tree planting schemes with children that
were inspired by the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Each tree, provided by The Tree
Council, was chosen and planted by volunteers in the community.
Patchway is a town of 12,000 people in South Gloucestershire, on the north fringe of Bristol. We, too, celebrated our diamond jubilee in 2013 as the Patchway Parish Council was created in 1953, the same year as the Coronation of the Queen. Before this, Patchway was a Ward of the Parish of Almondsbury.
Once a scattered farming community from time immemorial, house building commenced just before World War II to provide for aircraft workers at the Bristol Aeroplane Company at nearby Filton
(now Rolls-Royce and Airbus). This
building continued after the war and the population grew.
Patchway is now surrounded by business parks and an out-of-town shopping centre as well as new housing on the recently closed Filton Airfield.
Luckily, in the 1950s Patchway Parish Council (now Patchway Town Council) acquired two fields from a local farmer and has developed these into playing fields and a park which is the heart of the community. It was named Norman Scott Park after the first chairman of the council and in 2013 the council applied to register this land as a Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Field.
During the past few years, South Gloucestershire Council applied for funding from two government funds – Playbuilders and Aiming High – to improve play areas in various places, including Norman Scott Park in Patchway. The Playbuilders funding enabled us to replace worn out equipment to provide stimulating play for children over eight years old. The Aiming High funding enabled the area to be made suitable for those with mobility difficulties and also to add landscaping and environmental improvements including a sensory garden, ramps and a seating platform which can be accessed by wheelchairs. The design of the landscaping and choice of play equipment involved working with a group of parents of children with disabilities, the South Gloucestershire Parents and Carers Network.
The Aiming High funding also enabled us to create a toilet with a ramp, hoist and other features suitable for severely disabled people to use so that the play facilities can be enjoyed by all members of the community.
It was in this setting that our Diamond Jubilee oak was planted on 21st September 2013 by Councillor Ian Boulton, Chairman of South Gloucestershire Council.
Councillor Boulton also opened a new disabled accesss ramp, constructed so that everyone could see the new tree, and unveiled the plaque dedicating the park as Queen Elizabeth II Field. The committee of Patchway Sports and Social Club, which is sited in the park, provided refreshments for all those who attended the ceremony.
After the planting and unveiling ceremonies, there was a workshop of activities for children and young people in the park where they could make masks, hats and banners from leaves and twigs.
Photographs - top to bottom:
- 1. Children enjoying the accessible roundabout.
- 2. The Chairman of South Gloucestershire Council, Councillor Ian Boulton, cuts the ribbon to open the disabled access ramp, built so that everyone can see the new Jubilee Diamond Tree (behind).
- 3. Surrounded by local town councillors and the committee of Patchway Sports and Social Club, Councillor Ian Boulton unveils the Queen Elizabeth II Field plaque.
- 4. The Diamond Jubilee plaque dedicating the park as Queen Elizabeth II Field.