Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet

Heading outdoors for some fresh air?

To help brighten up your daily bit of exercise and to recognise Children’s Mental Health Week this year, which runs from February 1st to February 7th, Buckingham Town Council has put together a Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet for young children. Download and print the spotter sheet and see if you can spot some or all of these seasonal nature signs on your walk today. Please take part responsibly and follow government guidelines on social distancing. For more fun, we've added some extra activity sheets to be completed at home.Winter Spotter Sheet

Getting outdoors has taken on added importance in recent weeks and most people would agree that a walk in the fresh air is a sure way of clearing the head. The weather may be rubbish but encouraging our children to get back to basics and have fun playing outdoors can make a huge difference to their overall mental health and wellbeing. Even in winter, nature is still alive and there are lots of green spaces to see and explore within our lovely town. The spotter sheet can easily be completed around Bourton Park and Chandos Park and we hope it will make your daily walk even more enjoyable.

For more information about Buckingham walks and maps, visit our Walks and Maps page. Here you can download pdf copies of local walks and maps to help you explore beautiful Buckingham. If you cannot get out and about due to self-isolating, you should check out the Buckingham Community Heritage app Buxplore. Remote access has currently been enabled so you can choose your route and take a visual tour around the streets and parks of Buckingham, completing activities, questions, and mysteries from home.

We would love to see some photos of you out and about completing the Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet! Please send your photos to us via private message on Facebook, or tag us on your post using #WinterWellness #SpotterSheet @BuckinghamTC and don't forget to tell us what you thought to be entered into a prize draw to win a reusable water bottle. We will do our best to share as many of your photos as possible. Happy hunting!

 

Wellbeing Wednesday: Adults Blog

How are you feeling about this year? Your personal wellbeing is one of the most important things to help you get through tough times. Now, this isn’t another new year’s resolution blog telling you that you have to go on a diet. In fact, it’s a blog to help inspire you to try something new this year within Buckingham or surrounding areas.

Here’s some inspiration from Buckingham’s Office Apprentice:

I know that getting out and about might seem like a chore, but we all know that we feel better after we having some time outdoors. So why not try out these apps to see if you can incorporate some fun and invigorate your daily walk or outing.

Couch to 5k

NHS Couch to 5K will help you gradually work up towards running 5km in just 9 weeks.

Couch to 5K is a running plan for beginners. It was developed by a new runner, Josh Clark, who wanted to help his mum get off the couch and start running, too. The plan is really simple to follow and has clear objectives that you can work towards over the 9 weeks. You even have rest days each week, giving you lots of opportunities to try other activities and to tailor your exercise around your existing schedule.

How does Couch to 5K work?

The biggest challenge a new runner faces is probably not knowing how or where to start. Often when trying to get into exercise, you overdo it, feel defeated and give up when we're just getting started. But, Couch to 5K is different. It works because it starts with a mix of running and walking to help you gradually build up your fitness and stamina. It helps you create realistic expectations and by starting off slowly at week one, the challenge feels achievable right from the start.

Who is Couch to 5K for?

Couch to 5K is for everyone. Whether you've never run before or you just want to get more active, Couch to 5K is a free and easy way of getting fitter and healthier. Sounds perfect, right? Lots of local runners started this challenge and then joined Buckingham Park Run, one of the most local and popular running groups around!

What are the benefits?

If it’s your wellbeing you want to improve, then there are plenty of reasons why you should take part in this challenge. Running helps to improve your physical health as well as your mental health. You could lose weight if combined with a healthy diet or have a surge in confidence and self-belief, as you prove to yourself that you can set a target and achieve a goal. Or, because it’s been an exceptionally tough year, you might need to relieve some stress and running can do just that. It has been shown to combat depression which is something that a lot of people have faced.

How to get started?

