early days at naunton
park primary school
memories of the garden
friends of naunton park
map of the area
During the late 1980s the amount of money available
for the upkeep and maintenance of the Municipal Parks was reduced,
a consequence of which was the slow deterioration in the appearance
of the parks and gardens.
||The gardens in 1974
Naunton Park, which used to have beds filled
with roses (see right) and striking lily-flowered tulips appearing
in the spring, became untidy and neglected. By the mid 1990s the
effect of a "cash-strapped" Parks Department was obvious
to all, and local residents, who had seen the deterioration over
the years, became extremely concerned. After discussions with the
Head of the Parks Department it was decided to form a local community
group to raise funds to assist with the renovations of the gardens.
In Sepember 1994 the Friends of Naunton Park was formed, and in
its first year attracted 200 members as well as sponsorship and
donations from a wide range of local and national companies. In
1995 an award for a community environmental project was received
from British Telecom. The following year the Friends of Naunton
Park was recognised as a Registered Charity (number 1058893).
Picture: BT Award 1995 Today the Friends of Naunton Park organise
several fundraising activities each year. These include coffee mornings,
autumn fairs, a garden party and skittles evening. All these events
are well supported by the local community and the money raised has
contributed to half the cost of refurbishing the rosebeds - the
Borough Council provides the other half. The 'status' of the gardens
has been raised, that is to say, the maintenance is carried out
frequently and regularly, with noticable effect.
In 1997 the Friends of Naunton Park won a Cheltenham in Bloom award
for outstanding community involvement. It is hoped to be able to
erect a wrought iron arch at the entrance to the park and metal
rose posts for climbing roses, to be placed in some of the rosebeds.
A proposed plan for the gardens was approved in principle by the
Borough Council and this can be seen displayed in the noticeboards
at the entrance to the park and in the children's play area in the
corner of the recreation field. This plan was drawn up by students
from the Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education.
Picture: Cheltenham in Bloom Award 1997 Mr John Milner has given
two most interesting talks - one in 1996 on the history of Naunton
Park Gardens and another in 1997 on the Naunton Park area. Both
of these were well attended and served to increase the enthusiasm
of local residents to support the Friends.
The Friends of Naunton Park welcomes new members. The annual subscription
is £1 per household or £5 for five years. At least two newsletters
are published each year and delivered to members. To join please
contact Claire Sheldon on 01242 519355, or any of the members listed
on the home page.
Alternatively you can go to the how to
join page, and follow the instructions there.
In September 1994 the Friends of Naunton Park was formed, to raise
funds to assist with the restoration of the gardens. The Friends
of Naunton Park now have over 200 members and a strong working partnership
has developed with Cheltenham Borough Council.
During 1996 the Department of Landscape and Design at Cheltenham
and Gloucester College of Higher Education assisted with the preparation
of a Landscape Masterplan which was supported by the local community.
In 1996 the Friends of Naunton Park attained Registered Charity
status and have been working hard to raise funds to see further
improvements in the gardens.
The information about the history of the park has been taken from
the booklet "A Brief History of Naunton Park", compiled
by Ann Gibson.
The booklet has been part-funded by Cheltenham Borough Concil as
part of its commitment to the process of community development in
Since the publication of A Brief History of Naunton Park, The Friends
of Naunton Park have gone from strength to strength.
In July 1998 a new wrought iron arch was erected over the main entrance
to the park. This arch has now been moved to the entrance nearer
the school and replaced by a more substantial arch. Iron railings
have been installed along the length of the park fronting Naunton
In 2001 we received a grant of £10,500 from Gloucestershire Environmental
Trust Company to pay for the replacement of part of the hedge between
the rose garden and the recreation field -which was affected by
honey fungus - with yew bushes and a wrought iron fence. The grant
also paid for two circular hardwood seats with liquidambar trees
planted in the centre and two bench seats. At about the same time,
the Council refurbished the paths, replacing the tarmac with a new
hard-wearing compound and a stone edging. In July 2002 we held a
very successful garden party to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee,
raising over £800. Entertainment was provided by several musical
groups as well as the Gloucestershire Morris Men. In 2003, the Mayor
for the year, Councillor Garth Barnes, nominated us as one of his
three charities. We took part in many enjoyable fundraising events.
Our share of the money raised during the year was over £8,000.
Mr John Milner continued to give fascinating talks each January
at Emmanuel Church Hall on subjects ranging from "The Park:
from zoo to college" to "Imperial Square: the park we
nearly lost". We were very sorry to hear of his death in 2006
and he is much missed.
In 2004 we were successful in winning a grant of nearly £17,000
through the "Living Spaces" scheme operated through the
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. We were able to commission
a design for the rose garden from a landscape architect. Work has
included new beds and planting in the garden, trees and spring bulbs
in the recreation field and wooden sculptures in the play area.
An event to celebrate completion of the work was held in June 2005
when members were treated to burgers, wine and musical entertainment.
In 2006 Naunton Park received a Green Flag Award. This is a national
scheme run by the Civic Trust to improve the quality of open spaces.
We continue to look for ways to develop the park. Our next projects
are completing the trip rails round the beds and an interpretation
board. We now hold two major fundraising events a year in the garden:
a Summer Fair which usually features the Gloucestershire Morris
Men and, since 2004, an Autumn Show.