Situated under the gaze of the magnificent Howden Minster, the Ashes Playing Fields are 17 acres of recreational land in the centre of the East Yorkshire market town of Howden.
Operating since the 1920s, the park has hosted football, cricket and rounders teams. It is also the long-term home of Howden Bowls Club and Howden Agricultural Show.
The park is free for public use every day of the year, and is available to hire for private functions.
Recent developments have seen the refurbishment of the Rose Walk, now the Diamond Jubilee Walk, and the creation of a playpark for children – this was installed in 2001 and refurbished in May 2015
Who runs the park?
The Ashes Playing Field Trust is registered charity and governed by up to 15 trustees: consisting of eight holding trustees, six trustees appointed by Howden Town Council, and the rector of Howden.
Holding trustees are voted into the position by other holding trustees, giving them a retention of knowledge and skills.
The trustees appointed by Howden Town Council comprise of three residents and three current members of the Town Council.
The local residents are in essence “the voice of the people” and the three town councillors act as a liaison between the Trust and the Town Council.
Who pays for the park?
The Ashes is run by a charity and relies largely on the generosity of local residents. We currently spend around £40,000 a year maintaining the facilities – this covers costs such as our full-time park keeper, repairs to structures and equipment, grass cutting and the high cost of maintaining paths and trees.
The Ashes Playing Field Trust (registered charity 523252) is independent of any other body, including the local councils, although Howden Town Council provide an annual grant of around £25,000 per annum. All other money is generated by the Trust through fundraising, donations and renting out facilities.
In addition to the main grant the Tust obtains funds from:
- Use of the grounds by sports clubs and events such as Howden Show.
- Interest from investments – over the years the Trust has been fortunate to have been left money in trust. This forms the Trust’s reserves, with some of the profits used for maintenance and improvement works.
- Grants from other bodies in order to improve the facilities, as successfully used for the multi-use games area in the centre of the site and on the childrens’ play area.
- There are numerous fundraising activities every year to raise money for the park. These include tombolas, bric-a-brac sales and events in the park such as the Picnic In The Park.
- Members of the public make donations to assist us in maintaining and improving facilities. In recent years the planting of ornamental trees and the creation of the Diamond Jubilee Walk have all been funded largely donations. The Trust is registered for Gift Aid. This means we can make every £1 into £1.25 by claiming the income tax back from the government for donations made by UK Taxpayers.
The destruction of the pavilion in April 2015 prompted a huge surge of interest in the park, click here to find out how you can help in fundraising to maintain the park.