The Friends of the North and South Marine Parks were formed in 2007 as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded restoration of the South Marine Park. The ‘Friends’ were established to be the voice of the local people within the restoration process. An evaluation of that programme was clear about the difference that the Friends’ Group had made. The ‘Friends’ work with the South Tyneside Borough Council to provide and take part in a range of events and activities to encourage the community to become involved in the protection and promotion of the parks to ensure they flourish in future years.
The friends are managed by a committee elected yearly at their Annual General Meeting. The committee meet every Tuesday in the month (1pm). A meeting is held for the full membership on the first Thursday of the month following the Thursday walk (noon). Both meetings are held in the Bents Park Cabin.
The friends organise and promote regular events throughout the year as follows:
- Community Garden Group: Meet every Monday 10am-12noon and every Wednesday 1pm-4pm, in the North Marine Park Community Garden.
- Petanque (French Boules): Every Monday and Wednesday 12-12pm in the Community Garden (closed Winter months)
- Walking Works Wonders: Every Thursday 10.15am. Meet at Ocean Road Main Gates of South Marine Parks. Guided walks explore local routes around the parks, riverside, foreshore and cliffs.
- Seasonal litter picks
- Mystery trails
- Summer festival parade
- Bands in the Park (every Saturday from end of July - September)
- Heritage Walk (September)
People who has skills in either:
- computer and information technology
- fund raising
- event planning
- or, just want to join a very friendly, active social group