2020 - Showfield car park community garden

Our latest project was the creation of a new community garden at the entrance to the Showfield car park. This project was made possible through a grant from the Co-op's Community Fund and with assistance from Co-op contractors Ground Force, who provided labour and machinery to clear the tired old shrubs from the site. After a lot of hard work by volunteers the site has now been completely cleared and dug over, and replanting is well underway. A beautiful new path and seating area have been created by local landscaper David Weighell.

Before work began:

The finished community garden:

2017 - North Road opposite the library

This makeover project focused on a triangle of land on North Road opposite the library. This area had been full of weeds and was a real eyesore. SPIOTA members and friends dug it over completely and replanted it with colourful shrubs and bulbs making it an attractive area all the year round on this busy corner.

The Newcastle Building Society Cornerstone Award : On 9th August, the Newcastle Building Society awarded their Cornerstone Award to SPIOTA, to celebrate their work in maintaining the excellent floral displays in Stokesley, and in particular the project to install the new ziggurat, which was opened on the day of the Jubilee. To see more information, click here.

The Official Opening of the New Ziggurat : During the week approaching the 2nd June 2012, SPIOTA volunteers were busy making preparations for the official opening. They attended Rainbow Nurseries to select and plant up the troughs which would be used to populate the ziggurat. At the crack of dawn on Saturday 2nd June they were up and working, to swap out the old troughs in the ziggurat, and replace them with the new ones. Much thought was expended on details, such as whether to have each trough in a single colour (Red, White, or Blue), or whether to have them mixed. The latter was chosen, and it proved to be a successful choice. Fortunately the weather, although not exactly summery, at least remained dry, and a quite substantial crowd turned up to celebrate the opening. To see photographs, click here.

The New Ziggurat : A very large project which commenced when the old ziggurat had started, as indeed all of us do, to display signs of ageing. Its rather bumpy ride every Stokesley Fair week to safety, then its bumpy return, had rather stressed the old display. The idea of a new ziggurat was conceived in about 2009, and came to fruition over the next few years, then was implemented on 20th May 2012. The flowers on the new ziggurat, as for those on the old one, are sponsored by Rainbow Nurseries. The total cost of the ziggurat is around £10,000. To see photographs, click here.

Tubs in 2010 : Derek Whiting has taken a collection of photographs of the tubs in Stokesley Town Centre as at 25/07/2010. The tubs have developed into a riot of colour, and the flowers are beginning to overspill the tubs. They provide an attractive feature of the town. To see photographs, click here.

2010 Summer planting : The summer planting was done around the middle of June, and the ziggurat was planted on 1st July. The scheme for the tubs (125 of them) was to have a central Fuschia, surrounded by 6 Begonia Semperflorens, then, around the edge, a mix of 8 trailing plants. These 8 comprised 3 mixed Surfinias, and 5 mixed from various trailers such as Diascia, Lobelia, Helichrysum, Nepeta, and Bacopa.To see photographs, click here.

Tidy up War Memorial : Once or twice a year, SPIOTA dispatch a team to tidy up the paving and surrounds of the War Memorial, and to replant the troughs, and beds. This was done in June 2010, and the result, after perhaps 6 or so people working for less than an hour, was a greatly improved Memorial. To see photographs, click here.

Litter picking : From time to time SPIOTA arrange a litter pick. Sometimes these are targetted at a particular eyesore, and sometimes these are wide ranging. Sometimes these are conducted by the "Thursday Gang", and sometimes we try to involve the community. On Saturday 12th June 2010, one was arranged, which was wide ranging, and where we tried to involve people from the community. This was successful, and made a difference. To see photographs, courtesy of Dave Purnell, click here.

2010 Girlguiding Centenary display : 2010 sees the centenary of the Girlguiding UK organisation, and to celebrate this event, SPIOTA, in conjunction with the local members of the Guide Association, have created a floral display of the Centenary Logo. The planting container was built by Henry Cowles, and the display was designed, arranged, and built by Linda and David Purnell, and Trish and Fred Lee. To see photographs click here.

Floral Displays : These constitute the major on-going project that involves replanting the tubs and beds twice per year to match the seasons. The displays have, in the past, attracted awards from Britain in Bloom and Yorkshire in Bloom. SPIOTA has now declined to enter the competition because of its rigid competition ambience. To see photographs click here.

The ziggurat : A ziggurat is a type of temple or tower originally built by the people of Mesopotamia, with a pyramid shape comprising receding terraces or levels. The Stokesley Ziggurat in Market Square was designed and built by SPIOTA members with financial support from the Jack Brunton Trust for the materials. Its planting is sponsored by Rainbow Nurseries. To see photographs click here.

2006 War Memorial Renovation The War Memorial on West Green has been renovated by professional jet-spraying of the Cross and volunteer clean-up and revamping of the surrounding site. The Parish Council has funded the cleaning and the materials of the revamp. Notice how brightly the newly gilded points of the railings show up !! The volunteers are all of the Stokesley Town Pride 'Thursday Gang' who thoroughly enjoy meeting on Thursdays to try to keep Stokesley in trim with its flowers and other general tidying up works.

River Clean : There is a River Warden who patrols the river for general clearance of the detritus deposited by unthinking ones besides removing dead branches, dead ducks, supermarket trolleys etc. There is also an annual river clean by volunteers. To see photographs click here.

Daffodils : The Association has planted daffodils and crocuses in many grass verges around the town and there is an on-going aim to provide more as time and money permit. In 1998 a project was carried out in collaboration with the Marie Curie Foundation as part of their daffodil program. To see photographs click here.

Grass Cutting : The Parish Council runs a contract for all grass cutting within the town and in Housing Estates. The County Highways Department is responsible for that on the main roads around the town. SPIOTA refines the cutting in specific areas where a finer trim is needed.

Stone Hall Close : This was a project adjacent to bungalows for the aged where the areas had become overgrown by Japanese Hog Weed. The area was cleared, covered with a membrane and gravel and then enlivened with planting areas for flowers. Stokesley Round Table did the work for SPIOTA. Unfortunately, in 2002, ownership of the area changed and SPIOTA was asked to remove several features; unfortunately, the area has returned to its weed-over-grown state. There are photos of this project in the photos of the Floral Displays above.

On Hold : Other projects initiated by the Association but which have not been able to proceed for various reasons have been the following :