Latest News from Ford Park Community Group Latest News Stories from Ford Park Community Group en-gb New Head Chef - Steve Hartley

3 Course Introduction Evening
17th November 2016
£24.95 per head

Job Vacancy - Marketing & Support Administrative Role


Trip Advisor - Certificate of Excellence
Apple Day Radio Interview at Ford Park

We had a fantasic day at our Apple Day Gala at Ford Park and were supported by both volunteers and visitors. Please see what our volunteers and staff had to say on our local radio station Radio Cumbria.


First Community Green Flag Award!! We are one of only two green flag parks in Cumbria and this acknowledges our support of biodiversity, habitat creation, support of wildlife, excellent facilities and community involvement!! Well done to volunteers and staff!! ]]> Community Gardening Day There will be plenty of opportunity to harvest fruit/salad/veg and discuss gardening issues with our gardener Sarah! ]]> Family Activity Programme for the Summer

July 22nd Teddy Bear's Picnic -bring a snack & teddy

July 29th Fruit & Frolic: tasting in the kitchen garden + games with Ulverston Leisure Centre

August 5th Trees & Minibeasts with Cumbria Wildlife Trust

August 12th Science Fun with staff from Siemens

August 19th Nature in French with Anne-Laure Page

August 26th Cooking in the Kitchen Garden

September 2nd Insect Pop up Books with Ellie Chaney

If you have any queries please ring Kim on 01229 588164 or email on

Just turn up about five minutes before the start

New RHS Horticulture course!!

The course will run from 10 am to 2.30pm with a break for a packed lunch that participants bring with them. The course will cover:

Growing media recipes for different horticultural needs

Sustainable horticulture

Gardening in schools

Wildlife gardening

with a discussion about "what makes a community garden work? over our packed lunches

We will provide tea/coffee/biscuits throughout the day and encourage people to stay on and chat over coffee and cake in the cafe when we are finished. For more details please ring Kim Farr on 01229 588164. There are only10 places available so please ring Kim to book is free!


Conservation partnership with Brantwood In the wild, larvae feed only on this Touch-me-not Balsam Impatiens noli-tangere, which is the only native balsam in the UK. It can be distinguished from the other balsams by its large yellow flowers (>2cm) and leaves with 15 or fewer teeth on each side. The larvae feed preferentially on the flowers and the seed pods, but they will also eat the leaves.The Netted Carpet is a medium sized and attractive moth that gets both its’ English and scientific names from the pale, net-like patterning on the forewings. This species has an extremely restricted British distribution. There are several scattered colonies in Lake District concentrated in the Coniston Water and Windermere catchments. Until recently the moth was also present near Derwentwater. We got our Balsam from a visit to Brantwood earlier in the week and we will get some help from them with finding and counting the caterpillars at the right time...a good step for conservation! ]]> Exciting Career Opportunity

Exciting Career Opportunity:
Volunteer Coordinator - Job Description Download Here

SALARY:                             £25,675 pro-rata 22 hours per week

CONTRACT:                      12 month contract (renewable subject to funding)

RESPONSIBLE TO:           Chief Executive Officer

RESPONSIBLE FOR:        Coordination of Volunteers

CLOSING DAY: 8th July 2015 INTERVIEW DATE: 16th JULY 2015
To apply for this job, please send your CV with a covering letter to or for more information phone Ali(CEO) on 01229 580666

Wildflower Meadow Project Picnic On Thursday June 11th from 12 noon to 2pm we will have some refreshments and activities available on our roof terrace and in the orchard. It will also be a good chance to find out more about the Wildflower Meadow Project and how we have worked with partners such as local schools, Brantwood, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, RSPB and the National Trust. ]]> Wildlife Watch Launched! Amy Boud from Playful Nature ( , along with some volunteers, will run a pilot project of Wildlife Watch Club sessions on the last Saturday of April (25th), May(30th) and June (27th) 2015 on Saturdays from 10am to 12noon. If they are successful, a regular club will be established. The cost is £3 per child per session. A variety of interesting and fun activities about wildlife and nature will be involved. ]]> Thank You From Our CEO Alison Alger

On behalf of Ford Park Community Group, staff trustees and volunteers I would like to acknowledge the wonderful support we have received from the community over the last few weeks.

As you may be aware planning permission was granted last week for a small development of eight homes at the bottom of Ford Park, this would not have been possible had it not been for the overwhelming number of people from Ulverston, the Furness Peninsular and beyond who showed their support in many different ways.

The granting of planning permission will enable the charity to repay the loans that were taken out to secure the park for the community and develop the facilities that make Ford Park such a wonderful community asset.

