Motorists parking on Benton Bank: if you litter, you harm wildlife and could be fined

In recent weeks there has been a great deal of litter dropped from cars parked on Benton Bank and underneath the Cradlewell bypass on Benton Bridge. Volunteers are spending a great deal of time cleaning up after these inconsiderate motorists. (There’s also a litter problem in the Dene itself, of course.)

Looking on the bright side, Newcastle City Council may soon get new powers to fine litter-lout car passengers. The central government has released a new Litter Strategy for England, which includes plans to fine drivers for litter thrown from their vehicles by passengers. Similar to rules in London, motorists could soon receive penalty notices when litter is dropped from their cars – even if it was discarded by passengers.

The plans have been drawn up by environment department Defra, the Department for Transport and communities department DCLG.

Transport minister John Hayes said: “Litter is a major and costly problem to deal with. It makes our roads look messy, can threaten wildlife and even increase the risk of flooding by blocking drains.

The government has launched a consultation on the proposed enforcement measures. It said guidance will be issued to councils to accompany any new enforcement powers.

This guidance for councils will also update England’s “binfrastructure” through creative new designs and better distribution of public litter bins, making it easier for people to discard rubbish.

There will also be an attempt to create a “green generation” by educating children to lead the fight against litter.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust at the Park

Northumberland Wildlife Trust at the Park, Pet’s Corner, Jesmond Dene, Wed 19th April, 10:00am – 3:30pm

Drop by to find out more about the work we do at NWT to protect our region’s wildlife – and have a go at some fun seasonal games and activities.

Free event but donations are welcome to cover the cost of materials. Dress appropriately for the outdoors. All children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Future of Newcastle’s Parks, Jesmond Dene, 11th March

Because of forthcoming budget cuts Newcastle City Council is currently running a consultation exercise regarding the future of Newcastle’s parks, and one of the events will be held at the Jesmond Dene Visitor Centre. The Newcastle Parks Engagement programme started on 13th February runs through until 21st April and visits Jesmond Dene on 11th March.

Parks are a critical part of the city’s green infrastructure, and an important attraction when it comes to appealing to new visitors, new residents, businesses and students, says the programme.

But, there’s likely to be less money to fund them in the years ahead.

“Over the past seven years, our parks budget has reduced by over 90 percent,” says a statement from the council, “meaning that finding new ways of financing and running the city’s parks is essential.”

The council stresses it want to keep parks in public ownership, and that they should remain free to use.

“We have been working with the National Trust, benefitting from their experience of preserving our national heritage and parks, to help us work out a way forward,” says the council. “In particular, we have been researching the possibility of transferring the operation, delivery and maintenance of a large proportion of the city’s parks, and potentially allotments, to a new Charitable Trust.”

The council says this is a “work in progress”, and the engagement programme aims to hear YOUR views.

You can started by visiting, and completing a short online survey. This will direct you to a more in-depth discussion at: The ‘Explore’ section of this website is due to go live on Monday, 13th March. This part of the engagement programme is being delivered in association with Newcastle University’s Open Lab.

11th March, 11am to 3pm, Jesmond Dene Visitor Centre

Jesmond appears on jacket printed with street grids from New York, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Berlin and Sydney

Showers Pass of Portland, Oregon, has produced a waterproof cycling jacket that features retroreflective street grids of eleven cities. Because of the complexity of the patterns each Atlas jacket is unique, but will still feature streets from Portland, New York, Washington DC, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Berlin, Sydney and Taipei.

London is also featured, as is Newcastle upon Tyne. Why Newcastle? Showers Pass president Kyle Ranson was born and raised in Jesmond, and used to play in Jesmond Dene.

“This was one of those fun projects that I got into way more than time really permitted. The entire staff thought I had gone nuts. It literally took weeks to patch together all the cities to look like one map.”

He added: “We wanted a jacket that supports an active outdoor lifestyle, stands up to bad weather, and offers a stylish way to stay visible to traffic at night.”

The street grid pattern on the jacket is printed with retro-reflective ink. The ink is a dull grey in normal light, but a bright silver when hit by car headlights.

And here’s the map of Newcastle – and Jesmond Dene – that’s featured on the jacket:

National Nest-Box Week event, 20th Feb

Come and join the parks staff and volunteers on this bird themed day as part of National Nest Box week. You will make a wooden bird nest box, a wooden bird feeder and several other feeders, all to take home with you.

Monday 20th February
Ouseburn Parks Visitor Centre – Jesmond Dene

Family activity sessions: 10 – 11am or 11.30 – 12.30pm. Family activity session ticket: £10

Walks at 9.30 – 11am or 11.30 – 12.30pm Walks are free-of-charge, but please book.

Please bring binoculars for the walk if you have them, but some will be available if not.

All children must be accompanied.
Bookings essential for family activity sessions and bird walks.

Ouseburn Parks Visitor Centre
Phone: 0191 2812082
E-mail: parks&

Extraordinary General Meeting Notice: 26th November

Notice is hereby given that an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Friends of Jesmond Dene will be held at 2.00pm on Saturday 26 November 2016 at the Visitors Centre, Jesmond Dene in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, for the purpose of considering and, if thought fit, adopting an updated constitution.

On Thursday 6th October 2016 the draft of a new constitution was submitted to the Trustees and Committee of the Friends of Jesmond Dene. The draft of the new proposed constitution was agreed and accepted by the Trustees and Committee of the Friends of Jesmond Dene.

The Trustees and Committee of the Friends of Jesmond Dene recommend acceptance to the members of the Friends of Jesmond Dene and seek approval of the acceptance of the new proposed constitution from the membership of the Friends of Jesmond Dene.

A copy of the new proposed constitution is also available as a paper version at the visitors centre.

By order of the Trustees of the Friends of Jesmond Dene

Susan Stokel-Walker
Dated: 6 October 2016