News & Events round up


The AGM and a Very Social evening had a good turn out on the last Saturday in January. After another excellent buffet and chance to catch up with friends and neighbours, we received the Chairman's and Treasurer’s reports on the activities of the group, followed by the election of committee members.

Following this Alan Smart, from Community First Responders, gave an interesting presentation about the work of his group in siting public defibrillators throughout Fleet and Church Crookham. No less than 41 have been placed at shops, pubs and community centres in recent years, including one at Oakley Park.

Alan explained how these defibrillators maximise the chance of saving lives. He also told us how to spot the signs of a heart attack, stroke, sepsis and the simple steps anyone can take to ensure that someone suffering these symptoms receives prompt and urgent medical attention.

Carols around the Christmas Tree

This new event for Friends of Oakley Park saw some 30 children with parents, grandparents and friends join together to sing Christmas carols whilst gathered around a Christmas tree at dusk.

The Christmas tree was erected adjacent to the pavilion garden along with a small, illuminated, gazebo for the keyboard and musicians.

To encourage everyone to sing along, the programme of carols was introduced by a family choir with keyboard accompaniment. An opera singer performed a beautiful solo carol as a short interlude to the whole programme which also included a story about the origins of Christmas trees in our homes.

As a finale the children were invited to search the Christmas tree for their named stocking containing many goodies. Refreshments, including mulled wine, were available to all on a cool chilly evening. We received many compliments and everyone enjoyed the event requesting a repeat event in 2018.

February Bonfire

As you may recall in November last year, with the aid of a qualified Country Ranger, we set about felling numerous holly trees that were shutting out light from the ground flora and fauna.

We focused our attention on two main areas - a central area in the woodland and the perimeter pathway parallel with George Road. At that time, felled holly in the woodland central area was burned the next day after felling.

This left all the felled trees along the pathway to be disposed of so we set a date in February for a repeat performance. With the wood having dried somewhat since November our second bonfire was somewhat staggering both in flame height and heat intensity. A very worthwhile 9 hour day spent in excellent company with some 13 volunteers taking part. The woodland is still in need of further intervention which hopefully we will undertake later this year.


The Flymobile has now been installed and in daily use. We raised the required funding thanks to our entry into Fleet Lions' Dragons Den which raised £1,800, FOP has contributed £1,537 which we raised thanks to our last two Summer Fêtes plus some from reserves and FTC contributed the remaining £851 giving a total of £4,188.

Fleet Town Council (FTC) will be responsible for code compliance, VAT, site supervision of installation, ongoing maintenance and inspection requirements.

Well done to everyone that contributed and helped in raising the funds.

Thank you

Our thanks to Signs Express of Farnborough for their very generous donation of £600 to sponsor the purchase of an additional wooden bench and to Fleet Fire Brigade who have kindly provided us with a new, large public notice board for the pavilion

Membership fees and collections

Collecting subscriptions has become much more difficult over time, as work hours get longer, our members have other commitments and the amount of personal time our volunteers can give, has impacted heavily on our ability to visit you personally to collect the subscription. The volunteers often have to make two or three visits to find someone in and then there is the age old problem of finding the right change in the house.

As we all move ever closer towards using our debit/credit cards and bank transfers rather than money, it makes good sense to make it easier for everyone by changing the way we collect your valued subscription. The annual subscription can now be paid using a standing order, bank transfer or if you prefer, you can post a cheque, drop round and say hello or ask us to visit. We realise some of our disabled members may find it hard to use online banking, all we ask is you ring to make an appointment for us to visit.

On our Membership page you can download a 'Standing Order' form. Please contact us for our banking details to make a bank transfer.

A Defibrillator is now available in the park

A defibrillator has now been fitted to the Oakley Park pavilion. To ensure it is accessible the access code is provided on the box. The defibrillator will talk you through what you need to do and will not shock a patient who does not need a shock. Every minute counts and quick access saves lives.

Many thanks to Fleet and Church Crookham Community Responders, Friends of Oakley Park, Fleet Town Council, W.C Baker & son, Fleet Hospital and Community Friends for their support and contributions.

SINC report

A new report has been undertaken by Joel Miller of the Hampshire Bio-diversity Information Centre in connection with the woodland's SINC status. He makes some interesting obversations and recommendations on how to improve the SINC. Download your copy here