I went to an outdoor theatre production in my local park, Mote Park, on Saturday. If I’m being blunt it wasn’t very well attended and that was largely down to the poor weather. It poured it down. But there were a small number of us who stuck it out armed with brollies. And you know what? The sun even came out for about 10 minutes during and it stopped raining while they did their thing and then it started raining again at the end. So all in all it was a lucky evening weather wise. But that would have put people off even attempting to come down. The theatre was great though and the setting was awesome. It was Alice through the Looking Glass, and although the props had seen better days it was a different sort of Saturday night.
But it got me thinking on the way home just what a big space Mote Park is and what more could be done in it and to promote it. And this doesn’t just apply to this park, there’s loads of parks that could benefit from the same. Most of the ideas revolve around a bit of investment but imagine if you could create a super park. The one above is the park of my dreams but please ignore the poor drawing of the dog!
For those who don’t know. Mote Park is huge and it’s in the centre of Maidstone, Kent. It’s had some lottery funding to make it good and so much is being done, but I always wish for more. I use the park on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis so I wish it could be even better.
If I could do anything I’d like to build a big visitor centre in the middle which included a volunteer hub and perhaps a cute little club house for park members. I’d have a membership scheme to help plough some money back in. I’d want different zones – so a dog-only zone and perhaps even a doggy day creche! I’d pay for that, that’s for sure. I’d want a huge crazy golf course, Christmas ice skating, planting ceremonies, memorial benches, a big maze, a nice big allotment and a big restaurant and cafe, where all the stuff is home grown from the park. I’d want more picnic areas, a big annual ‘country show’ event to draw people in, a camping and glamping area, a climbing centre, more outdoor theatre with a whatever-the-weather cover, an outdoor swimming pool and a different way to host the annual Mela. Basically I want it all and I’d promote all this with a website solely devoted to the park, a blogging site, Instagram and Facebook. Badges, membership cards, a whole lotta enthusiasm and most important of all – word of mouth – to promo the big green space right on our doorsteps!