Friends of Saltwell Park - Latest News
Saltwell Park Footage 1944
Fields in Trust
UK’s Best Park 2019: last chance to vote
You nominated 364 parks and green spaces across the
country for this year’s UK’s Best Park award and voting
is now open to find the winner! Over 23,000 votes have
already been cast but if you haven’t had your say yet,
time is running out to make your choice – voting closes
at noon on Monday 19th August.
The most loved park in each of the Home Nations will then
be shortlisted with the overall winner of UK’s Best Park 2019
announced next month.
Vote Now by going to:
HEALTH WALK TO CELEBRATE LOVE PARKS WEEK 2019
23 walkers a toddler in a push chair and 3 dogs turned
out in the sunshine for a Health Walk around Saltwell Park
on Tuesday 16th July. Not all of them made it onto this
photograph sadly! If you would like to join in with the weekly
Health Walks in the Park we meet at the North door of the
Towers every Tuesday, setting off at 11am. All welcome!
Saltwell Park Awarded Another Green Flag!
Great to receive The Green Flag Award and
Green Heritage Site Award on behalf of all who work
so incredibly hard to look after Saltwell Park.
The award ceremony was held in Liverpool on 16th
Chair Friends of Saltwell Park
Activities for Love Parks Week 2019 in Saltwell Park.
Click here to find out what is happening.
Love Parks Week 2019 Competition
Win one of five £100 wilko vouchers
To celebrate #LoveParks Week 2019 we're asking you
to tell us why you love your local park.
Simply share why you love your local park on social media,
with the tags:
@KeepBritainTidy @LoveWilko #LoveParks #LoveParksComp
(you can also include a photo or video with your entry).
Mayor visits a SPUG Tidy Up
Gateshead Mayor, Cllr Jill Green, visited one of the monthly
Saltwell Park User Group's Tidy Up this morning.
Nearly 30 volunteers were doing various tasks with
Friends of Saltwell Park, Church of the Latterday Saints,
Tyneside Beekeepers and Gateshead Council's Jeanie Lea
(Parks and Outdoor Space Co-ordinator).
The Dene was swept, the stream cleared near the Pool
of Reflection and Saltwell Park's Honey Bee Garden was
If you would like to take part in a future Tidy Up then please
contact us. These events happen on the first Wednesday
of every month 10.30am - 12 noon. All welcome.
THE TYNE AND WEAR HERITAGE FORUM
The Friends of Saltwell Park ‘Talking Statues’ project was
delivered through the Tyne and Wear Heritage Forum
(TWHF) with the help of Open Lab at Newcastle University.
There is an exciting opportunity to meet all involved and
discover more through talks and workshops at
‘Heritage Trails’ - The TWHF Conference 2019.
Please visit www.twhf.co.uk home page for joining details.
Twenty-Two Walkers, Three Dogs and One Baby……
…… came to the 200th Friends of Saltwell Park Health Walk
on Tuesday 29th January. The grim weather forecast did not
stop our intrepid walkers although our oldest member, who at
91 has already clocked up an impressive 68 walks, was
unfortunately unable to attend.
Personalised badges showing the number of walks each
participant had completed were handed out to mark the
occasion. Apart from the leaders (who you would expect
to top the attendance list!) one regular has achieved 153
walks and several others are close behind. Some walkers
have been involved from the beginning, many have joined
us since and several have become Health Walk leaders.
Many lasting friendships have been made.
Home-made biscuits and chocolate brownies kept everyone
smiling as we walked around the two-mile route. Afterwards
some popped into the Towers cafe for lunch. Why not join us?
We meet every Tuesday for an 11am start outside the Towers.
Everyone is very welcome.
Tyneside Bee Keepers are the "Bees Needs"
Work in Saltwell Park by the Tyneside Bee Keepers Association
has earned them an award. This award is given to
Green Flag Awarded sites making positive changes for pollinators.
Well done to all who made it happen!
For more information about the award please click here
The People Have Spoken - and we have done it again!
Saltwell Park is, once again, in the People's Choice
Top 10 Parks.
Thank you to all who voted. For more information please
Swedish Garden in Gateshead? - Watch this space!
