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Trees for Life

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If you’ve managed to make it to the park recently, you’ll have seen some new kids on the block. As well as the thousands of young whippersnappers putting their roots down on the golf course, there are now 30+ more mature new arrivals.

The addition of these most recent trees was made possible thanks to a generous £4,000 grant from Bettys Trees for Life Fund, administered by the Two Ridings Community Foundation, and a valiant planting effort under lockdown conditions by Craven Council’s very own trees officer, Michael. There will be a second phase of planting in the Autumn, when we hope members of the public will also be able to get involved.

Each tree has been carefully picked and positioned to be visually exciting and to enhance the park’s natural offerings. Along the grass verges and canal, there will be trees that flower at different times, providing a vital pollinator corridor through the town. Native trees such as oak, hornbeam, alder and willow will thrive in the wetter areas of the park, alleviating the waterlogging and chances of flooding. In Autumn, maples and American oaks will put on a fiery show of reds, while the evergreen pines will add some winter structure when leaves drop.

Many thanks to local residents who came to the rescue when the newly-planted trees were in need of a long, cool drink through our unusually warm, dry Spring. The council now has the tree hydration under control, with the handy help of Skipton Fire Station. Some of you may have already witnessed the unusual sight of a fire engine slowly making its way up the grassy slope. Fear not, there have been no fires – just the resourceful use of a very long hose!


Purple for Polio

Rotary club members marked annual World Polio Day on 24th October by planting 4,000 crocus bulbs beneath the cherry trees in the centre of Aireville park, with the help of SELFA and Friends of Aireville Park.

The crocus flowers represent the purple finger dye used by polio immunisation teams to indicate which children have received the polio vaccinations. All profits from the sale of the crocus bulbs will go to the worldwide Rotary campaign.

In addition to planting the bulbs, former rotary club president, John Exley, handed over a cheque for £1,000 – his Presidential Award – to Fiona Protheroe, chair of Friends of Aireville Park. 

This generous donation will be used towards the group’s ongoing work to improve facilities in the park, including paths, a potential bandstand cover and improved wildlife areas.


There are so many fabulous things going on in our park, from the new playground, skatepark, pump track and Raven Tree Top Adventure (all built within the last five years) to the community picnics, litter picks and cross-country runs. Just this weekend, 4,000 crocus bulbs were planted along Cherry Tree lane – thanks to many awesome volunteers – as part of the Rotary’s Purple for Polio campaign.

But the plans for the park don’t stop there! Craven District Council and Friends of Aireville Park are consulting with park user groups and the local community to find out what the main priorities should be for the next five years. The aim is to draw up a new park masterplan and as part of this process, we would like YOU to complete this short survey.

We hope you agree that Aireville Park is a major asset to the town and surrounding villages, as well as an important green space for wildlife. Please help us continue to improve it by filling in this survey – and asking local friends and family to do the same.


EVERYONE is welcome to join us in Aireville Park this Sunday, for fun and games and a Great Get Together picnic in memory of Jo Cox MP. Read on for Plastic Free Skipton’s Top Ten Tips on making it a zero waste picnic. The best picnic-maker on Sunday will be awarded a gorgeous bamboo lunch box.

Great Get Together

TIP #1 Reusable packaging
Avoid clingfilm and plastic bags where possible. Simply pop your rolls or sandwiches in a tupperware box or re-use a bread bag, cereal liner, margarine tub, etc. Carry everything in a backpack, cloth bag or even a picnic hamper.

TIP #2 Homemade is best
Make your own pasta or salads in your own containers – that way you’ll avoid lots of plastic supermarket packaging. Just remember to pack your own (reusable) plates and cutlery. Try making your own dips too – houmous is a simple one to whizz up. Scoop it into a glass jar, chop up some veg to dip in it and you’ve got a healthy, yummy starter.

TIP #3 Nature’s packaging
Many foods come in their own natural packaging – bananas, oranges, hard-boiled eggs. Any peel or shell can then go in a compost bin. Apples are a great fruit for transporting without needing packaging.

TIP #4 BYO drinks
Take a metal water bottle with you – and maybe a flask if it’s likely to be chilly. If you’ll be passing a cafe, you could take a keep cup for your own waste-free takeout.

TIP #5 Home baking
Food items that don’t need individual packaging are always a winner. Bake cookies or slice up flapjack and carry them in a tub or tin.

TIP #6 Butchers and bakeries
If you’re running late, you could always pick up a tasty sausage roll, pork pie or veggie alternative from one of our many yummy butchers or bakeries. Take your own container with you and you won’t even need a paper bag to put it in.

TIP #7 Food to share
Avoid leftovers by bringing food that you can share around. A tray bake always goes down nicely.

TIP #8 Ban the baby wipes
Why add to your plastic waste (and shopping bill) by using disposable wipes when a damp face cloth does very nicely. Just store it in a small tub for the journey.

