New #QuickLitterPick station in Chandos Park

Buckingham Town Council has installed a new Quick Litter Pick Station in Chandos Park following the success of the first one which was launched in Bourton Park in 2021.  The Council has joined with many communities and organisations across the UK to work to reduce litter and the impact of single-use plastics. The Council no longer purchases single use plastic items for events and for use within its offices and has implemented a sustainable purchasing policy. As plastics and some other materials do not decompose the Town Council also undertake regular litter picks in an effort to remove risks to wildlife, clean up the town and encourage others to dispose of their rubbish appropriately.

The Quick Litter Pick station Bourton Park in 2021 has made it easier for residents and visitors to help out, even if it’s just for a few minutes in reducing litter levels and protecting the environment.

Buckingham Town Council has received requests from residents and community groups asking how best they can get involved in safely clearing any litter they find while out and about and from there, the Quick Litter Pick initiative was born.

The litter pick stations in Chandos and Bourton Park contain 5 individual litter pickers and a supply of bin liners and can be accessed by anyone with the code for the lock. Anyone who would like the code can call (01280 816426) or email the Town Council Office or Buckingham Tourist Information Centre (01280 823020) during opening hours. The access code is the same for both stations and will remain unchanged. Any collected rubbish bags can be placed in the nearest litter bin or left by the side of bin and the Town Council’s Greenspaces Team will collect during their park inspections.

When you’re dealing with someone else’s rubbish the best way to clear up litter is with litter pickers. Keeping the litter at a distance from your body can protect you from broken edges and any unwanted germs that might be lurking.

Cllr. Warren Whyte, Chair of Environment Committee has already been out to have a go and said: Following the success of the Bourton park Quick Litter Pick Station, I am delighted to help launch the new additional location in Chandos Park to help keep our wonderful parks clean and tidy.”

The new Quick Litter Pick point in Chandos Park is located by the bridge to the University.

The Quick Litter Pick point in Bourton Park can be found near the Bourton Park Car Park and Multi-Use Games Area in Buckingham.

Green Spaces team clear up after Storm Eunice fells trees

While some significant storm damage took place with the arrival of Storm Eunice, the Buckingham Town Council green spaces team were on hand over the weekend to monitor Town Council buildings, parks and trees, closing areas of land where necessary and working to clear debris and fallen trees as quickly as possible to minimise disruption to residents and visitors in Buckingham.

Although the exceptional wind speed during Storm Eunice meant it was unlikely that there would be no damage at all, the team was pleased that due to a careful tree monitoring program and good fortune only a very limited number of Town Council maintained trees sustained damage.

The Bourton Park car park, and a small section of Brackley Road Cemetery, remained closed early into the week after the storm to ensure public safety while tree works took place. Some repairs, including to a wall in the cemetery are still ongoing.

A number of other trees, not on Town Council land, have fallen into the river, historically, and in the recent storm. The Town Council strongly requests that landowners remove these obstructions to the watercourse as quickly as possible and are happy to facilitate access to their own land to help do so where necessary. All trees obstructing, or at risk of obstructing the river have been reported to the Environment Agency.

Chair of the Environment Committee, Cllr. Warren Whyte, said: “we encourage all Riparian Owners (waterside landowners) to undertake a cleanup of any river blockages as soon as possible now that the river level is back to normal.”

Cemetery tidy up before spring maintenance

A warm start to the year means that grass cutting will start earlier than usual across Buckingham, including at the Brackley Road Cemetery.

The Council asks that any items laid on the grassed areas be moved, and any old Christmas wreaths or flowers be disposed of to help our operatives cut the grass safely. Anything left on the grass after 7th March 2022 may be moved, and any temporary items disposed of, in order to allow the work to take place.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Celebrate Buckingham Day Postponed until 4th September

Celebrate Buckingham has been postponed until 4th September, following the delay in lifting Covid regulations until 19th July.  Buckingham Town Council has decided to postpone the event which was planned for this Saturday until Saturday 4th September.

Celebrate Buckingham is being organised by Buckingham Town Council and the Buckingham Society to celebrate the range of voluntary organisations who are serving the town, enable local groups to raise funds and recruit volunteers,  and to bring residents together.

The event will take place in Bourton Park where you will be able to see the robing of Buckingham’s Mayor Cllr Margaret Gateley.   There will also been the presentation of civic awards and the Town Council awards which will be presented by The Buckingham Civic Society and Mayor Cllr Margaret Gateley.  Two long serving councillors who retired in May will be made Honorary Freewomen of the town.  Bouncy castles, food vans and entertainment will be provided.

Cllr Robin Stuchbury, Chairman of the Town Centre & Events Committee said: “I hope to see as many people in September as were intending to join us in July, so that we can all mark the personal achievements of groups and organisations as well as individuals together celebrating what’s best about Buckingham and its wonderful community.”

For further updates on the event, please check the Buckingham Town Council website www.buckingham-tc.gov.uk or follow the Council’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts using @buckinghamTC.

