Easter Treasure hunt in North Lodge Park

Easter Treasure Hunt

Easter Treasure hunt in North Lodge ParkThrough the Easter School holidays families can explore North Lodge Park in rhyme

Thursday  29th March to  Sunday 15th April inclusive

This Easter, families can explore North Lodge Park with the help of a special Treasure Hunt. Carefully prepared by a trainee Bard, the rhyming couplets will encourage children to look around them and find the answers to the simple clues around the Park. On completion of the Treasure Hunt, the use of the magic word in the cafe will release an Easter Egg for successful children. Come and see what wonders there are in North Lodge Park.

The treasure hunt (and Easter Eggs!) will be available during cafe hours (10am-4pm Tuesday to Sunday)

Nominal Entry cost: £1 each (with Easter Egg for all who complete it)


north lodge park, from britainfromabove.org.uk

AGM 2018 | March 21

“Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade.” ― Rudyard Kipling

Your responses to our surveys, and ongoing feedback we get, show that one of your top priorities is to bring opportunities for play to the Park. In 2016 we worked with a number of play park equipment suppliers to develop ideas for a play park on the old bowling green, looking for innovative ideas that would help to make the Park more attractive to visitors. For a number of reasons the proposals weren’t suitable to be implemented.

Developing a concept for the whole Park
Learning from this project, rather than rush into bringing forward another play project out of context, we have stood back and taken a broader look at the Park, so that we can put any future proposals for play in the Park into context.

With support from NNDC, we have commissioned a landscape architect, with experience of play in public parks, to work with us to develop an outline plan for the Park to provide a context for future improvements, and to bring forward a detailed design for some play opportunities.

north lodge park, from britainfromabove.org.uk

Play time
As part of the brief we have asked for any proposals to address the perceived remoteness and access challenges of the upper lawn, introducing play in innovative ways that are in keeping with the nature of the Park. We have asked the designers to look into using the topography of the upper lawn as a basis for designing play opportunities, rather than implementing a standard play park.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing”
– George Bernard Shaw

This approach has a number of advantages, not least that it will give us a blue-print for the Park that we can all work towards over the coming years, and enable us to deliver opportunities for play within this in the near term (all being well, before the end of the year).

The appointed designers, AREA Landscape Architects, will be at the AGM on 21st March to present their initial thoughts and to give you all a chance to join the debate.

AGM DateThe AGM will start at 7.30pm on 21st March in Cromer Community Hall. We’ll look at the highs and lows of the last year, share the charity’s financial statement and forecast and then move onto plans for 2018 which will include giving time to discuss the AREA ideas.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the AGM, if not before.

Barry Meadows

gardening festival

Crab and Lobster Gardening Festival 2018

The Crab and Lobster Festival is a lively weekend celebration; now into it’s 9th year it has become a major fixture on the Cromer calendar drawing many thousands of visitors to the town. It is a feast of fun, food, art, heritage and entertainment, with a wide range of events and activities – the festival celebrates local links with the sea over the festival weekend, this year May 19 – 20 May 2018. The fun starts on Friday night with a traditional seaside variety concert at the Famous Pier Pavilion Theatre in Cromer and continues over the weekend.

gardening festivalFor 2018 there is a new addition to the festival on Saturday 19th May: the Crab and Lobster Gardening Festival to be held in North Lodge Park. This festival fringe event will build on the enormous success of the Crab and Lobster Festival, providing the thousands of visitors with an extra focus. During the day there will be numerous gardening themed events for all from experienced gardeners to young (aspiring) gardeners, with a range of gardening related stalls, including many plant specialists, selling a range of plants and other products for the garden.

North Lodge Park is a cliff top park on the eastern edge of the town centre, with a volunteer group helping look after some of the gardens, operate the cafe and organise events across the year. The garden Fringe Festival will be run by the Friends.

If you would like to take part in this exciting new experience, please get in touch with your proposals for the day. We are looking for creative ideas around the gardening theme to make the day really special.

If you would like a stall to sell products, these are available under the same terms as the main Crab and Lobster festival, but with discounts for booking early.   Please print off the booking form and send it with your fee to us via the cafe in North Lodge Park (Overstrand Road, NR27 0AH).

Please get in touch should you need more information: friends@northlodgepark.org.uk


merry christmas

Christmas 2017

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” – J.K. Rowling

14th December 2017

merry christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

As the weather has turned colder, it’s time to start thinking about stripey mints and overcooked sprouts, and to reflect on an amazing year in the Park.

The café will be closed after Saturday 23rd for the festive break – except for the Boxing Day swim (9-1) and New Year’s Day fireworks (1-5) – reopening as usual on Tuesday 2nd January 2018.

