You Today

“…being a part of Caledonian Park…”

Local people use the park today for everything from sports to sunbathing.

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There’s always people walking dogs. My own dog loves the park, he almost pulls my arm off in his hurry to get there.

I see gatherings of young people more and more these days. Not just hanging around, but it’s as if someone has said, ‘Let’s have a picnic’ and they all turn up with different food. I like that – it is lovely to see people find a new way to use the park.

Some people use the flat benches for exercise as well…I’ve seen personal trainers getting people doing exercises on the benches or stretching or doing warm up exercises.

I like the fact that this place which used to be a famous running track is still being used for athletics.

If you sit among the trees in the evening you can listen to the birds singing their goodnight song.

If you are talking about the park as a community space, you’ve got to think of the community of dogs who meet there and socialise…and their owners. The dogs make friends and bring people together.

Personally for me what takes me to a park is my children. I think the park is a place where the community can be as one. We think of young people as being all about social media online, but this is a place where they can meet up.

There are football groups, exercise groups, drumming groups, sometimes you get people in tightrope walking. The latest thing I saw were people doing American Football. The nursery school brings the children to play and exercise here.

We have a festival in the park every year to celebrate the park and the community. It’s organised by the local tenants’ association, and it has lots and lots of stalls trying to echo the market of the past on a small scale. That’s an important activity, to bring the community together and say, ‘this is our space’.