We will still need local support moving forwards and will endeavour to do all we can to ensure we continue to respond to the needs and requests of the local community for generations to come.

I have been very moved by the deep affection people feel for Ford Park and the value placed on services delivered by Ford Park Community Group.

Thank you again for the extraordinary display of community spirit.

Kind Regards

Alison Alger: Chief Executive Officer

Ford Park

Ford Park Closure Threat
The officer's recomendation rests on a technicality, and fails to see 
the bigger picture, members of the planning committee are entitled to 
make a different interpretation of the policy to that of the planning 

The outcome should the councillor's not use their powers to over-rule 
the recommendation for the public good would be devastating.

The staff and volunteers have given their commitment to do all they can 
to keep Ford Park going until the end of September , and we want to 
assure everyone that it will be business as usual until then.

We would welcome a large show of support at the planning meeting , this 
could really make a difference to winning over the hearts and minds of 
those on the committee.

The planning meeting will take place at Kendal Town Hall and will begin 
at 10 am on Thursday 26th March. Ford Park will be the second item on 
the agenda after the Old Brewery Site so it may be a while untill we are 

If anyone would like transport there will be a minibus leaving Ford Park 
at 9am please get in touch with me and I can reserve you a seat.

Thank you all for your ongoing support.

Very best wishes


Alison Alger / Chief Executive Officer / Ford Park Community Group / Ulverston / Cumbria / LA12 7JP
t:01229 580666
Working with the community Today (february 9th) we have had a whole school visit from Penny Bridge Academy prior to their drawing up ther designs for being an Incredible Edible School. Tomorrow we have a visit from Ulverston Victoria High School to see how we can support a group working on a healthy eating project. On Thursday we have a visit from a PhD researcher from Leeds University who wants to run a focus group with our volunteers to discuss urban food growing. Last week Sarah, our gardener visited Ormsgill Primary School to discuss their food growing and the delivery of a workshop for children and parents and took a group of our volunteers to prune the living willow structures at Church Walk School. Next week we are supporting the Ulverston in Bloom group to plant 6 fruit trees in our strap line states,  we are truly rooted in the community!! ]]> Support for Proposed Development

You can see a display of the full plans at the Coach House, Ford Park or on the South Lakeland District Council website (follow the links to planning applications and search for application reference SL/2014/1236). To find out more or to discuss the proposals, contact Alison Alger, Chief Executive, Ford Park Community Group on telephone 01229 580666, email, or Colin Pickthall, Chair on 01229 480666 or

Why does Ford Park Community Group need to develop in the park? Surely it’s better to keep all the land as open space?
In an ideal world we would wish to keep the park as it is. However, the charity took on a mortgage from the Architectural Heritage Fund to buy Ford Park from Cumbria County Council in 2005, and a further loan from the Social Investment Business to develop the Coach House in 2010. The mortgage has to be paid back now, and the only way we can afford to do this is to go ahead with this development.

Why can’t the charity sell Ford Park House? Won’t that give you enough money to pay off the mortgage?
Originally the trustees thought it would, but it has proved more difficult to sell the house than we had hoped, and the only offers we have had are way below the amount we would need to pay off the mortgage. The house is a grade 2 listed building which needs a lot of work to maintain and restore it to a habitable condition.

What will happen if the development doesn’t go ahead?
If the development doesn’t go ahead Ford Park Community Group will not be able to pay its loans. If we carry on operating when we know we can’t pay our debts we will be breaking the law. The only alternative will be to close the charity and allow ownership of the land and buildings to pass to those to whom we owe money - the developers of the Coach House, the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF)
and the Social Investment Business (SIB). Neither AHF nor SIB will want to manage Ford Park and it will face an uncertain future. The most likely scenario is that it will lie neglected and become a site for anti social behaviour, as it was before Ford Park Community Group was formed.

How much does the charity owe and how did it get into this position?
We owe AHF £289,000 (including interest) and SIB £455,000 (including interest). The original charity trustees planned to sell Ford Park House to pay off the AHF mortgage and decided to develop the Coach House as a social enterprise to provide an income stream to fund the maintenance of the park and the charitable work we do with disadvantaged people, schools, other charities and the community at large. However, the costs of the development were more than expected and it is taking some time for the Coach House to generate the necessary rates of return. It has become clear that the original business plan was over-optimistic in its profit projections. The board of trustees are working very hard to deal with the situation we find ourselves in now and to ensure that the charity is managed prudently. Once the loans are repaid the charity will be able to operate comfortably within its available resources.