The gardens 2017

The garden volunteers have done an amazing job in 2017. Over £4,500 has been invested in bringing the gardens back to life, their achievements include:
• repairing the wooden pergola structures within the gardens
• installing dropped kerbs to enable access to wheel chair users
• cutting back the overhanging trees allowing more light into the garden
• replacing many of the rose plants, and investing in other plants to improve the look and feel of the space
• working with Bob Catchpole, a local artist, to install a sculpture in the gardens (now inside for the winter)
• replacing parts of the drive hedge that had died
• and keeping the gardens looking good.

Thanks also to NNDC who arranged for the restoration of the boating lake in the spring which was has given a real boost to the look of the Park around the café.

There are great plans in the wings for next year: if you would like to get involved, don’t hold back.

The café 2017

The café volunteers continue to do an amazing job, keeping the café open all year. making it a welcoming place for all to enjoy. Thanks to the volunteers and the customers, this year the café has contributed over £30,000 to the Friends, 70% of the charity’s income. Well done to all.

Our TripAdvisor ‘2017 Certificate of Excellence’ has arrived in the post and is proudly in display in the cafe.

The café is the community face and the base for the charity; we are working with NNDC to extend our time in the café to October 2018 and hope this will all be agreed early in 2018.

Events 2017

We want to run a range of events in the Park that are inclusive, allowing full participation from the community. Where possible events are free, but where event costs are high a nominal ticket charge is implemented.

This year over 20 events were organised, with over 3000 people taking part. From ice-skating to theatre, from music to croquet, and from pumpkins to our Easter treasure hunt, it was a great and varied year of events in the Park.

The total cost for the events was £10,457, generating £9,842 income, around 25% of our turnover.

We’re finalising a schedule of events for 2018 at the moment; let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see.

The play park

One disappointment this year was in not being able to move the play park project forward. Unfortunately, in March, as we began our pre-planning discussions we were informed that our proposal for the old bowling green wasn’t acceptable in such a heritage site, and we were directed to bring forward proposals for the upper lawn (‘over the bridge’).

Rather than rush into this we have taken time in thinking about what would be appropriate in such a space, in the context of the Park as a whole. We’re getting ready to re-launch the project in the new year. Watch this space!

2018 planning

To help us finalise next year’s plans – what would you like to see included? What are your priorities for the Park? And have you time to work with us and the volunteers to help make the ideas happen?

As well as ideas, we need bodies: for the cafe, the gardens, the organising team and charity trustees.

Next years AGM is in the diary for March 21st, but don’t wait until then to volunteer. Come and chat to us about what you can offer. Most of us don’t bite.

Please have a jolly Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope to see you all soon.

Barry Meadows

PS: Christmas Lights Volunteers were awarded second place in the Tesco bags awards – well done to them and special thanks to you all who voted for them with your blue tokens; this means they will received £2000 next year towards the Christmas lights in Cromer.

North Lodge Park - Hedge replacements

Hedge replacement

Great work from the gardening team, replacing the parts of the drive hedge that had died

Art in the Park, Cromer | Appeal to Artists

North Lodge Park in Cromer is a quintessential cliff top park, sadly neglected by the council for many years. For the past 2 years a volunteer group, the Friends of North Lodge Park have been working to bring life back into the Park, opening the Park café, restoring the Rose Garden and hosting events from out-door theatre to garden parties. The public response has been amazing with enormous support for the improvements, albeit to a small part of the Park.

Within the Rose Garden there is a plinth which used to host a bronze sun-dial now long forgotten, and where there is an empty plinth there is an opportunity. In the Spring of this year Bob Catchpole, a well known local sculptor, donated a sculpture to start a rolling programme of public art in the Rose Garden. Since it’s unveiling in April the sculpture has become a destination in the Park, and received significant publicity which has been good for the Park and the artist, even reaching the EDP’s feature of the 13 best sculptures in Norfolk.

Wildfoul ii by Bob CatchpoleBob’s work caught the spirit of the Park with his long-established interest in the Norfolk landscape, celebrating the men who worked it; his re-use of old tools in his work fits the nature of the project to bring interest to the gardens which are developed and maintained by volunteers.

Bob’s kind donation has launched the project to develop a rolling programme of sculpture on the plinth in the Rose garden, for which we are eternally grateful. We are now looking to hear from artists who would like to work with the Friends of North Lodge Park to further develop the idea of Art in the Park.

The Friends of North Lodge Park are interested in speaking to artists who would like to help with the next phase of the project, by loaning a work suitable for the plinth or with ideas about how the project could be developed within the wider Park.

Tea Cup Challenge winner

Tea Cup Challenge Winner

Tea Cup Challenge winnerMilly, age 6, is the WINNER of this summer’s Tea Cup Challenge – creating a teacup, saucer and spoon from paper. The judges were particularly impressed by the use of colour in the design, the varied styles, and the curled cup handle. Well done Milly – your prize is on it’s way.
broads in the park

Broads in the Park

Thanks to The Broads for a great afternoon and to you all for braving the chilly winds to make them so welcome. I’m sure they’ll be back.broads in the paek