A warm welcome everyone to this summer edition of our newsletter. It has been a busy few months for our committee, dealing with the ever burgeoning list of items affecting life around the Park.
In this edition we have received a lot of feedback about the proposed Greenways Project, so we have included an article examining that. Several submissions have featured lifestyle articles looking at Pilates and restoring old memories. I know 'Health and Wellbeing' and 'Nostalgia' have been very strong themes during this part year, so it is good to include these.
Many of you will have seen major changes in road layouts as well. Bell Foundry Lane has reopened and we can see how it will carry a lot more traffic from the relief road. Old Forest Road is now fully accessible as well, and we can now bypass the Winnersh Sainsburys with the new road now open. However please do remember NO RIGHT TURN at the lights from reports of all the accidents that were occurring along here.
At some stage you will be getting a JPRA Road Rep. ringing on your doorbell for several reasons. We haven't called for a very long time, so we want to catch up and introduce ourselves to any new residents who have not heard about us. We also want to find out who prefers a hardcopy of this newsletter, and who would prefer downloading it from our website. We also need to collect £2 subscriptions from each household. As with every voluntary organisation, there are operational expenses to running the JPRA. Do look out for us in due course.
Finally I have saved the best for last! Party in the Park! 18th July! From 2pm! Weather permitting, I am anticipating that this one maybe the busiest yet following the testing year that we have experienced. Many of the schools are ending their summer terms at this time, so there is every reason to join us. Both mayors have promised their attendance, and Sir Whippy will be on hand to cool things down with his ice creams. So bring yourselves and all your guests to come together to celebrate our wonderful community.
So that is all from me and come and say hi on the 18th July.
Steve, JPRA Chair and all the committee.
'Beat the Street' is coming to Wokingham Borough Next month we're transforming our borough into a giant community-wide physical activity challenge and we're inviting you to 'Beat the Street'.
This free, fun game will take place between 8 June and 20 July across Wokingham town centre, Finchampstead and Woosehill. We're challenging residents of all ages and abilities to see how far you can walk, run, scoot, wheel or cycle around the game area.
This is the third time our borough has hosted this event with Woosehill and Emmbrook hosting in 2014 and Woodley in 2015. The first time round over 20% of you took part and together you walked a total of over 55,000 miles in the two months.
If you'd like to take part you'll be able to pick up a free card from distribution points across the borough which will be listed prior to 8 June on the Beat the Street website (https://www.beatthestreet.me/wokingham/)
Wow, what a week it's been in Emmbrook over May half-term! We have been swamped with bugs and creepy crawlies galore. This week was the inaugural ‘Emmbrook Trail' organised by local mums to raise money for the Emmbrook Infant and Junior Schools. This year's theme was Bugs and a total of 58 houses took part to create bug related displays. Maps to hunt for all the displays were purchased through the schools and via Eventbrite with our local shops acting as distributers. We raised a fantastic £1,500 for the schools!! What an amazing show of community spirit!
Bug creators bonded over ideas and resource sharing whilst hunters enjoyed meeting each other on the hunt and swapping tails of the incredible displays from giant worms to venus fly traps, caterpillars, buzzing bees, butterflies and many more. We are now planning next years theme and Emmbrook Trail. If you'd like to register your interest in doing a display next year you can find out more information on the Joel Park and Emmbrook residents facebook group or by contacting the JPRA who can put you in touch with the event Organisers.
Bell Foundry Lane was reopened to traffic and pedestrians on Friday 28th May 2021.
Winnersh Relief Road is also open - please do take notice of the introduction of banned turns which have caught out several motorists already! The new road connects the A329 Reading Road, via a new roundabout, to the B3030 King Street Lane, taking traffic away from the main Winnersh crossroads.
Further works will continue on Reading Road as part of the new junction for Old Forest Road.
|Update on timeline of works|
|West of Old Forest Road||Expected Completion||June 2021J|
|Toutley Road||Main Construction||March 2021 - March 2022|
|Toutley Road||Expected Completion of overall scheme||March 2022|
A huge thank you to everyone who voted for Morag Malvern in the May elections. Morag joins the Emmbrook borough councillor team, and we look forward to the increased opportunities that we will now have to co-ordinate our efforts to serve the best interests of everyone in the local area.
Morag raised 4 children in Emmbrook, and many of you already know her from her years of community service as a school governor, Wokingham in Bloom volunteer, and Scouting / Guiding Leader. Morag is already making her mark as part of the team working with Children's Services at Wokingham Borough Council.
One of our top priorities as the Emmbrook councillor team is working with residents in the Joel Park area to stop WBC ploughing a greenway through the woodland along the north side of Jubilee Avenue. While we welcome the idea of improved cycling and pedestrian provision, this should not be at the expense of one of our very limited green corridors. We recently met with the WBC officers involved and are thankful to residents who have spoken up about this and responded to the consultation. We continue to make the case to officers that they should rethink the plan and we have been promised a formal response in the very near future.