  1. Download the Couch to 5K podcasts to your mobile device or computer.
  2. Work out a schedule that fits in with your home life to ensure you can stick to your running plan.
  3. Plan your route. It can be stressful to know where to go so why not be prepared and look at a map to plan a familiar route first.
  4. Make sure you are safe when running. If you find it easier or more relaxing to exercise with headphones, then do it but just be aware of your surroundings. Another tip I have found is to watch out for people or objects. It’s obvious but, try to stay a good distance away from others and make sure you look and or stop when changing direction or terrain on your travels. When running in the dark, make sure you can see where you're going and that other people can see you. Street lighting and High-Viz are your friends!
  5. Don’t compromise, be comfortable! The most important piece of kit is a pair of running trainers.

Strava

Strava is a free fitness-tracking and social media app designed for runners and cyclists with three main features: Tracking, connecting, and competing. You can track your fitness via GPS within the app, or log it manually. Strava helps you connect with other people in your area who share the same fitness interests as you and it allows you to even discover local clubs and athletic challenges together or alone.

How do I track my exercise?

You can record your exercise and choose from a wide variety of exercise options like running, e-bike riding and canoeing, including things like distance, pace and details about how you felt about the experience. You can also create posts and add photos, in addition to exercise logs which are all saved to your personal feed. The app can also sync to devices, like your phone, GPS watch or heart rate monitor. You can even view your exercise stats for running, biking or swimming.

Who can I connect with?

You can follow other users on the app, as well as athletes who use the app, to see their posts, photos and workouts. Why not find Buckingham Park Run on the app and connect with them? Those who follow you can also see your activities, and give you "kudos" - Strava’s definition of Likes - or leave comments on a post of yours.

Can I compete?

Strava users can also use the "Explore" tab to find local challenges, like upcoming half-marathons, or compete against themselves or other local athletes using segments. The "Explore" tab is also where you'd be able to connect with local exercise clubs and organise activities.

How to get started?

  1. Download the app and click the “Open Strava” button to show the login site where you can then sign up.
  2. Once you’ve have created an account by entering some basic personal data, make sure to click “YES” to confirm that you allow location access for tracking your activities.
  3. Then choose the “Let’s go” button to continue into your dashboard area. Once you’ve done that, you are ready to start tracking and recording your activities.

Geocaching

Are you looking for an adventure? Or just a change from the same old scenery? Here are 3 steps to help you begin.

  1. Create an account online or through the Geocaching app to view a map of geocaches near you.
  2. Find a geocache by using the app to navigate to a geocache nearby. Don’t forget to bring a pen!
  3. Once you find the geocache, sign and date the logbook. Place the geocache back where you found it and log your experience online.

How it works?

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Don’t act like you are too old for a treasure hunt, everyone needs a bit of fun once in a while!  All you need to do is navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Then sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location. It’s simple yet effective, brilliant for all of you that need an escape from a boring cycle and even more so for those of you that want some excitement back in your life. New and exciting should be the way forward!

Ingress

Ingress is a mobile app designed for all of you who enjoy to dream and game. The game takes place in a universe much similar to ours but there are some ultra-realistic and obvious differences along the way. Just like Pokémon Go, Ingress it based on geolocation and you interact with the environment around you.

What is Ingress App?

Ingress is an online game that lets you play with lots of people all at once. It is based on a sci-fi universe with a narrator that guides you around your local area to explore.

What is Ingress About?

The Ingress universe mostly acts like real life. However, within the game there seems to be mysterious aliens called Shapers. There isn’t much to know these shapers but one thing is for sure, they can be a serious threat to your online world!

Picture this; the battle takes place between the two factions, the Resistance and the Enlightened, and involves portals found at physical landmarks like monuments, historical buildings, and other places of importance. The point of this game is to capture, destroy, damage, link, recharge, or protect portals in your area. You can also battle other players of the opposing faction in real time, destroying or rebuilding portals and creating control fields.

What’s Ingress Gameplay Like?

First of all, the Ingress world is presented as a map of your actual surrounding area, without any markings or labels. On this map, you’ll be able to see all the portals, links, items, and control fields in the surrounding area. Your location is displayed as a small arrowhead that travels in real time with you.

