Oakley Park children’s 2k fun run and mini races.

Many thanks to all 129 runners and their parents and guardians for making the 4th Oakley Park children’s 2k fun run the biggest yet. Following the 2km run through the open park and woodland, the children also took part in mini races. Although this event is free of charge to take part, we were overwhelmed to receive almost £120 in donations, which will enable us to run further activities for all to enjoy.

A big thanks as well to all the volunteers who helped make the event possible. We had great feedback from many who took part.

Youth contribution. Rainbows, Brownies, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts have all helped improve Oakley Park over the last year with a range of activities including litter picking, bulb planting and cleaning. The park has also provided a base for a range of outdoor activities including orienteering, sports and wide games.

These groups are all part of the Scouting and Guiding movement. With 38 million members in 217 countries and a thriving local organisation its aim is to develop young people age five to eighteen physically, spiritually and mentally so that youth may take a constructive place in society.

South East Small Parks Competition. FTC entered Oakley Park for two categories in S&SE in Bloom. The park had been awarded Silver Gilt in the Conservation category and Gold in the Small Park category. At the RHS ceremony, held at the Brighton and Hove Albion Football Stadium, Mike Bye was presented with the Oakley Park Conservation Silver Gilt and Gold Small Park awards.

AGM. The AGM and a Very Social evening had a good turn out on the last Saturday in January. After another excellent buffet and chance to catch up with friends and neighbours, we received the Chairman's and Treasurer’s reports on the activities of the group, followed by the election of committee members.

Following this Alan Smart, from Community First Responders, gave an interesting presentation about the work of his group in siting public defibrillators throughout Fleet and Church Crookham. No less than 41 have been placed at shops, pubs and community centres in recent years, including one at Oakley Park.

Alan explained how these defibrillators maximise the chance of saving lives. He also told us how to spot the signs of a heart attack, stroke, sepsis and the simple steps anyone can take to ensure that someone suffering these symptoms receives prompt and urgent medical attention

Flymobile. The Flymobile has now been installed and in daily use. We raised the required funding thanks to our entry into Fleet Lions' Dragons Den which raised £1,800, Friends of Oakley Park has contributed £1,537 which we raised thanks to our last two summer fêtes plus some from reserves, and FTC contributed the remaining £851 giving a total of £4,188. Well done to everyone that contributed and helped in raising the funds.

A big thank you. Our thanks to Signs Express of Farnborough for their very generous donation of £600 to sponsor the purchase of an additional wooden bench and to Fleet Fire Brigade who have kindly provided us with a new, large public notice board for the pavilion.

February Bonfire. As you may recall in November last year, with the aid of a qualified Country Ranger, we set about felling numerous holly trees that were shutting out light from the ground flora and fauna.

We focused our attention on two main areas – a central area in the woodland and the perimeter pathway parallel with George Road. At that time, felled holly in the woodland central area was burned the next day after felling. This left all the felled trees along the pathway to be disposed of so we set a date in February for a repeat performance. With the wood having dried somewhat since November our second bonfire was somewhat staggering both in flame height and heat intensity. A very worthwhile 9-hour day spent in excellent company with some 13 volunteers taking part.

The woodland is still in need of further intervention which hopefully we will undertake later this year.