Since our last update, the Matthewsgreen playground was finally opened. This was after we put pressure on Bovis/Vistry to bring forward the opening and allow children to use it during lockdown. It is not complete and sadly, it will need to be shut briefly so that the landscaping can be finished, but I think most people will agree that it is good to see it finally being used.
We are currently looking at some new bus stops for Matthewsgreen Road, which we hope will be more vandal-proof than the current ones after we gave feedback on the design.
We hope everyone has a really good summer and that we all stay Covid safe.
Cllrs Rachel Bishop-Firth and Imogen Shepherd-DuBey
Greenways are continuous generally traffic-free multi user routes that are aimed at linking the major developments within the borough to each other, to the existing communities and places of interest/employment within the Borough. The network of Greenways will provide non-car commuting journeys to work and school as well as new leisure opportunities to get out into the countryside.
Phase 2 (Route B) Section 1 Greenway connects North Wokingham to Woosehill Meadows and is the section that passes through Joel Park, from Brook Close - Clifton Road and Jubilee Ave, to join the recently resurfaced section of the path in Cantley Park.
A public consultation was conducted in Summer 2020 and a response document was published. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there have not been any North Wokingham Forums recently, so this was advertised on the WBC website and residents of Martins Drive received notification of the consultation.
The section of path adjacent to Jubilee Avenue is intended to run through the middle of the avenue of trees. WTC own the top section of the path and the section from the bridge to the Martins Drive entrance is an unregistered piece of land. WTC have agreed to permit the path to be created but pending some further detailed information (at the time of writing final documents are pending review and approval by WTC). For the section of unregistered land, a Path Creation Order was created in Apr-20 and placed on the lamp posts. This Path Creation Order was not a public consultation, it was notification to the owner of this section of unregistered land that a path would be created under the Section 26 of the Highways Act 1980 and 'would add convenience or enjoyment to a large section of the public or local residents'.
However, the Path Creation Order notices have created a significant amount of opposition from local residents of Joel Park and many responses were sent to the greenways team at WBC - including, but not limited to questioning the need for the destruction of the wildlife habitat area on this planned section.
As a result of the amount of correspondence received, the WBC Greenways team have agreed to review the issue and will produce a response document (at the time of writing this is still pending).
Local resident Kate Benson, and Emmbrook WTC & WBC Councillor Imogen Shepherd-Dubey both asked questions at the recent Annual WBC Meeting. WBC noted that a pedestrian crossing will be added at Milton Road and are currently in the process of addressing all of the comments raised. This response document will be sent to all those who have responded to the consultation (including the JPRA). Following this, a decision will be made as to the next steps for the Greenway route.
We will keep you updated via the JPRA website and facebook page as we get further information.
The South East Rivers Trust is excited to be delivering a new partnership project to breathe life back into this stretch of the Emm Brook.
This ambitious restoration project will reinstate the natural meandering path of the Emm Brook by reconnecting and restoring 230m of historic channel. This will bring back natural habitat features as well as creating a patchwork of different water depths and flow patterns, better able to support a wide variety of plants and animals.
The restored channel will bypass two current barriers to fish movement, reconnecting many kilometres of fragmented river habitat and increasing the likelihood of thriving healthy fish populations. Part of the current path of the Emm Brook runs alongside the main road. Surface water drains flow straight from the road to the brook, carrying a cocktail of toxic pollutants.
Re-routing flow away from the road and disconnecting it from the surface water drains will reduce the input of pollutants and improve water quality which benefits both people and wildlife.
Pollution also enters the brook via the Balancing Pond upstream. Misconnected plumbing causes sewage, oils and detergents to feed into the Balancing Pond, which in turn pollutes the brook. Work will be carried out to improve habitat within the Balancing Pond by incorporating wetland areas. This will enable natural processes to clean up the polluted water that flows into the Balancing Pond before it reaches the Emm Brook.
Major works are due to begin on site during the summer of 2021, with some vegetation clearance taking place this winter. There will be many ways for local residents and nearby schools to get involved with the project as it progresses. You can find out more about the project by visiting www.southeastriverstrust.org/restoration-of-the-emm-brook
This is a partnership project, funded by the European Structural Investment Fund and the Environment Agency
by Jess Mead, Project Officer, The South East Rivers Trust/The Wandle Trust
I'm Lynne, and I've been volunteering with 7th Wokingham Brownie for about 20 years. Brownies are Girlguiding members aged 7-10; there's also Rainbows (aged 5-7), Guides (aged 10-14) and Rangers (aged 14-18).
I started volunteering when I finished university and moved to Wokingham and was looking for things to do. There were always leaders for me when I was a Brownie, Guide and Ranger and I had great opportunities through Girlguiding, so thought I'd give something back by helping others have these opportunities.