Ford Park is in the Ulverston conservation area. Doesn’t that mean the land is protected from development?
Being in a conservation area does not mean that a site cannot be developed at all. However, the local planning authority, South Lakeland District Council, must weigh up the likely harm to the conservation area against the public benefits of any proposed development. In this case the loss of some of the park space will be compensated for by the preservation of the remainder of the land and the continuation of work which benefits the community.

What impact will the development have on Ford Park’s neighbours?
The development team and architect have worked very hard to come up with a design that will minimise any loss of amenity for neighbouring residents. The new houses are designed to match the architecture of the area and the scheme includes two single storey houses, which are deliberately included to ensure that existing properties are not overlooked. There will be no loss of parking space andaccess to the new houses by car will not create road safety issues.

How will the new houses affect everyone else who uses the Park?
Clearly some park space will be lost. However, this is a very small proportion of the existing space, which at the moment is not widely used. This development will not pave the way for further building. Ford Park Community Group will enter into a legally binding agreement, known as a section 106 agreement, which will guaranteeno further residential or commercial development in the park.
We know that the area is popular with dog walkers. The ability to walk dogs in the park and to bring dogs into the Coach House cafe will continue as before.

Who are the developers and what are their plans?
The developers are a small, family run local firm called Modlar. They are partnering with a Cheshire-based company called Brookhouse, who have a lot of experience in developing well-designed schemes in conservation areas. As well as building eight houses, Modlar and Brookhouse will eventually refurbish and develop Ford House.

What will Ford Park Community Group do with the proceeds from the development?
If planning permission is granted, the charity will receive an initial payment which will enable us to repay the loan to AHF immediately, make backdated repayments to SIB and manage current income and expenses from month to month. Future income from the development will enable us to repay the balance of our loans, guaranteeing the future of Ford Park as a community amenity. The funds will also be used to support the on-going maintenance of the park; the continuation of the volunteer
development programme; use of the park for the Carnival and Lantern procession
finales; joint projects with St Mary’s Hospice and the development of facilities and activities for the whole community in the park, grounds and the Coach House

How can I support Ford Park and help secure its future?
If you want see Ford Park continue as a community amenity for Ulverston, there are several ways you can help:
● Write in to SLDC and support our planning application
You can do this by writing a letter or sending an email to:
Kate Lawson
Principal Planning Officer
South Lakeland District Council
South Lakeland House
Lowther Street
Cumbria LA9 4DL
Quote planning application number SL/2014/1236

● You can see the planning application on the SLDC website (, follow links to planning applications and search for number SL/2014/1236) and simply click a button to say you
support the application
● Encourage your family, friends and neighbours to express their support.
● Become a member of Ford Park or make a donation to our charitable

Points to include in your letter of support:
● According to SLDC’s development plan, Ulverston needs around 1,700 more houses. Developing on Ford Park is an opportunity to provide some of these houses AND ensure that the park and the charitable activities that go on there are maintained.
● The benefits of using a small piece of land for sympathetic development will outweigh any potential harm to the conservation area.
● The proposed scheme is well designed and minimises both loss of openspace and views for neighbours and traffic impacts.
● You want to see Ford Park preserved for the benefit of Ulverston residents and visitors and are concerned that its future is under threat if the development doesn't go ahead

Green Flag Award application and Customer Survey If you have 5 minutes to spare please complete this questionnaire: ]]> Christmas is Coming!

Creative Christmas Decorations Workshop
Wed 26 Nov, 2 - 4pm
Create your own unique and beautiful holiday decorations under the expert
guidance of Tracy Wells designer milliner.
£25, includes materials used. To book please call Tracy directly on 01229 870080

Christmas Story Writing Workshops
Wed 3 Dec, 9.30am - 2.45pm
Fri 12 Dec, 9.30am - 2.45pm
Start a new family tradition this Christmas. Local author Zosia Wand will help you
imagine and structure your own unique Christmas story to share with your
family. £20

Wreath Making Workshops
Thu 4 Dec, 7 - 9pm
Thu 11 Dec, 7 - 9pm
Join us in one of our fun, relaxed 2 hour workshops to learn how to make a
beautiful festive door wreath. Using seasonal foliage and traditional natural
decorations, you will make your own door wreath to take home.
£20, includes materials used and festive refreshments.

Christmas Card Crafts
Thu 11 Dec, 11am - 4pm
Come along and make your own unique greetings card from an array of
seasonal and recycled materials. Drop-in to the Coach House Café & Bistro
between 11am – 4pm.

