New picnic tables installed on the Meadow.

A day of fun, family-oriented activities are on offer this Sunday, July 3 2011 on Whitchurch’s Millennium Meadow, located along Winchester Street.

The Meadow is celebrating the completion of the £50,000 works funded by a recent lottery grant. This included the installation of fencing, a tryst seat, electrical supply and picnic tables, among other things.

DRUMS, CRITTERS, THE MAYOR AND VOLUNTEERS

The fun gets underway at 10am with Drum Runners – a workshop on making (and playing!) drums from things you find or bring (e.g pots, pans, bins, …). Everyone loves to make a noise. Here’s your chance to make a noise maker! And bang it. Loud!

At 11am there is the return of the popular Hi-Tech Wild-Trek trailer with biologist Dr. Richard Osmond on hand to assist children and adults catch critters from the Meadow’s ponds, and examine them under intense magnification. This is always a popular and entertaining event for young and old.

Meet the Mayor! Our Mayor and Mayoress will join in the fun at 1pm and have time to listen and chat with those present. That is, of course, if the banging of newly made drums doesn’t drown things out!

Volunteers help at the recent Meadow Weeding Party.

The events finish up with a volunteer call at 3pm. The Meadow is beautiful because of the many volunteers who give up their time to do the little (and not-so-little) tasks around the place.  Here’s your chance to get a bit more out of your visit, by seeing and doing some of the maintenance work that keeps our Meadow looking proud. See our story about the recent Weeding Party volunteer call HERE.

Separately, the White Hart in The Square is having a BBQ on its patio starting at 8pm, and a quiz. Sounds like a perfect way to end a fun-filled day!

The Tryst Seat with its fishy, symbolic yet practical design

SYMBOLIC SEATS

One of the most visible changes made to the Meadow thanks to the lottery grant and community donations was the installation of a Tryst Seat.

Those who appreciate good design linked to practicality will enjoy the Tryst Seat: It is based on an old country tradition when young lovers would plant two trees close to each other so that over the years they intertwined as a symbol of unity.

The initials of the three "lovely ladies" are on the Tryst Seat benches.

The Seat commemorates three lovely ladies who, now passed away, put their energy into developing the Meadow: Gill Nethercott, Alison Wall and Anna Nason. The three are represented by the Seat as adventurous fish swimming away from three golden Alder trees, as if to symbolise their individuality. The fish’s tails are bound in a circle around the trees, which represents their common effort that brought us so much good. It is a symbolic sculpture, and a very practical seat that will accommodate lots of people.

The new picnic tables will provide ample space for family picnics whilst children of all ages can enjoy nature in the form of long grass to hide in and beautiful wild flowers to run amongst.

New fencing along the Eastern boundary of the Meadow.

SUPPORT FOR THE MEADOW

Much of the support that the Meadow has had over the past year, like our skeletons, is hidden but the support is fantastic. The public enjoy the meadow but the trustees are re-enforced in their planning by the support of givers such as The Lottery; Veolia who dispose of our rubbish; a charity run by Tescos; The Four Lanes Trust; The Co-operative Foundation; The Grass Roots Foundation, Hampshire County Council, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and private donors and volunteers.

An electricity supply is now on the Meadow

The combination of simple leisure and science on Sunday, 3 July will provide substantial foundations for any children attending and an opportunity for family and community fun.

The day’s schedule and more details about the Meadow are on its website HERE.

The event listing for the White Hart BBQ is HERE.