 

Bourton Park bridges to close for essential maintenance work

This summer, four Bourton Park bridges will be closed, one at a time, to complete essential maintenance work. While the work is taking place the bridges will be closed to the public. Diversion signs will be in place showing alternative footpaths to cross the river Great Ouse.

Work is scheduled to start on 12th July and last 12 to 17 weeks in total. The schedule of work is as follows, although changes may be made if required:

  • Bridge 3 (near the Bourton Park paddock, also known as Fool’s Crossing) starting on 12th July, closure in place for 2-3 weeks.
  • Bridge 4 (Otter pond) starting in late July to August, closure in place for 3-4 weeks.
  • Bridge 5 (near the footpath to Akister Close) in late August, closure in place for 3-4 weeks.
  • Bridge 1 (Bourton park carpark) in September, closure in place for 4-6 weeks.

The Town Council sincerely appreciates resident’s patience while the work goes ahead, and has taken steps to ensure that as little disruption as possible is caused.

Regular Bourton Park attendees Buckingham parkrun are making alternative arrangements to their usual running routes while the work takes place

Fun Fact Friday: Day in the Life of a Greenspaces Team Member  

Our greenspaces team work hard to maintain our parks, keeping them clean and beautiful all year round. Craig, who is one of our longest standing Greenspaces Team Members has given an insight into what the team do.

What is a greenspaces team?

I believe that a greenspaces team is a group of people who are committed to keeping the greenspaces in their local area (Buckingham) maintained to a high standard to ensure that the public can enjoy them and are kept safe whilst doing so. It’s almost being like a green fingered Superhero; no job is ever to big or to hard when you take pride in keeping Buckingham a nice place to be like we do!

What does a typical week look like?

We always start the week off by doing park checks to ensure that the play areas and play equipment isn’t damaged from the weekend. From there, it really depends what jobs need doing for example, we could be at the cemetery preparing a grave, cutting the grass around the town and on the bypass, council facility refurbishments and or helping out at our events.

What is your favourite thing to do and why?

I am such a people person. I love interacting with the public whilst working, whether that be by helping a concerned member of the public or just talking to someone and making them smile. I enjoy my job and am proud to be a greenspaces team member.

If you would like to find out more about the parks and greenspaces that we manage, visit our Parks and Greenspaces Page – This page has also been extended with two new spaces to learn more about green spaces maintenance and volunteering.

 

Quick Litter Pick

We’ve all had moments where we’ve spotted the littered remnants of someone’s night before and wanted to just get stuck in and clear it up. This year has been no different, and Buckingham Town Council has received requests from residents and community groups asking how best they can get involved in safely clearing any litter they find while out and about.

When you’re dealing with someone else’s rubbish the best way to clear up litter is with litter pickers. Keeping the litter at a distance from your body can protect you from broken edges and any unwanted germs that might be lurking.

As only the most dedicated of litter hunters tend to carry around litter pickers at all times, the Town Council has introduced Buckingham’s first #QuickLitterPick point. This covered cage in Bourton Park contains 5 individual litter pickers and a supply of bin liners and can be accessed by anyone with the code for the lock. (Anyone who would like the code can call the Town Council Office or Buckingham Tourist Information Centre during opening hours).

Cllr. Sue Hetherington has already been out to have a go and said: ”The Quick Litter Pick is a great idea, it was easy to use and we had really positive reactions from the people we met while using the litter pickers. Everyone was keen to have a go! This project was originally started with previous Chair of the Environment Committee Ruth Newell, I’d like to send her a big thank you.” The Quick Litter Pick point can be found near the Bourton Park Car Park and Multi-Use Games Area in Buckingham.

This year Buckingham Town Council have taken a multi-pronged approach to getting litter under control, including more regular park bin emptying and raising awareness of the problem, particularly of broken glass which can easily cause harm to children and animals.

It’s Blooming Spring!

This Sunday 20th March 2022 is the Spring Equinox. The Spring Equinox marks the beginning of spring and from this day forward the day is longer than the night which means extra daylight. After the cold and gloomy winter, springs warmer weather puts a smile on everyone’s face. There are many reasons to enjoy spring including, brighter days, colourful flowers, green trees, birds return, bees and butterflies reappear, the list could go on and on!

Spring is the perfect season because it’s not too cold and not too hot to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air. With this in mind, we have put together a Spring Spotter Sheet for young children to enjoy while on their walks. Buckingham has some lovely walks, for more information, visit our Walks and Maps page. Here you can download pdf copies of local walks and maps to help you explore beautiful Buckingham. Don’t forget to check out Buckingham’s Community Heritage app Buxplore.

We would love to see some photos of you out and about completing the Spring Spotter Sheet. Please send your photos to us via private message on Facebook, or tag us on your post using #SpringSpotter @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: Mental Wellbeing During A Pandemic

Taking care of your mind as well as your body is really important if Coronavirus means you are still spending a lot of time at home. You may feel bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also feel low or anxious, or concerned about your finances, your health or those close to you but it’s important to remember that it’s okay to feel this way. The tips and advice here come from the Department of Public Health and Mind, and are things you can do to help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing.

