People are invited to join the first volunteers’ day at West Smethwick Park later this month to help with conservation work.
It’s all part of the £5.2 million restoration project at the park and inviting the local community to get involved.
Come along on Friday 20 September to join in with woodland conservation activities. No experience is necessary and all equipment will be provided. Just wear clothes you don’t mind getting a bit dirty.
Meet at the changing room building at 10.15am for the morning session which runs until 12.45pm or 1.15pm for the afternoon session which runs until 3.30pm. People are welcome to stay for both sessions.
Volunteer sessions will run on the third Friday of each month.
It’s also the park’s first history talk with Ewart Johnson, including memories of the park, on Thursday 19 September, 12.45-1.45pm, at the pavilion in the park. Free entry.
To register for the volunteers’ day or the talk, email WSP_Project@sandwell.gov.uk or call 0121 569 4247.
Sandwell Leisure Trust has already started a Wednesday jogging club at the park, with boot camp and ‘dog and jog’ sessions set to launch on Saturday mornings soon. The boot camp starts on 14 September and the ‘dog and jog’ from 21 September.
A junior parkrun will also get under way on Sunday mornings this autumn.
The first phase of the project is restoring historical features including the Grade II listed James Chance Memorial, the John Chance fountain and airmen’s memorial, as well as both entrance gates on West Park Road and Victoria Road.
Building work, including creating a brand new two-storey pavilion, is due to start early next year. The pavilion in the centre of the park will replace the original refreshment rooms that were demolished back in the 1980s.
The work is being funded by a £4.5 million award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund Parks for People programme and around £600,000 from Sandwell Council.
The park’s new pavilion, run by Sandwell Leisure Trust, will have a café, public toilets and space for events, classes and exhibitions. The pool will be improved and there will be new outdoor gym equipment, new CCTV and lighting.
Work on the pavilion is expected to be completed by 2020 and the project on the wider park will continue to 2022/23.
For all updates, keep an eye on the park notice board, Facebook page (search ‘West Smethwick Park’) and webpage www.sandwell.gov.uk/westsmethwickpark or email WSP_Project@sandwell.gov.uk