ASPECIAL Friends group has been set up by people who love and appreciate Cockington Country Park. Nicky Baker, chairman of the Friends of Cockington Country Park, explained the group was formed in 2011 to advise on how to protect, conserve and enhance the park, maintaining its natural beauty for the long-term benefit of the local community and visitors alike to promote wider use of the park to represent the views of the park users and provide practical support to TCCT through the services of volunteers.
Membership is open to all.
Nicky said: "It is obvious to anyone walking round the park certain areas are in need of repair and this costs money.
"We were all very disappointed when the first Lottery bid was unsuccessful but a second bid was submitted with the involvement of the Friends."
Although this has been successful it has also presented a huge challenge as the funding for the final works can only be achieved with both active and financial help from the local community.
The Friends are at the forefront of helping and supporting the work that needs to be done.
"It has become obvious that there is a real need for a more permanent visitor centre and we enthusiastically support this venture.
"Our members have also been helping with the surveys of visitors vital information needed for the next phase of the Lottery bid.
"Every hour we put in contributes to the matched funding needed to secure the Lottery grant.
"The Friends group is open to all and we are always looking for new members.
Nicky added: "Exciting times are ahead for Cockington if we can secure this bid and it becomes even more important to hear your views.
"Getting involved in the place where you live can be very rewarding and a good place to meet people and make friends.
"If you just want to make a small contribution, look out for the pin badges widely available in shops and show your support.
"As a dog walker and park user myself I want to help secure this funding to restore parts of the park which, without doubt, is desperately in need of it.
"Cockington Park is an oasis of green tranquility enjoyed free of charge by many, many people and we want to keep it this way.
"Meeting visitors when working in the centre we hear lots of stories of peoples' connections with the park, their memories and its history, we want to perpetuate that history and maintain this place for new memories for future generations.
"If you want to help either with donations or volunteering please let us or TCCT know. It is a precious facility for Torquay and worth supporting."
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