By Naomi Cooper
THE Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge is run by Fields in Trust and is the only UK wide charity dedicated to protecting and improving outdoor space for sport, play and recreation. Fields in Trust is the operating name of the National Playing Fields Association formed in 1925, their aim is to ensure that everyone – young or old, able or disabled and whether they live in an urban or rural area – has access to free, local facilities for healthy outdoor activities.
AS Treasurer of Bulphan Village Community Forum, I got involved with the QEII Fields Challenge in February 2012 and worked together with Fields in Trust and Thurrock Council to protect Bulphan’s Park in perpetuity as a recreational space for the use of the village. This not only means that we will have a protected green space but that we are able to apply for more funding opportunities – we are currently awaiting the result of our first; which is a SITA Trust fund application for £20,000 to improve the entrance way onto the Park.
At the thoroughly enjoyable Family Fun Day on Saturday 6th July 2013, organised by Bulphan School PTA, deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Peter Mamelok, unveiled our beautiful commemorative plaque acknowledging the important occasion of protecting our park. Mark Healy from Fields in Trust and Andrea Winterflood from Thurrock Council’s Open Spaces joined Community Forum committee members and a field full of spectators to witness the unveiling.
For the future; Our Youth Committee members, Bethany and Charlie, will be working on a project to extend the path around the Park, hoping eventually that it will go all the way round. They may wish to consult with you, so have your ideas ready.
For now; Our Park is now very well-used; Bulphan School use it for football training and matches, PE activities, Sports Day and After School Clubs. Toddler Club little ones, dog walkers and visitors from far and wide enjoy the lovely environment, helped immensely by Bulphan in Bloom’s work with the planting, tidying and heritage displays. We have facilities for tennis, football, basketball, outdoor gym, BMX and cycling track with landscaped areas, under 12’s play equipment and benches to sit and relax – come and see for yourself!
Naomi Cooper, Treasurer