This means that you walk around to collect items, strengthen portals, or try to destroy the enemy ones. The more active you are, the more action points you earn and the stronger your items will be. You’ll also be able to recharge portals for a longer time. You can also join in on missions, which include secret instructions!

You can also earn multi-tiered badges, going through the standard bronze to platinum and if you are good at the game, you have a chance to win the onyx badge, the highest-ranking tier. You will win a badge after proving your ability and loyalty to your faction. What a great way to win bragging rights from your friends by winning all the badges!

If you fancy something free, motivationally fun and spontaneous then these are some activities you need to try. Embrace life as we now know it and get back out there – safely of course – and feel like you again. Don’t do it for me, do it for yourself.

Possible Exercise Locations

Bourton Park Footpath Near Trees
Chandos Park Roundabout FootPath
Railway Walk Footpath With Archway of Trees

Flooding: could you be a flood volunteer?

On 23rd and 24th December 2020, at the end of a difficult year for many, the River Great Ouse burst its banks amid extremely heavy rainfall, and serious flooding hit Buckingham.

Many local residents immediately jumped to the aid of their neighbours. From turning up with buckets or supplying water pumps to help clear water to opening their homes to those in need, many people did what they could to help. Buckingham Free Meals, led by 14-year-old Sulayman, coordinated free hot food and drinks and ongoing food parcels. The Bard of Buckingham, Dean Jones, launched a fundraiser to support those flooded with rebuilding their lives. The more than £17,000 raised will be held and distributed by the Town Council based on decisions made by an independent panel.

Staff from Buckingham Town Council joined those from Buckinghamshire Council and Transport for Buckinghamshire to help close roads, deliver sandbags and clear up the mess. It took over a week to sanitise and reopen play areas and the public toilets, as well as clearing large amounts of debris from across the parks. The Council’s Shopmobility unit was flooded, and some equipment damaged.

The Council passed on a flood alert from the Environment Agency in the morning of 22nd December. Unfortunately, the EA’s flood gauge does not appear to have been working correctly, and no Flood Warning was issued.

The Town Council are reviewing the Community Flood Action Plan. Any suggestions for changes would be gratefully received. The Council are also looking to sign up Flood Volunteers to help with future floods and other emergencies. Residents from homes NOT at risk of flooding are ideal for this role, as those directly affected are less able to immediately help others. If you are interested in volunteering please email admin@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

The Town Council now has a direct arrangement with the Bucks and Oxon Response Group (BORG) who will again be prepared to use their 4×4 vehicles to help with any future events.

Anti-social behaviour in Buckingham Parks

With the summer finally here we are all getting outside more and enjoying the outdoors with the towns parks being used more than ever especially over the last few months. Our Greenspaces team have been working hard to keep them clean and well maintained. However, we have noticed a marked increase in problems. The main issues have been graffiti and broken glass being left in the parks and particularly in the play areas.  This is not only unsightly for other park users it can also be dangerous – in one case shards of glass were left on a children’s slide. On another occasion, a disposable barbecue was lit on a park picnic bench, burning a hole through it.

Picture of a burnt bench in BuckinghamThe Town Council has increased the number of times the bins are emptied and parks are litter picked, and introduced a parks check on Sundays, but we can’t be present all the time.

Buckingham Town Council would like to ask if anyone sees anyone acting in a clearly anti-social way in the parks to please report it immediately to the police by calling 101. We are hoping for many more sunny days where everyone can enjoy Buckingham’s unique parks, play areas and riverside walks. To help us, please help Thames Valley Police by immediately reporting any anti-social behaviour by calling 101. Take your litter home, be considerate of others, and don’t forget to refill your water bottles at the new water bottle refill station in Chandos Park.

Our Green Spaces Team are busy cutting grass and keeping our parks and green spaces looking their best – please keep a distance of 2 metres from them. If you have any queries, contact the Town Council office who will be happy to help.