During a 10 year programme, a strong relationship
between the North East and the Region Vastra Gotaland
in West Sweden has developed, resulting in many
events, exchanges and collaborations. One of these is
between the Gardens Society of West Sweden
(Tradgardresan) and the National Garden Scheme.
Together they are working on a project to create a
Swedish garden on the octagonal lawn in Saltwell Park.
Keen to have a new development in the park, the Council
has offered use of the site and the partners are now
working hard to find funding with the aim of completion
during Summer 2019.
Saltwell Harriers Sponsors the Friends
We are delighted to announce that Saltwell Harriers, widely
regarded as one of the North East’s best running clubs, has
agreed to become a sponsor of the Friends of Saltwell Park.
Founded 128 years ago, the Harriers have a strong running
tradition, entering races in the Pennines, Lake District and
Scottish Borders. In recent years the club has seen
considerable growth in numbers and now boasts more than
200 members. Their runners can’t be missed at local events
such as this year’s Blaydon Race, where over 100 took part.
The club also runs a Spring Series of races at six different
park runs in the region, including the one at Saltwell Park.
Our photo shows a group of Harriers preparing for one of
their frequent runs in the Park. Saltwell Harriers often start
races with their battle cry of ‘Hoops’.
The sponsorship will bring benefits to both parties. Saltwell
Harriers will be mentioned on the front cover of the Spring
2019 Newsletter as our sponsor and have a quarter-page
advertisement inside the magazine. The club is also able to
use the Friends’ logo on their documents and feature on
the ‘Project’ page of our website. A designated club member
will be invited on to the FoSP Committee, which will help the
Harriers influence activities in the Park. Friends are also
entitled to use Saltwell Harriers’ logo in their literature where
appropriate and the sponsorship money will greatly benefit
our work in the Park.
Running for Everyone
Saltwell Harriers is a very inclusive club, tailoring training
sessions to ensure all abilities are catered for. Members
meet for training on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Gateshead
Leisure Centre, 6.45 pm for a 7 pm start. On Tuesdays
there are five different training groups which not only cover
ability but are also tailored to help members achieve their
personal ambitions, which could be anything from improving
their technique to running fast enough to get a personal best
in a race.
Saltwell Harriers held a Family Day in the Park as part of
their 125 year anniversary celebrations in 2015 - a great way
of thanking families for supporting members with their running.
For more information on the club please go to
WATER SKIING ON SALTWELL PARK'S LAKE!
If you have any other surprising photos from the Park
please send them to us by clicking here.
GREAT EXHIBITION OF THE NORTH UPDATE - BE A VOLUNTEER!
Spaces are filling fast! If you have not already applied for a post as
one of our Get North Volunteers please find out more about how
you, or your staff, can get involved >.
Let's ensure we fly the flag for Gateshead by getting involved
with this prestigious event.
POLICE COMMUNITY DROP IN EVENT
(Cuppa with a Copper)
Friday 9th March 2018, between11am – 12noon at
Join PC Nicola Smith to discuss your concerns about
activities in the Park and hear about what the Friends
of Saltwell Park are doing to help make the Park more
safe and secure. All welcome.
ANOTHER UNUSUAL VISITOR
Wendy Pearson photographed this female Goosander on
Saltwell Park lake a couple of days ago - before the snow
started and the lake froze over. If you spot anything
unusual please send it to us.
VISITOR TO SALTWELL PARK
Fabulous photo taken in the Park by Paul Junner (member
of Saltwell Park Model Boat Club) on 10th December 2017.
The kingfisher is an uncommon visitor to Saltwell Park.
Birds seen here are believed to come up from the
Lamesley / Team Valley area and the casual sightings are
normally in the Dene.
The last official record of a kingfisher on the lake was Michael
Turner's (Chair Friends of Saltwell Park) in October 2007 by
the lake. Prior to that there are two historic records of kingfisher
in Saltwell Park one from September 1927 and the other
If anyone else can provide photographs of unusual birds in the
Park please contact us.
FIELDS IN TRUST AWARD
Congratulations to Friends of Angel Meadow who are
very worthy winners of the Friends Group category
under the Fields in Trust initiative. We met them at
the event in Lords Cricket Ground last night.
Friends of Saltwell Park made it to the Top 4 Friends
Groups for this prestigious Award
Thank you to the Fields in Trust for organising such
a wonderful event.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
IN SALTWELL PARK?
