The Friends of Fairy Dell


Your story

Maintaining access for all to enjoy Fairy Dell

Group introduction

The Friends of Fairy Dell is a voluntary community organisation that aims to improve access to and enjoyment of Fairy Dell, Middlesbrough, in partnership with Middlesbrough Council and other organisations.
The group was set-up in 2005 following concerns raised by local residents about the deteriorating condition of the area and antisocial behaviour. The land belongs to Middlesbrough Council and, following discussion with Council staff, the Council’s model Friends Group constitution and policies were adopted.
Fairy Dell provides a variety of recreation and amenity space with easy access for residents of Marton and Coulby Newham. It is located along the course of Marton West Beck, one of Middlesbrough’s Green corridors that links the town centre with the open countryside. A haven for wildlife in a variety of habitats, it has open grassland, woods and lakes; and includes the remains of historic landscaped gardens.
Local residents and users of the Dell from farther afield benefit directly. The Friends group has a weekly volunteer Task Day for routine maintenance activities.
In recent years the group has carried-out major improvements, among other things, improved the network of pathways allowing better access for all including people with baby buggies and disability scooters; gained funding for all-age exercise equipment; and, organized seasonal community activities eg a 'Free Family Fun Day' will take place during August 2018 in partnership with Middlesbrough Council's Health & Well-Being Department and Tees Valley Wildlife Trust.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

The main footpath through Fairy Dell has been worn down by daily use of many people walking, running and cycling on it. It is no exaggeration to say that the path serves the thousands of people who live in Marton and Coulby Newham; and many more residents of other areas of Middlesbrough who visit the Dell. It has also suffered damage from the nearby beck overflowing its banks. It now requires substantial repairs, which the group has identified as a high priority for the Dell. Members of The Friends have replaced timber edging by volunteer effort, using timber paid for by successful bids to other funding bodies. A further £4,000 is required for materials and labour to resurface the path to a standard that the landowner, Middlesbrough Borough Council, can approve. Please note that this is work that would otherwise not be carried out by the Council.

"Jim Rogers, Secretary of The Friends of Fairy Dell, said: “Improving access is at the heart of why we exist as The Friends of Fairy Dell and all that we do. Good footpaths ensure that Fairy Dell is open for everyone who wants to visit. By supporting us the Grassroots Giving scheme is helping us to repair an important footpath used all year round by Middlesbrough communities. The best compliment for us is that people visit the Dell and enjoy it.”"

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