The Friends of Ketley Paddock Mound – A Bit of a mouthful, so just FoKPM or Paddock Pals, was formed to help set up a way of working with Ketley Parish Council and Telford and Wrekin Council, to safeguard the future of this special open space in our area.
Initially, we had raised some funds – mainly between ourselves, as we thought we might need it to fight against the 2014 planning application, but fortunately it was never needed for that purpose.
We started by trying to understand the area better, having various surveys carried out – by Pals and local organisations, into the populations of mammals, moths, pond life, flowers and trees.
This, alongside the management plan initially prepared within our group, supported by Martin Noble, an early friend, and then by the professional management plan commissioned by the Parish Council, has informed the work carried out over the last few years.
Grants from Ketley Parish Council and funding through Telford and Wrekin Council have enabled us to manage larger projects, such as the major improvements of the footpaths and steps to make the site as accessible as possible.
These images show the path and rail beside the canal in very poor condition, and then the improved steps with rails, information boards and benches which have been completed with Borough and Parish support funding. See more here.
We have regular working parties – normally twice monthly, on the first Sunday and third Thursday, except during 2020 / 2021 lockdowns and restrictions. During this time, we have met remotely, holding a number of Zoom meetings to discuss ongoing issues and plans for future work. Individual Pals or couples have then carried out some essential tasks, making sure that the paths are in good condition, litter picking and cutting back brambles and branches where necessary, and reporting larger maintainance issues to Telford and Wrekin Council. Contact details for the Pals, the parish council and Telford & Wrekin Council can be found here.
In the past, we have been joined by children from the Meadows Primary School, who used the site as a base for some of their forest school sessions – The Glade with its arrangement of log seats and the willow screen planted with some of the children is their base area. We have bought bird and bat boxes from the My Options skills and enterprise hub in Horsehay, and Mike Slocombe helped Meadows school children make a whole lot more.
The Parish Environment Team – Jason – has also been a great support and still steps in when requested to help tackle some tasks. Other support has come from groups organised through the Small Woods accociation and Shropshire Wildlife Trust.
These are just a few images of projects we’ve worked on – there are many more on our facebook pages, where you can also find out what’s happening, or when we are planning new activities – anyone can join us for a natter and maybe to don a pair of gloves!
Fen Tyler, who had been a linchpin of support for paddock mound over 50 years, passed away far too soon in May 2020. The main path from Shepherds Lane to Red Lees is named after Fen – Fen’s Way, and trees will also be planted in his memory.
Fen was always very active and keen to get stuck in to tasks – luckily not literally stuck when he donned the waders to help clear reeds from the round pool!
A very active member of our working parties and meetings for years was Ken Stowe. He passed away in March 2021, but his name will be remembered in places within paddock mound we always named for him.
Both Fen and Ken – a formiddable duo, are remembered in photographs on these pages – and by the friends of Paddock Mound.
Pete, holding the spade, with Fen (centre) and Ken, improving the access down their path to the canal.