Pointers in the Park

If you’re a regular visitor to Rushcliffe Country Park, you can’t fail to have noticed the ever increasing number of beautifully carved wooden signs popping up to guide people to its many attractions.

From the imposing sign at the car park entrance – to the numerous strategically placed finger posts around our Ruddington tourist hotspot – it’s now becoming increasingly difficult to get lost among the 200 acres of cycling and walking trails! Helpful signage (such as the examples shown below) takes you from the two hectare lake to key points of interest and recreation within the expansive wildflower meadows, grassland, woodland and conservation areas.

The person responsible for all this impressive craftsmanship is Roger Byrne – one of The Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park. He has been volunteering at the park for 17 years now, since his retirement as a junior school teacher, putting his creative and carpentry skills to great use.

“I think I have made eleven signposts for the park, requested by the park manager Alistair” says Roger. “The finger signs are first set up and printed on paper, transferred by carbon paper and then routed. I paint in black over the whole surface and then power plane to reveal the lettering.”

Roger Byrne

That’s by no means all he’s been up to: “I have focused mainly on the sensory trail, designing and making educational activities for kids, but also produced the large play sculptures around the park. I have recently finished the tree and Insect trail which provides several dozen information signs, printed on aluminium including QR codes which add an interesting element to park signage” says Roger.

However, it’s the finger posts which have become the focus of attention recently, when Ruddington Village Centre Partnership (RVCP) requested an addition to one of them to indicate the way to the shops. Julie Smith, who took the lead on RVCP’s ‘Village Improvement Plan’ tells us: “One of the initiatives that was gathered together through meetings of the Ruddington Traders’ Group was to look for ways to capitalise on the terrific footfall our beautiful Rushcliffe Country Park has. We thought that maybe their visitors would drive along the A60, passing Ruddington and never see what a great village centre we had to visit. We thought signage within the park showing that Ruddington was just a short walk away would encourage people to visit Ruddington, without increasing the problems with parking” explains Julie.

After RVCP designed the layout of the additional sign, Roger duly obliged. Then eagle-eyed visitors noticed the new pointer finger had disappeared just days after it was added, as shown below, and wondered what on earth had happened to it?!

Thankfully there was a simple and logical explanation: “I made it as suggested, and put it up, but in response to feedback decided to redo it with ‘Ruddington’ and a larger font” says Roger. In fact, he’s made TWO signs pointing to the shops – one a little further down the hill which indicates an 8 minute walk to ‘Ruddington Shops, Cafes and Museums’.

Mark Pinks of RVCP adds: “The installation of the pointer signs from within Rushcliffe Country Park is a great addition to this end, especially for visitors to the park that are not aware of what Ruddington has to offer. We’d like to thank Alastair Glenn, Rushcliffe Country Park Manager, for his help in bringing this forward, and the Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park, who have very kindly created and paid for the signs. We look forward to the next step of the plan, to install a village map at the Asher Lane exit from the park, and a further map that we hope to install on The Green in the coming months.”

Keep an eye out on RUDDINGTON.info for news of further village visitor signage!

{Our grateful thanks to Roger and Leia Morales for the photographs}

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