Link with Kendal Festival

I.N.J. Culbard is an award-winning artist and writer. He has appeared in the anthology
series Dark Horse Presents, Judge Dredd Megazine and 2000AD (Brass Sun), and has
been published by Vertigo (The New Deadwardians). His graphic novels for Self Made
Hero include: The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Sherlock Holmes trilogy: Hound of the
Baskervilles, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four, The Valley of Fear, The Case of
Charles Dexter Ward, Deadbeats, The Shadow Out of Time, and At the Mountains of
Madness, for which he won the British Fantasy Award in 2011. Ian's current
graphic novel, Celeste explores what it means to be alone. In the blink of an eye, three
people in different parts of the globe find themselves removed from the constraints of
society when the rest of humanity vanishes. Afforded a wider perspective on their
lives, each character is forced to examine both their place in the world and the pivotal
moments on which their very existence may depend. Ranging from the streets of
London and Los Angeles to a demon-haunted forest in the shadow of Mount Fuji,
Celeste is a story about the choices we make and the courage it takes to make them. In
a world without consequences, what would you do? Ian will be in
conversation with local writer, Zosia Wand (who also happens to be his sister!).

Gardener's Question Time

Gardener's Question Time

at Ford Park Saturday 27th September

2.30pm in the Garden Room


Sally Beamish, Head Gardener & Estate Manager at Brantwood for 25 years : a student of John Ruskin's botanical and horticultural explorations and of biodynamic meadow restoration

Mary James, Northern Representative for the Women's Farm & Garden Association and Work and Retrain as a Gardener Scheme (WRAGS): a gardener and gardening mentor

Dorothy Holladay, member of the Hardy Plant Society and volunteer at Holehird and Ford Park

Chaired by Sarah McCormack, Ford Park Community Link Gardener

Royal Visit

The visit will highlight the Community Group’s many achievements including our volunteer programme, Wild Flower Meadow Project, the launch of Incredible Edible Ulverston, work with schools and the wider community and the development of The Coach House Café Bistro and celebrations venue.

 During her visit The Duchess will meet with staff, volunteers and invited guests and will unveil a plaque to commemorate the start of a project to build an accessible footpath linking Ford Park with St Mary’s Hospice, enabling ease of access for all to Ford Park and its wonderful resources.

 For further information please contact Alison Alger on 01229 580666 or email

Tunes & Tapas on the Terrace

Tunes & Tapas on The Terrace

New Chef!! We will be welcoming Ben Queen-Fryer who is currently Chef at the multi award winning Drunken Duck Inn at Outgate Ambleside. Ben will be bringing with him a wealth of experience and new ideas which will I am sure build on the already established reputation. ]]> Carnival!! We have a free Carnival Costume Workshop Day on July 1st from 10am to 4pm in room 3 in Ford House. We are already working on many costumes for regular parade participants but this is a chance to come in and work with our creative team on a costume for you! We will apply finishing touches on the morning of the 5th and aim to leave Ford Park as a group between noon and 12.30pm to get in our parade position. As we have been working towqards getting out own bee hive this year our individual theme is "Bee Happy-Do the Waggle Dance!" For more details contact Kim on 01229 588164 ]]> Summer Picnic!! If the weather is good we will be on the field by the children's playground-if it rains we will be in Ford House in Room 3 12.30 to 1.30pm ]]> Hoad Herb Walk Meet at the Garden Room at Ford Park at 4pm -the walk should last about 2 hours ]]> Taste Cumbria 24th & 25th May ]]> Taste Cumbria 24th & 25th May We will have a Plant and Produce Stall on New market Street and a Family Activities Tent outside the Roxy Cinema where you can make your own salad planter, make your own mini scarecrow and other activities too!! ]]> Craft Fair ]]> New Exhibition in Cafe

For the next couple of months we've got the pleasure of having Printfest's Own.


This is an exhibition of work from local printmakers who are members of the Printfest committee. The exhibition includes work from Marie Wright, Judy Evans, Richard Foster and Sally Bamber.


Cafe hours are 10am till 4pm everyday. 

Local Food Project Completed! ]]> Incredible Edible Ulverston ]]> Exciting Programme of Slide & Supper Evenings ]]> Coach House exhibition

We have a new exhibition in the cafe which consists of two artists. Sue Fletcher & Daniel M.H. Lenartowicz. Find below a short profile for both artists.


Sue Fletcher - Textile and Mixed Media artist

Sue has lived in Cumbria all her life, waling and cycling in the local landscape. She is inspired by the local landscape (especially the views from across the bay). For the last year she has been working on landscapes, mostly those views across the Bay Estuary. She has also been inspired by the local train journey across the viaducts and the views of the constantly changing sies which add so much atmosphere.

She likes working with vintage recycled fabrics, and she often uses these to form Nuno Felt. She enjoys experimenting with different textures and materials.


