On 28th March 1998 Friends of St Nicholas Fields, today’s St Nicks, was born as a registered charity. We started our celebrations on Saturday 24th March with an overview of the achievements made over the last 20 years. Chief Officer Tom Waring summarised just some of the many projects we have delivered while Cllr. Andrew Waller (Deputy Council Leader, Environment Portfolio holder and current chair of One Planet York) and our patron Anneliese Emmans Dean shared personal accounts of their involvement with St Nicks over the years.
We were particularly touched by Anneliese saying: “My personal experience is that St Nicks believes in people, sees their potential, gives them opportunities and allows them to blossom.” We very much hope that this experience is shared by others.
Our trustee and Wildwatch stalwart Kaye Green then led a walk through the reserve to highlight how much it has blossomed itself and to see the difference made since the clay capping years in 1990s. Pam Mills, one of our Eco-Crafters, made us a delicious cake which was enjoyed before we closed the day with a lively panel debate on the future of York organised by Two Rivers Radio.
Chaired by Sir John Lawton, our Outreach Officer Ivana Jakubkova was joined in the discussion on York in 20 years’ time, local transport, recycling and numerous other topics by Cllr Denise Craghill (Green Party & Council representative for St Nicks), Cllr Andrew Waller, Cllr Keith Myers (Conservative, Exec Member for Education, Children and Young People) and Cllr Kallum Taylor (Labour Party). It was great to hear that all the politicians present broadly agreed with St Nicks vision for York – we shall see how that translates into action across the city. Once the debate has aired on Monday 26th March, the podcast will be available online at Two Rivers Radio.
All in all it was a good start to the anniversary year, with more events planned over the next 12 months such as a monthly quiz and a concert 30th June with Stonegate Singers and our very own brilliant pianist David Hammond.