Stay connected with others

Maintaining healthy relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Think about how you can stay in touch with friends and family. This could be through a simple phone call, video call or even a text message. Try to set aside some time in your day or week to check in with others because they might need just as much support as you do.

Talk about your worries

Remember that it is okay to share your concerns with others you trust. If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead.

  • Call CALM on 0800 58 58 58
  • Call Samaritans on 0330 094 5717 or text 116 123.
  • Call Mind Infoline on 0300 123 3393
  • Text SHOUT on 85258 to reach crisis volunteers 24/7. Texts are free.

Look after your body

Our physical health can also impact how we feel. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, stay hydrated and exercise regularly. Going for a walk, run or bike ride is a great way to lift your mood and clear your head. Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. But it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good, slower-paced activities such as walking can be just as beneficial. Need some inspiration? Take a look at some of our blog posts outlining activities that can help you to stay active during this time.

Keep your mind active

Make an effort to focus on your favourite hobby. However, if you don’t have one, picking something new to learn at home might also help to stop feeling anxious or worried. This is because continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and higher levels of wellbeing. So, why not learn something new today? You could read, write, play games, do crosswords, complete Sudoku puzzles or even start to draw or paint. Whatever it is, find something that works for you.

Get as much sunlight, fresh air and nature as you can

Bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress, and make you feel more relaxed. There are plenty of lovely open parks and greenspaces within Buckingham that you can utilise on your daily outings; don’t miss out on beautiful free experiences in your local area!

Wellbeing Wednesday: Accessible for All

Many people struggle with mobility problems which hinders them in being able to do the things they’d like too every day. This doesn’t mean that you have to stay indoors though, you can still reap all of the benefits by doing simple activities that can keep your bodies and minds healthy. Whether you’re someone who has restricted mobility, is housebound or is just looking for easy ways to keep active, here are some things you can try.

SilverSneakers GO

This app is tailored to older adults at every fitness level. When you're doing a workout, you can adjust each easy-to-follow exercise based on your comfort level by tapping your intensity level of choice: easier, standard, or harder. There's also different programs you can do including strength, walking, and meditation which can help you reach any health goals you might have.

How to get started:

  • Download SilverSneakers Go from the Google or Apple play store and then create an account.
  • Log in to your account.
  • Once you are logged in, you will be able to access the main dashboard which shows you Your Activities, Fitness Classes that are run via Zoom, Locations you can Explore and Your Progress.

Alternative Yoga

Staying home doesn't have to mean staying out of shape. Homebound individuals can be as fit and healthy as possible in a variety of ways. Simple calf raises and stretching can be done while watching TV or reading a newspaper. If you have a set of light hand weights or cans of beans and soup in your cupboard, they can be used to maintain their upper and lower body strength as well as aiding flexibility and bone strength. If you can manage getting out for a daily walk, why not try bench yoga? It not only has the benefits of regular yoga, such as helping with stress, pain, and fatigue but it can also help with joint lubrication, balance, and even age-specific issues like menopause and arthritis. So when you are out on your daily walk, why not find a bench and practice some yoga. It’s really simple to do; start by moving your wrists, arms or legs up and down or side to side. You can even try other movements like standing up and then sitting back down for even more prosperity.

Shopmobility

Please note that due to current restrictions, Shopmobility is currently closed but will reopen as soon as we are able to do so.

If you or a member of your family are in Buckingham and are finding it hard to move around with ease, head to our Shopmobility centre where you can access a scooter to drive around on.

The Buckingham Shopmobility Service is a free scheme sponsored by Buckingham Town Council that allows anyone with a mobility problem, whether temporary or permanent, not just Blue Badge Holders, to get out and about in Buckingham town centre.

Worried about parking? Don’t be, there are allocated free parking spaces for Shopmobility users, next to the Shopmobility building that is situated in Cornwall's Meadow Car park, Buckingham. There are electric mobility scooters and manual wheelchairs available and the wheelchairs can be folded for loading into a vehicle for home use, hospital appointments, visits to local events and places of interest.

For more information, please call Shopmobility on 07738 314 027 or email TIC@buckingham-tc.gov.uk.

Online Activities

A computer and Internet connection can help keep homebound individuals fully engaged, and even social. Through the Internet, elderly people can research favourite hobbies, chat with others, and stay informed. There is also an abundance of games they can access too such as interactive Bingo or mental brain training to keep the mind sharp! It’s also very important that housebound individuals keep in touch with family members and see loved ones in real time on their computer screen.

Hobbies

What if I’m not tech savvy or don’t have internet? The internet is a great tool to enhance your daily life but it’s not mandatory to have in order for you to feel fulfilled. For instance, if you can no longer get to your local library because of low mobility, a book lover can subscribe to an online book rental service or host a monthly book club at home to share the love of literacy while socializing. For the gardener out there, they might not be able to access their own green space so rather than give up, they could make indoor potted plants or a mini-garden on windowsills for an acceptable substitute. I would encourage anyone who struggles with their mobility to try exploring new hobbies or perhaps loved past times. You never know, you might have some fun!

Possible Exercise Locations

Chandos Park Circle Path with Bench
Lacehill field and play area with bench
Bourton Park near River