- For dog-fouling, littering, graffiti, motorbikes etc. in the Park Phone: 0191 4775000 (24 hr number)
- For low level criminal offences ... broken glass, vandalism (anything that’s not happening right now) Phone: 101
- If you feel threatened or harassed or see a fire or an accident Phone: 999
HEALTH WALKER REACHES 80TH MILESTONE
There was a big celebration on Tuesday 7th November
as one of our regular Health Walkers reached 80. It goes
to show what regular walking can do for you!
A huge "Thank you" to Carol for making this beautiful
cake for Margaret's special birthday.
SALTWELL PARK - FIELD OF REMEMBRANCE
The Dedication of the Field of Remembrance was well
supported on Saturday 4th November with even a
representative from the U.S. Embassy.
The band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers played
throughout the ceremony behind the poppy crosses
making the event all the more poignant.
FIELDS IN TRUST INITIATIVE
Saltwell Park did not make the shortlist for the top UK Park
under the Fields in Trust initiative. However, the Friends
of Saltwell Park have been shortlisted for an award for
There will be an announcement at Lords Cricket Ground
on 29 November. We have been invited to send 2
people to the ceremony.
Well done everybody!
POLICE COMMUNITY DROP IN EVENT
(Cuppa with a Copper)
Many visitors dropped in to the Towers cafe today,
Wednesday 18th October 2017, between10am – 12pm,
to meet PC Nicola Smith to discuss their concerns about
activities in the Park and hear about what the Friends
of Saltwell Park are doing to help make the Park more
safe and secure.
More similar events are to be arranged. Watch this
space for dates, or contact us to find out more about our plans.
Help Saltwell Park become the Best Park
in Fields of Trust Voting
Thank you to all those who voted Saltwell Park as a top
10 UK Park. We have another opportunity to vote again.
Somebody has nominated Saltwell Park as UK's best
Park as part of the Fields in Trust campaign.
Please sign up to be notified once voting opens at
9 am on 14 October 2017 (www.fieldsintrust.org).
Thank you again!
Keep Britain Tidy Reveal the Public's Favourite Parks
It's official - Saltwell Park is in the Top 10 of the nation's
This year Keep Britain Tidy awarded a record-breaking 1,799
Green Flag Awards to the best-managed parks and green
spaces. To find the best of the best, they asked the public to vote
for their favourite parks, which they did in record numbers.
The 10 winners are spread across England, Scotland and Wales,
including large and small sites, traditional parks to wild unusual
spaces, run by councils, community groups and even a well-loved
Four of the winning sites (Cassiobury Park, Saltwell Park, the
Wilderness Lake and Whiteknights campus) have been awarded
this accolade for the first time this year, whilst the remaining six
have maintained their top spot in people’s hearts.
For more information please click here.
PLEASE HELP US LOOK AFTER OUR BEES
We are pleased to tell you that there is now a hive of
Honey Bees inside the enclosure within the Bird
Please will you keep an eye on the hive each time
you pass this area. If you have any concerns about
the Bees or the hive please contact us
Posters are going up in the Park with contact details
on so people will know what to do if they see a problem.
There is a talk about Bees planned in next year's
FoSP programme(Saturday 14 July, 2018). The
Tyneside Bee Keepers will be holdingother Bee related
events in the Park now that they have one of their
hives in Saltwell Park. Watch out for further information.
It has taken a year and a half of hard work to make this
project happen,please help us to make it a success.
The project is part of the FoSP 5 Year Plan, working in
partnership with the Tyneside Bee Keepers and
Gateshead Council. Please pass this information on to
anyone who you think would like to know about it.
Government Response to the Select Committee Report:
The Future of Public Parks
This week the Government announced its response to the
growing chorus of alarm over the under funding crisis facing
the UK's public green spaces. It at last acknowledges the
need for action to safeguard parks, but has not committed
any additional funding so desperately required for park
management and maintenance throughout the country. So,
what kind of action is being mooted, and is it the start of a
genuine debate over what's really needed to address the
seriousness of the deteriorating situation?
For the full report please click here.