We normally meet weekly at St Paul's Parish rooms, but this year we started off via Zoom and now we're meeting outside. We do a range of activities including lots of games, adventurous activities, craft and cooking and gain badges following the Girlguiding programme. It's great to see the girls grow during their time at Brownies, and occasionally they come back and help when they're older which is nice.
Girlguiding in Wokingham needs some more volunteers to help give more girls the opportunity to join us. We have waiting lists at many units, and some units have recently had to close as they have been unable to find new volunteers. Any adult can become a unit helper, you don't have to have been a Rainbow, Brownie or Guide and even men can volunteer. We also welcome young leaders and Duke of Edinburgh award volunteers.
If you are interested in helping then more information is available at https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/get-involved/become-a-volunteer/ or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your local Scout Group was hoping that Covid restrictions would have been a thing of the past by now but unfortunately not. It means we still can't camp or have big activity events.Our membership has proved to be very resilient during the pandemic and the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts have been delighted to get back to a bit of normality. Since Easter we have offered a lot of outside programme activities and allowed our members to meet up again with their friends and to run about and have fun. The activities by the Beavers have included an Easter egg hunt and a hike, the Cubs have built shelters, built ballistas and had a wide game at the Ridges and the Scouts have orienteered, mountain biked and built bridges over Ashridge Stream. All the Sections cooked on fires - it's a favourite activity. The Toutley Road roadworks are beginning to have an impact on our entrance drive and we expect it to increase in the near future. The Scout Association had its' annual Census in January and we showed about 140 members and 25 Leaders making us the largest Scout Group in Wokingham. With 10 new Beavers coming off the Waiting List after half term we will be bigger than ever. We are a large successful Scout Group thanks to all concerned. But we must make the usual plea for more adults to volunteer to help. Just email the Group Scout Leader, Martin Wilson (email@example.com) and he will tell you all about how to get a rewarding hobby and how to enrich your lives.
Well, did you know that every year that passes, these old types of media are fading, degrading, deteriorating and losing quality? None of these were ever designed to last as long as we have ended up keeping them. To make matters worse, most of us no longer have the equipment, such as slide projectors and VHS players, to even enjoy them anymore. So they sadly stay locked away in boxes…fading away.
Digitising your old memories is the only way to pause the aging effects, whilst bringing them into the 21st century so they can be enjoyed once again and safely backed up for future generations. Digitisation converts all those old types of memories into modern day files so that they can be watched and enjoyed on today's technology such as tablets, phone, computers, laptops and TVs. Each media is scanned and converted to either MP4 (video files), MP3 (audio files) or JPEGS (photos) and supplied on a USB stick where the owner can then enjoy them on any types of device, share with friends & family on social media, edit & make copies, but most importantly…make back ups on computers and in the cloud so that they are safe forever.
Memory Lane Movies is a local family run business specialising in Media Digitisation. As well as converting all types of old media, we can also help with many other types of video, audio & photo related services such as celebratory & tribute slideshows and video books, plus repair services such as photo restoration, corrupt disc recovery & tape repairs.
If you still have precious memories stuck on old media, don't leave yours too late! Whether it is a big box of video tapes or a handful of slides, we would be delighted to help!
I last had shave on 17 March 2020 - I remember this date as it was a day after my last physical day in the office (Canary Wharf).
After a few months, I had complaints from my wife (Sash) and my folks - they hated it. So I made the mature decision and vowed to grow it for a year.
Come Christmas 2020 - I decided that I will shave off my beard and hair for charity. I set a target of £1,000 for the beard to go, and £5,000 for the hair on top.
Sebastian's Actions Trust My initial reaction was to raise money for Cancer Research or Macmillan (personal reasons).
But I felt smaller and local charities may not get as much support during recent tough times.
I came across Sebastian's Action Trust and I was blown away. The story behind it. About a kid so selfless, positive and mature - his vision. I really wanted to help this charity.
The Big Shave Sash and I wanted to make this an event - family, friends, colleagues and neighbours have endured my beard. So it seemed fit for them to witness my beard being shaved off; with Sash doing the honours.
We chose 20 March 2021 specifically: - First day of Spring - Baha'i and Persian New Year: Naw Ruz - which means "New Day".
Over £4,700 has been raised (plus £400 gift aid, plus £500 from my work), which is incredible! Feeling very proud and humble.
By Sasan Starr-Padidar
(Editors note: What an hairmazing effort! If you would like to donate, please visit ‘https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sas-starr')
The JoelEmm Craft Group has continued to meet every week since March via Zoom. We all chat and do our knitting, crochet, embroidery etc. It's all very jolly.
We meet on Tuesdays at 11am.
All are welcome - details from Anne via email firstname.lastname@example.org