We recently blogged about ways to stay active by volunteering in the city parks and greenspaces. Frances Jones, Trustee & Treasurer from Friends of Middleton Park, told us how she stays physically active at the age of 68 by helping the Friends of Middleton Park at their events: ‘I walk around, talk to people, move chairs for band, clean up afterwards. To get to the Park, I also substitute car use for the bus, bike or walking’.
The Friends of Middleton Park was formed in 2003 to put on events to promote local interest and involvement in the park and its woodland. Its main aim is to tempt people visit the Park more and eventually become regular Park users after seeing its greenness.
Middleton Park is situated in South Leeds and has many recreational areas such as a 200-acre ancient woodland, grasslands, two bowling greens, and a children’s play area.
The Park promotes a wide range of events, including children’s holiday play sessions with lots of games, and themed guided walks. The Friends of Middleton Park worked with Leeds City Council and Groundwork Trust to apply for funding for the new children’s playground which has attracted more families into the Park.
Frances encourages people to get to Middleton Park by bus or to ride their bikes as there are multiple bike stands. There is a wide variety of great paths around the Park and leading into it, so she suggests the car should be the last resort.
Rural walks is another way through which Frances stays physically active: ‘I get there by bus. This just requires a bit of planning and means you don’t have to do a circular walk as you would with a car. It also gives you more flexibility as to where you end up’.
When talking about the benefits of staying physically active, Frances says that after a good week filled with exercise and plenty of fresh air, she feels better both physically and mentally. She’s also hoping that being fit and active will ward off heart attacks and dementia.
Frances describes the Park in a nutshell as ‘a wonderful place to enjoy some fresh air and exercise at your own pace, from strolling round the lake to hiking through the woods or trying the bike tracks up at the Bik Park’.
To find out more about Friends of Middleton Park, visit http://www.fomp.co.uk/index.html.