VOTE FOR SALTWELL PARK - THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE
People's Choice vote to find the UK's top 10 favourite
parks is now open. Following the huge success of #LoveParks,
here is another chance to show how much your favourite park
means to you. Vote for your favourite park in the
People's Choice Awards 2017.
You can vote anytime from 1st -30th September. All the UK's
1,797 award winning Green Flag Award parks are eligible and
voting is simple. Simply use the map to find to your favourite
park and click the vote button. It's really that simple. Once
you've voted, don't forget to encourage others to get involved too.
The top 10 winning parks will be announced on 11th October
If your favourite park is worth shouting about, make your voice
heard - vote now.
GREEN FLAG SUCCESS
Saltwell Park Achieves the Green Flag Award again.
SPUG Task Force (Saltwell Park User Group) proudly
show off the Green Flag at the Tidy Up Day in September.
Well done to all who have made this happen - too
numerous to mention - volunteers and Gateshead Council.
Read more about the Green Flag Award here.
HERITAGE OPEN DAYS 2017
Another successful year for Heritage Open Days
(www.heritageopendays.org.uk). Saltwell Park
Heritage Walks were enjoyed by many on Thursday 7th
and Friday 8th of September 2017.
TALKING STATUE AT SALTWELL PARK
Visit the George Charlton Memorial Fountain, scan
your phone on the poster ... and hear
George Charlton speak!
For more information click here.
JAPANESE STUDENTS VISIT JAPANESE GARDEN
On a very wet Saturday morning the Friends met
15 Japanese Students from Komatsu at the Komatsu
Friendship Garden in Saltwell Park. This was part
of the celebration of 30 years of Komatsu being in Birtley.
For more information click here.
AWARD FOR FRIENDS OF SALTWELL PARK
HeritageACT! Conference was held on Saturday
13 May, 2017 at Wallsend Memorial Hall.The event
was well attended with lots of excellent networking
Keynote speakers were Viscount Matt Ridley,
Lord Alan Beith and John Grundy.
At the end John Grundy presented the Friends with
a certificate and two HeritageACT! mugs for our
continued endeavours in delivering the
Talking Statues Project.
HELP NEEDED BY PEOPLE WHO USE THE PARK REGULARLY
We need extra eyes and ears in Saltwell Park.
If you are regularly in Saltwell Park and are
prepared to tell us about any anti-social behaviour
or damage, please contact us. Thank you.
FRIENDS OF SALTWELL PARK LAUNCH THEIR
5 YEAR PLAN TODAY
The culmination of nearly 2 years was launched
today in the Training Centre at Saltwell Park.
Everyone is keen to get started now that the Plan
is complete. If you would like to know more or offer
to help then please contact us.
HEALTH WALK 100
The sun shone for us on our Friends of Saltwell
Park's 100th Health Walk on 28th February.
If you would like to join us on future walks then we leave
the Towers at 11am each Tuesday. We walk for an
hour in the Park with a lot of chat on the way around
and refreshments in the Towers at the end.
FRIENDS OF SALTWELL PARK 5 YEAR PLAN
We met senior managers about our 5 year plan
this week. They are keen to work with us to help
realise some of our dreams. We will tell you more
in our newsletter and at our AGM. If you would
like to know more about our Plan please click here.
PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO STATE OF UK PARKS
The public inquiry into Parks Is published.
The Government now have 2 months to
respond to its recommendations.
For full details please see www.parliament.uk
FOLLOW UP TO OUR CONSULTATION
On 26th November 25 Friends of Saltwell Park
met in the Training Centre to plan our next steps.
If you would like to help us in any way please
DOCUMENT- STATE OF THE UK PARKS
Did you know:
~ Over half the UK population visit their local park
at least once a month or more often, yet park
maintenance budgets continue to fall...
To read the full document click here.
OUR VISION 2017 TO 2022
Saltwell Park, thriving at the heart of the community,
safe and secure as “the People’s Park” for future
For a copy of our draft "Summary Document"
please contact us.
INQUIRY INTO PUBLIC PARKS
The first oral evidence session about the inquiry
into public parks is being televised on
Monday 24 October.
For more information including seeing our written
evidence, please click here www.parliament.tv
STANDING UP FOR OUR PARK
The Future of public parks inquiry was launched
11 July 2016. FoSP have responded to the
Communities and Local Government Committee.