 

Lace Hill, Tourist Information Centre and Chandos Park Toilets to reopen 4th July

Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre

The Lace Hill Community Centre has been closed since the beginning of the lockdown. The Centre will now open for hirers who can meet the current guidelines. Unfortunately, we are not yet allowed to open centre for sporting activities, or to open the changing rooms. A range of safety measures have been put in place, including ensuring hirers can maintain social distancing, and an additional cleaning regime. It is hoped that most hirers will return by September.

Tourist Information Centre

The Tourist Information Centre, in the front of the Old Gaol, will also reopen from Saturday 4th July. The Centre will now be open 7 days a week; it was agreed earlier in the year to trial summer opening on Sundays to improve the service to weekend visitors to the town. Measures have been put in place to prevent and reduce any risks. Queries can also be made via phone during opening hours: 10am-4pm on 01280 823020.

Buckingham Shopmobility is still closed until further notice.

Chandos Park Toilets

After the reopening of most other public toilets in Buckingham on Thursday 18th June, we’re pleased to announce that the toilets in Chandos Park will also be fully reopened from Saturday 4th July.

Additional measures have been put in place to ensure they are as safe as possible for use. An additional daily clean has been introduced and high visibility signage will be prominent, advising users to thoroughly wash their hands and to maintain social distancing in accordance with the government guidelines.

Play areas to reopen Saturday 4th July

Buckingham Town Council are pleased to announce that from Saturday 4th July the play areas owned by the Town Council will be reopened, along with the Tourist Information Centre and Lace Hill Community Centre.

Play Areas

The Town Council’s play areas in Bourton Park, Chandos Park, Otters Brook, by the Lace Hill Community Centre and next to Meadway (Ken Tagg) will all be opened, along with the adult gym equipment in Bourton Park.  Government guidance makes this possible from Saturday. There will be signs at each area asking everyone to be aware of the risks and to take note of the guidance displayed by the equipment:

The equipment will not be cleaned daily – the Council does not have the resources to do this.  So parents or carers may wish to wipe equipment down before using it, and should always provide hand gel for children after use.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Try to maintain a 2 metre distance, except for from people of the same household
  • Wait at a safe distance, and if the equipment is in use return later
  • Anyone who has coronavirus symptoms, or is part of a household where somebody does, should not use the equipment
  • If you are wearing a disposable mask or gloves throw it away after use or take it home with you; DON’T LITTER.
  • Anyone who is clinically vulnerable should not use the equipment.

 

The Council has carried out a full safety inspection of the all play equipment to get ready for the reopening.  Unfortunately, some of the wooded items at Otters Brook are no longer safe due to internal rotting.  These have been taped off until repairs can be made.

Re-Opening of Public Toilets in Buckingham

Changing Place Toilet Cornwalls MeadowBuckingham Town Council are pleased to announce that from Thursday 18th June the Public toilets will be re-opened in Cornwall’s Meadow along with the disabled accessible toilets in Chandos Park.
Additional measures have been put in place to ensure they are as safe as possible for use. An additional daily clean has been introduced and high visibility signage will be prominent inside and outside each cubicle, advising users to thoroughly wash their hands and to maintain social distancing in accordance with the government guidelines.
At this time the male and female toilets in Chandos Park will remain closed due to the difficulty in keeping the communal areas safe. This will be kept under review and the Town Council aim to re-open these facilities as soon as it is safe to do so.
The Disabled accessible toilets in Chandos Park will be opened from Thursday, as this is a single cubicle, and can be accessed with a RADAR key which is sometimes referred to as the National Key Scheme (NKS). This is a nationwide scheme that offers people with disabilities independent access to locked public toilets around the country.
Councillor Ruth Newell, Chair of the Environment Committee added that she was “pleased that the Town Council was able to re-open their toilet facilities, to assist the public as they use the increasing number of re-opening shops and businesses.”

Buxplore: Buckingham heritage walks and audio tours by app!

Looking for things to do in Buckingham?

Need a reason to try Buxplore? Wild or stately, industrial and rural – Buckingham is an ancient town with many secrets hidden behind timber and brick walls. Buxplore was built to help residents and visitors discover more about Buckingham.