Daniel M.H. Lenartowicz - Photographer

Daniel has lived in the English Lakes for his entire life, and has always been inspired by the vastness and the rugged landscape. He is currently an A-Level student studying Fine-Art, with a particular interest in photography and animation. 

Each of the photos in his series titled "South Lakes" comprises an average of about 17 individual photographs, merged digitally (mostly by hand) to create the final image. He prides himself in finding natural colour in the landscape, as such none of his photographs have been taken using filters, or have had their colours altered in post-production.

View some of Daniel's work

Christmas Festivities We have everything from wreath making to a Robin Trail and Father Christmas Weekend! Check out the Events Page and Facebook! ]]> Halloween & Half Term Halloween & Half Term are coming soon! We will have a Pumpkin Trail for families from Saturday 26th October, A Community Gardening Day (families welcome) on Saturday 26th October from 10am, A Creative Day for adults and accompanied children on Wednesday 30th and Halloween Theme Nights in the Coach House Bistro on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd of November!! A Packed Programme-come and join us! ]]> Super Saturday Markets We will be having a stall at the Super Saturday Markets this autumn in the centre of Ulverston on the 5th of October, 2nd of November and 7th December. We will be selling garden produce, wooden products and crafts -do come along! ]]> Craft Fair There are 15 craft stalls of all sorts at our Craft Fair on Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Everthing from welli stands to jewellery, from ceramics to bat boxes, from recycled washing machines to textiles!! All set in a beautiful park and garden with activities for families and a fabulous cafe ]]> Heritage Open Day On Thursday 12th September we will be taking part in the national campaign to promote our heritage. There will be tours at 11am and 2pm plus displays of material and handouts concerning the history of Ford Park -come and look around! ]]> Co-operate with us and the Co-op!

A message from the Co-operative: Go green with The Co-operative this Autumn -Together we can make a difference! Bring your family along to one of our fun, free outdoor volunteer days. The Co-operative has teamed up with the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens to bring you a series of fantastic environmental challenges where you and your family can make a real difference in your local community.

 Autumn Tasks at Ford Park

Saturday 7th September 2013, 10.00am - 3.30pm
Ford Park, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 7JP
Whether weeding, sowing or harvesting in the kitchen garden or helping to strike the balance with nature in the wider estate, there will be plenty of Autumn tasks to be completed. A light lunch will be provided

Community Gardening Day ]]> Romeo & Juliet ]]> Ford Park Volunteers nominated as Food Heroes ]]> Good Life festival ]]> Container Gardening
Bat Walk on Monday April 29th
Spring into Spring!!
Gardening Course on Saturday March 23rd
Easter Monday Event
Tamla Motown star to play at Coach house March 2nd

Kim Weston found fame on the classic Tamla Motown song "It takes two" with the legendary Marvin Gaye and on March 2nd appears at the Coach House.


During her last visit to the UK she met up with Ewan Blackledge, Cumbrias No 1 busker, and a blues legend in his own right. They performed a couple of impromptu numbers together on the streets of Kendal, and have remained friends ever since. Kim was to finish her tour in the Lakes and was keen to perhaps do a concert with Ewan. As Ewan has been using the studio at Ford Park recently, recording an album with his band, The Beat Combo, he approached the trustees with the idea of putting on this concert in the venue room at the Coach house.

So on Saturday March 2nd Ford Park will play host to a Tamala Motown star to kick off a series of musical events that Ford Park plan to hold throughout the next few months. 

Tickets are limited so be quick to grab one as only sixty will be available for this exclusive event.

Call 01229 580666

chairman ]]> new story ]]> Winter frosts in the Garden coldcabbage.jpg

It looks like it's going to be a cold winter this year. These cabbage seem to be surviving the early frosts, lets hope that all the work we have put in to populate the new beds survive. 
Volunteers Night Out

Last night Ford Park volunteers ventured out into Ulverston to celebrate all their hard work over the past 12 months. A great night was had by all and another one will be organised soon. To become a volunteer at Ford Park contact Kim Farr.

Coach House Cafe, new closing times

As the clocks go back our cafe will now close at 4pm.

Fridays Themed nights will start at 7pm and look out for other themed nights on Saturdays

To Book please Tel. 01229 581666

Heavy rain makes play area into duck pond

flood.jpgTodays heavy rainfall has turned the play area into a swimming pool. The new path has been washed away leaving deep gullies, and a small river now runs towards poplar grove. To get to the Cafe and the coach house you now have to cross a ford that runs across the drive. This is probably why the park was called Ford Park.

Gig in the Garden Vidoe

Follow this link to see septembers gig

Test Story 1

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