Although appreciation of local parks has risen exponentially over the past year, three local parks have been recognised for their untapped potential – Waterman’s Park in Somerford, Alexandra Park in Parkstone and Winton Recreation Ground.
That situation is to be addressed by the appointment of two ‘park activators’ to encourage more use of the parks.
In 2019 BCP Council, with the support of The Parks Foundation, was one of only eight councils chosen to take part in the Future Parks programme and receive a share of £6.2m of funding and £5m worth of support from experts in conservation, fundraising, volunteering and park management. The initiative is a collaboration between the National Trust, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, UK councils and the Government.
The two park activators will be engaging residents to develop a series of events and activities which encourage people outside and into their local parks, when Covid-19 restrictions allow.
Activities planned within the three parks include volunteer groups to help improve the spaces as well as improve the health and wellbeing of the volunteer group, a number of family events including forest school sessions, sports days and mini festivals, nature based wellbeing sessions such as whittling and campfire cooking for the older children and teenagers, Nature Tots which is aimed at encouraging pre-school children to gain a love of nature, and space for community gardening.
As part of the programme, the café at Winton Recreation Ground has already been revitalised thanks to a grant from Talbot Village Trust. In addition, following the successful CIL application by The Alexandra Park Community Group, Alexandra Park has received some CIL funding to help transform the space. Improvements planned for 2021 include rewilding for wildlife habitats, providing opportunity for wild play areas, new shrub and meadow flower planting, and various works to ensure healthy growth of the trees, opening up views across the park.
Volunteer enquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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