Not one of the hundreds of people have tried Buxplore since it launched three weeks ago? Here are six reasons to give it a go!

1. Free Buckingham kids activities

We know it’s been a long time since March and families are looking for new ideas for things to do in Buckingham. Buxplore is fun and interactive, the perfect way to be active and sneak in a homeschooling history lesson. Heritage for Kids is a fantastic trail to get the whole family hooked. Starting at the Chantry Chapel, explore the oldest parts of Buckingham – find, touch and imagine icons from Buckingham’s thousand year history.

This short route passes by Chandos Park – the perfect place to stop for a picnic.

two children touching the ammonite on Bristle Hill

2. Guided audio tours of Buckingham

With clear maps flagging locations to explore and audio options, these routes are really easy to follow with all the benefits of an audio tour without a clunky device to carry around. Simply use your mobile phone to access the app (don’t forget to turn on your mobile data and location tracking) then head out to the first stop on your chosen route.

3. Learn and explore Buckingham’s wild spaces from Bourton Park to Buckingham Canal

Connect with nature and learn more about Buckingham parks and the river Great Ouse. This explorer route is designed to be explored a little at a time, the perfect way to find some of the hidden green spaces you might not know about. Most of this trail is well away from roads with child friendly activities to try at every stop!

For photography fans this route offers fantastic opportunities to take photographs of wildlife including kestrels, wild flowers and the most beautiful parts of the River Great Ouse.

4. There’s been a murder! Can you solve the puzzles and find the culprit?

Tried all the online escape rooms? Buckingham murder mystery trail is a totally free interactive detective mystery. Start on Moreton Road at the Old Police Station and meet Sergeant William Jeeves! Solve puzzles to unlock new locations and discover clues as you take a tour around the murkier side of Buckingham history.

Don’t worry – hints are available if you get stuck and there are plenty of places to stop for fantastic food on the way around! Not in Buckingham? Turn on virtual mode to take part wherever you are.

Old Police Station Buxplore

5. Discover Buckingham Walks from the railway to Stowe House and Gardens from a different point of view

With six different trail themes getting stuck into Buckingham history is as simple as choosing your route. Interested in Stowe? View Stowe House and Gardens from the parkland trail, taking in temples and the House from a different angle and discover more about how Stowe and Buckingham are linked while taking in glorious view over the town.

What about the industrial revolution? There’s a trail for that too!

6. Did we mention it’s free?

Thanks to a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund Buxplore is completely free to use and will remain live for the next five years, with new routes add as often as we can. If you have ideas for new routes, let us know!

National Lottery Heritage Fund Logo

How to download the app and start using Buxplore

Start by visiting Buxplore.web.app on your mobile device and clicking the white box at the bottom of the screen to download the app. Then simply pick a route and visit the first location to get started!

More questions or need information about compatibility? Visit out Buxplore FAQ

Easter in Buckingham

A message from The Mayor, Councillor Mark Cole JP:

thank you from buckingham mayor coronavirus“May I say a big thank you to everybody in Buckingham and district who has helped to reduce the risks of Covoid-19, not only those in the front line – NHS staff, carers, postal workers, council staff, refuse collectors, and food, foodbank and prescription deliverers – but to all those who are respecting Government guidelines by staying at home for all but the most essential trips to food and pharmacy outlets, or exercise.

“In line with Government advice, our town parks will be open for everyone to enjoy this Easter, but for obvious reasons the play areas will remain shut. Whether in the parks, the estates, or in the countryside, please keep your distance from others, and if you are a dog walker keep your dog on a lead – notices will remind everyone of this – and together we can beat this contagion.”

Easter Activities

Buckingham Town Council are inviting residents to create Easter bonnets!   If you’re stuck for what to use or may struggle to get materials, try using the things that are already accessible in your house and garden first.

