The Friends of Barnwell Country Park


In order to ensure that BCP flourishes, the Friends have established a set of Aims which are intended to keep our activities focused. We work co-operatively with the Park Rangers and NCC Parks Dept. The Friends recognise that the role of the Park Rangers is key to the continuing improvement and maintenance of the BCP.

Who are the Friends?

FoBCP is a voluntary organisation formed in 2007 whose members are committed to the perpetuation of Barnwell Country Park (BCP).

The purpose of FoBCP is to be an active voice for the community of users of BCP as well as working for the continuing improvement of the Park. To this end, FoBCP is as a liaison between Northants County Council (“NCC”) Parks Department and the immediate management team (Park Rangers) and the community of users.

To the best of the organisation’s ability, the Friends are committed to ensure the interests of all potential users and beneficiaries with access to the Park are reflected in the Park plans.

Many of us are devoted to the Park not just as a constant source of natural beauty and exercise but also because we have grown up with it. We hope that our commitment will help to introduce future generations to the opportunities and joy BCP has to offer all of us in our busy lives.

Barnwell Country Park Grows

BCP is at the heart of the Nene Valley river system. It is both an important resource for us users and as a cared-for haven for wildlife. Last year, it was host to over 300,000 visitors which was up by 30% over the previous year. For a 37 acre park, this is an achievement!

Your Help

With your help and participation it will thrive as a vital and vibrant part of our local community.

Immediate Aims

FoBCP have three immediate Aims relating to the Park:

  • Completion of hard paving North Lake perimeter path for all weather usage
  • Funding of a soft play area next to the Kingfisher Café
  • Acquisition of a 52 acre parcel of land adjoining the Park to more than double the size of the Park

days a year open
park visitors per year
acres of park land
cost to join FoBCP

Contributions Made by The Friends

The Friends have already achieved some worthwhile goals. Given that, for the first seven years of existence, we have been a very small group, we believe that our impact on the Park goes to show what can be achieved when a small team works with our community to achieve specific aims. We are at a turning point both in terms of the complimentary skills of the Committee and the growing numbers of our Community who are prepared to demonstrate their support for the Park by becoming Friends.

Corporate Sponsorship and Donations:
In the coming years, we will focus greater effort on attracting companies and organisations to contribute money and time to the Park.

We regularly ask Friends to think about possible companies that they may know or work for who have an active policy to engage with and in their Communities. Many have already as you will see on our Supporters page. Corporate Social Responsibility is a growingly important aspect within our society as a whole. We would welcome your suggestions. We are willing to make whatever approaches are necessary.

Active Help:
It is not all to do with financial contributions. Over the years, the Friends have helped organise hay raking days, coppicing and planting. We have also organised Parties in the Park and Music in the Park.

We are always promoting the Park as a source for active volunteer work. We highlight the Wednesday Volunteer Group. We are open to organising and working with the Rangers to create any opportunity which can help to enhance the Park. All activities are open to all to join.

However, we would like to reflect on our achievements to date and we look forward to the future goals with a determination to make our Park an inclusive and happy source of recreation and development.

  • Funding of Park marquee used for events in the Park and also used to raise income for the Park through its hire.
  • Decking for the Kingfisher Café. This was match funded by Augean PLC but would not have been possible without the Friends being directly involved in the funding.
  • Secure container was almost wholly funded from Friends funds.
  • Wooden sculptures of the kingfisher and frog.
  • Planters outside the Visitors Centre.
  • Positional live-feed cameras for observation of birdlife.
  • Wooden signpost in car park.
  • Information boards.
  • Friends notice boards.
  • Tools for everyday work in the Park.

All told, our activities have led to raising thousands of pounds.

We believe that we have proved that it is possible to make a positive contribution to the Park and look forward to achieving more ambitious goals in the future years.
Our immediate project aims are highlighted in the Projects section of the website.

General Aims

In order to ensure that BCP flourishes, the Friends have established a set of Aims which are intended to focus our activities. We work generally in harmonious co-operation with the Park Rangers and NCC Parks Dept. The role of the Park Rangers is key to the continuing improvement and maintenance of the BCP.

  • A Voice: To serve as a single voice between the community of users of the Park and the Park Rangers (NCC) to ensure understanding and awareness;
  • A Partnership: To work in partnership with the Park Rangers (NCC) to ensure best management of existing and future resources of BCP;
  • Interest & Conservation: To encourage active interest in the conservation and habitat within the Park by raising awareness of its environmental resources to the local and wider community of users;
  • Broaden Uses & Social Inclusion: To improve, maintain and extend understanding of the Park for the broadest social benefit of the community of users whilst ensuring mutual respect and support for all and an ongoing commitment to increase awareness of the benefits of the Park to all;
  • Volunteers: To provide a focus for volunteers and supporters to get involved in the maintenance and improvement of the Park;
  • Events: To organise events to widen the awareness of the Park and its opportunities and needs;
  • Projects & Funding: To assist and undertake specific project campaigns to extend the uses and facilities of the Park, and enhancement of habitat by means of active project work and, or, fund raising including enabling the Park to raise funds from sources linked to evidence of community led participation;
  • Friends & Users: To seek to increase the number of Friends within the community of users in order to provide proof of active community support and usage to third parties and extend the organised skill base offered by the Friends to the Park;

The Committee

The Committee is responsible for co-ordinating and implementing the activities of FoBCP. There is no limit to the number of Committee Members. It is understood that Committee Members are more active in implementing the Aims of the Friends.

In the interests of the Park, as and when required, the Committee shall establish specific working groups to be dedicated to specific projects to ensure successful completion of these. This may include establishing specific Steering Groups which will act in the best interests of the FoBCP.

Main Committee Members

Mary James – Chair
Mark Felton – Secretary
Bob Ward – Treasurer

2018 AGM Minutes

Constitution (Summary)

  1. Maintain and further the Aims of the Friends of Barnwell Country Park
  2. To meet at least once a year at an Annual General Meeting in order to elect Officers for the next year – AGM generally to be held Autumn period
  3. Notice: General Meetings to be at least 3 weeks. Emergency General Meetings to be at least 1 week
  4. FoBCP to be run with a minimum of 3 Standing Officers: Chair, Secretary and Treasuer. EGMs to be approved by at least 2 of these Officers.
  5. A meeting to be quorate if there are three members of the Friends present.
  6. Officers will be elected for a period of 2 years from the AGM. Alternative Officers can be co-opted in the event elected Officer(s) are unable to fulfil their responsibilities.
  7. Two Officers shall have responsibility to ensure debts incurred by FoBCP are paid and shall be co-signatories on the FoBCP bank accounts.
  8. Following written notice signed by two Committee members, an Officer can be dismissed in the event that the Officer conducts the responsibilities of the Office in either an irresponsible or anti-social manner.
  9. The Officers of the Friends will be the direct contact with the Park Rangers and NCC Parks Dept. and will ensure any reasonable request by a Friend or community user is raised in a timely manner.
  10. To co-operate constructively with NCC Parks Dept. and Park Rangers to enhance the operation of BCP in whatever manner possible.
  11. To represent the interests all in the community and promote a socially inclusive park to the benefit of all users of the Park.

A full version of the Friends Constitution can be downloaded here .