TIP #9 Take recycling home
Recycling bins are harder to find when you’re out and about so if you do have some recyclable waste then take it home to your own blue bin. Collect crisp packets and biscuit wrappers and take them to Steep & Filter’s recycling station on your next trip down Otley Street.

TIP #10 Spread the word
Share these top tips with others and we’ll be able to eliminate even more plastic waste from the system.

In a nutshell, think REUSABLE rather than DISPOSABLE and you can’t go wrong.

Sheep Day

sheep day 2

One of the highlights of the year along Skipton’s award-winning High Street is the Sheep Day festival. This year, Friends of Aireville Park were delighted to have our own stall, with face painting, a lucky sheep dip and a unique sheep tombola. Daring customers were invited to put their hand in the sheep’s fleece-lined bottom to see if they could bring out a winning token.

Alongside our chocolate prizes, there was an impressive range of alcoholic ones, all generously donated from local companies Keelham, Dark Horse, North Brewing Company, Booths, Growling Shrew, Naylor, Goose Eye, Beer Monkey, Wine Rack and Majestic. Thank you!

In total our stall raised over £1,000 for the new playground in Aireville Park – thanks in large part to match-funding from Barclays (known as Baaa-clays for the purposes of Sheep Day).

Phase 1 of the new playground build is due to begin in the Autumn (yippee). Many thanks to all our wonderful supporters so far. Any donations towards phase 2, to help us secure all the exciting play equipment we so dearly want, would be very gratefully received!

The playground is happening!


We are DELIGHTED to announce that, thanks to a very generous grant of nearly £50,000 from Yorventure and on-going support from fabulous local groups and businesses, we are now able to proceed with the first phase of our new playground. Tender bids are due in on 1st June and we are scheduled to begin construction THIS AUGUST!


There’s still some way to go to secure funding for all the awesome equipment we’d like installed in the playground, so do get in touch if you’d like to help us with our final fundraising push on

In the meantime, we’re planning an exciting stall for Sheep Day and another community picnic in the park. Watch this space!

Rotary Bike Recycling

Have you got a bike you no longer use? Skipton Rotary Club are offering to sell it at their car boot sale to raise money for our new play area!

Simply take any old bikes or bike parts to the Rotary car park at Skipton Building Society on a Saturday before the end of May, between 9.30am and 2.30pm, or contact David Goldie on 01756 710315 to arrange collection.

The car boot sale will take place at the Auction Mart on 27th May. Any bikes in need of repair will go to another good cause, The Margaret Carey Foundation.

Click here for more information.

We did it!


Congratulations to the hundreds of Santas who completed the 2017 Great Santa Fun Run, including our very own Friends of Aireville Park team. And MANY THANKS to all the people who sponsored us, helping raise funds for the new play area.

The run/jog/walk started and finished in our beloved park, so it seems somehow fitting that the FoAP team had representatives both at the very front and at the very back. The prize for the happiest dawdlers goes to our youngest members, who were only pipped to last place by the back markers!



The Santa Fun Run

santa fun run

It’s that time of year again. There’s a chill in the air, it’s getting dark early and it’s beginning to feel a bit like Christmas. Time to sign up for the Skipton Santa Fun Run! You’ve heard of the Skipton parkrun? Well the Santa Fun Run is a 5k park-town-canal-park run – with bells on. For one day only (Sunday 26th November, 11am) the route is closed to traffic and the town is a jostling blur of red and white Santas.

The entry fee (£8 for children/£12 for adults) covers the cost of your very own Santa suit, plus a donation to the Rotary Club’s chosen charities. Any sponsorship you raise on top of that can go to the charity of your choice. We would DEARLY LOVE you to choose to support the exciting new playground planned at Aireville park, where the Fun Run begins and ends. A team of us will be running for Friends of Aireville Park and we invite YOU to join us. Failing that, why not SPONSOR us. Our target is £1,400 to pay for a double set of toddler swings.

Here’s a link to our local giving website:

We look forward seeing you on the day; either cheering us on, or wearing your own Santa suit.



park_runI’ve just completed my first parkrun! I’m not trying to boast, I just want to shout out what a fabulous resource we have on our doorstep in Aireville Park.

Every Saturday at 9am, rain or shine, a host of cheery volunteers conjure up a bit of feel-good community magic. All you need is to register online (just for your first time), print out your barcode, put on your trainers and head to the park.

The friendly race director explains the course, celebrates personal achievements (whether it’s 10 completed park runs or 200), welcomes first timers and tourists (from Edinburgh and Essex this week), then sends you on your way.

On my own, I’d never have completed four circuits of the park. In a group of over 170 runners I was buoyed along and determined. Yes I was lapped by a man pushing a buggy and someone twenty years my senior (to mention just a few), but completing the course without walking was my own personal achievement.

I returned home with glowing cheeks and a healthy appetite. An hour later, an email pinged through stating my race time,  finishing position and an age graded score – the perfect incentive to make me do it again and beat my own record. The parkrun is FREE and available to all ages and abilities. I heartily recommend it!