Here are just a few materials you can use to make your very own Easter bonnet;

  • A hatImage of our Happy Easter colouring activity
  • Paper or Card
  • Colouring pens and pencils
  • Cotton Wool
  • Ribbon
  • Glitter or Sequins
  • Flowers
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Don’t forget your can create Easter Eggs for our Easter Egg Hunt too.

Post your creations to the Town Council’s Facebook and Instagram pages and use our #BucksBonnets so everyone can join in.

And why not wear your bonnet while you exercise over the weekend…

Covid 19 Information for Buckingham

Buckingham Town Council has published a Coronavirus web page giving links to local groups providing support, coordinating volunteers and seeking resources to do more in this challenging time.

The page is being updated each working day with any new information specific to Buckingham.  The Council is also using its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to provide up to date information on its services and those of other organisations in the town.

This includes links to local businesses who are offering additional services at this time.  As well as local groups and services who are providing support to those who need it and who are seeking more volunteers.

Play Areas

The Town Council’s play areas remain closed for the time being, i.e. those in Bourton Park (junior and senior), Chandos Park, Badgers Estate (Otters Brook), Meadway (Ken Tagg) and Lace Hill, along with the outdoor sports and exercise equipment in Bourton Park.  The same applies to the other eight play parks in Buckingham not managed by the Town Council.

Parks and Green Spaces

The Town Council’s parks remain open for exercise for the Bank Holiday weekend, however everyone who is visiting parks and open spaces must maintain social distancing, keeping at least 2m from each other. This means please avoid narrow paths, as well as thinking carefully about activities you may do there. The parks should be used as routes to exercise through, not as places to remain in.

This is particularly important to remember while exercising. If you are moving faster than another individual or household group and are not able to pass someone with a 2m distance between you, you must stop or move to an area where there is a suitable distance. All park users are responsible for ensuring that this distance is maintained.

The Grounds Maintenance Team are continuing to maintain Bourton and Chandos Parks, green spaces and the cemetery.  Grass cutting has started for the new season, including on grass verges and vision splays.

The Team will be checking the parks are safe and emptying bins over the Bank Holiday weekend.  However, members of the public are asked to remember that Town Council staff have been instructed to have minimal direct contact while they are at work, so all questions about Council services should be made by phone or email wherever possible.

The Buckingham Road Cemetery remains open in the usual way but the same social distancing principles apply.

Markets

The town’s Tuesday and Saturday markets remain open to stalls selling essential food and goods.  The market provides people with a low risk outdoor place to shop for essential supplies.

Shopmobility

The Shopmobility Service remains closed temporarily

Tourist Information Centre

Tourist Information Centre staff are still available to answer queries by telephone and email during the Centre’s usual working hours:

Opening Hours
Monday – Saturday, 10.00am to 4.00pm
Contact Us
Phone: 01280 823 020
Email: TIC@buckingham-tc.gov.uk
Web: www.buckinghamoldgaol.org.uk

Temporary Closure of All Council Play Areas

Following Monday’s announcement by the Prime Minister, as of Tuesday morning, 24th March the Town Council has closed all of the play areas it manages, i.e. those in Bourton Park (junior and senior), Chandos Park, Badgers Estate (Otters Brook), Meadway (Ken Tagg) and Lace Hill. It has also closed the use of the outdoor sports and exercise equipment in Bourton Park.

There are 8 other play parks in Buckingham not managed by the Town Council and the same rules will apply to them.

The Town Council’s parks remain open for exercise, however everyone who is visiting parks and open spaces must maintain social distancing, keeping at least 2 metres from each other. This means please avoid narrow paths, as well as thinking carefully about activities you may do there. It is not appropriate to use parks as social spaces to meet others who are not living in your household.

This is particularly important to remember while exercising. If you are moving faster than another individual or household group and are not able to pass someone with a 2m distance between you, you must stop or move to an area where there is a suitable distance. All park users are responsible for ensuring that this distance is maintained.

We will continue to monitor the position and may need to take further steps to protect the well-being of our residents. We are in this together.

Full government guidance on staying at home and away from others