For a full copy of our written submission, please
HERITAGE OPEN DAYS AT SALTWELL PARK
On the 8th and 9th of September 2016
Michael Turner (Chair of Friends of Saltwell Park)
lead 2 groups around the Park telling them about
the 12 Listed Structures there. Despite the rain on
Thursday all enjoyed these very informative walks.
A leaflet telling you about these structures and
about the Park is available from the Towers, cost 50p.
If you would like one posted to you (which will cost
£1 to cover P&P) please contact us.
GREEN FLAG FOR THE PARK AGAIN
Saltwell Park has been awarded the Green Flag
Award again this year. The Green Flag Awards
are judged by an army of more than 700 green
space experts, who volunteer their time to visit
applicant sites and assess them against eight strict
criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness,
sustainability and community involvement.
The Award is a testament to the efforts of the men
and women, young and older, both staff and volunteers,
who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards
demanded by the Green Flag Award. For the full story
If you would like to become involved with helping
to keep Saltwell Park beautiful then please
YOUR PARK NEEDS YOU!
Thank you to all who attended the consultation at
Gateshead Old Town Hall on 25th June 2016.
We are collating all the many ideas generated and
will let you know our vision for the next 5 years ASAP.
Funding for this event was provided by:
~ Gateshead Council Capacity Building Fund
~ Gateshead Council Volunteers Month funds
~ Bensham and Saltwell Alive
Please contact us if you require any further
SALTWELL PARK MUSEUM AT THE SHIPLEY
A permanent new display has been created which
brings objects from the old Saltwell Park Museum,
which was originally housed in Saltwell Towers
and closed in 1969. The display will change over
time as more objects are brought out of storage and
put on display. Free Entry. For more information
Also you can follow Michael McHugh's Blog:
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF PARKS AND
GREEN SPACES - event in Newcastle
The Friends of Saltwell Park thank the National
Federation of Parks and Green Spaces for
organising a fabulous event to update us on the
state of UK Parks.
SUCCESSFUL GRANT APPLICATION
Thank you to Gateshead Council Capacity Building
Fund and Bensham and Saltwell Alive for funding
a consultation for all members FoSP.
The funding will be used to seek views about the
future of Saltwell Park in these times of austerity.
Watch this space for updates.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEALTH WALKS
The Friends of Saltwell Park Health
Walks celebrated their 1st Birthday
on the 5th April - with a walk and cake.
All are welcome to join. We meet
every Tuesday, 11am at Saltwell Towers.
SALTWELL PARK USER GROUP (SPUG)
TIDY UP THE PARK
Thank you to all who found the time to come and
help us tidy up the Park in April. 35 volunteers turned
up to help. We made a huge difference to the
Japanese Garden, the viewing platform overlooking
the Dene and the Dene footpaths.
There are regular SPUG Tidy Ups on the first
Wednesday of every month starting at 10.30am
at the Avenue Bowling Pavilion.
If you would like to know more about these events
FRIENDS OF SALTWELL PARK WELCOME
OUR 200TH MEMBER
Our 200th member, Alice, moved to her new house
deliberately to be near to Saltwell Park. Alice was
delighted to discover she was our 200th Member.
Join Alice and become a member - click here
HEALTH WALK EVERY TUESDAY IN SALTWELL PARK
Join us for this scenic walk around one of
Gateshead’s hidden gems. 2 miles.
Meet at Saltwell Towers, north door 11 am.
Enjoy the benefits of exercising outside at our
green gym in Saltwell Park, FREE.
HERITAGE WALKS BY APPOINTMENT
Want to learn more about the history of the Park?
We arrange 1 hour walks for groups of up to 20 people.
For further information contact us
SALTWELL PARK HERITAGE LEAFLET
Our Saltwell Park Heritage Leaflet is available
for sale in Saltwell Towers (50p).
SALTWELL PARK AWARDED GREEN FLAG
FOURTH TIME IN A ROW
Saltwell Park has recently been awarded the
prestigious Green Flag. The Green Flag Award
is the national standard for parks and green
spaces in England and Wales and recognises and
rewards the best green spaces in the country.
Representing quality, the Award is a sign to visitors
that a park has met strict criteria, which among
other things require it to be a clean, safe and
welcoming place to spend time.