Having a Management Plan of some sort is vital if there is any ambition for the site to be improved from its current condition. If the park is just a patch of grass that the Council are going to continue cutting in the same way as they always have along with maybe emptying bins and picking up litter occasionally then it probably isn’t needed, but for anything more, there should be one.
Case Studies - ideas to inspire people to take action
The following are examples have been sent to us to showcase the kinds of things local park users can achieve. We hope they inspire others to take action too!
To assist Friends groups to return to undertaking volunteer tasks, we share some examples of newly written COVID-19 specific guidelines, drawn up to help keep everyone safe. We hope by sharing these, it helps to achieve a best practice standard and avoid the time-consuming repetition of each Group having to create their own guidelines from scratch.
As the UK tries to contain the coronavirus pandemic and our lives have been turned upside down, we are all trying to find our own “new normal”. These lockdown rules have meant Friends groups across the country are having to hastily re-think how they can operate. Here we share examples from other Friends groups who are finding ways to still remain very effective ambassadors for their sites.
The local community wanted to improve Latchmere Rec in Kingston. Find out how they engaged with residents and local groups to make sure all users of the site had a say in how it was improved.
Warley Woods is a 100-acre community park which is a mix of woodland, open meadow and a golf course. It has registered, grade 2 status with English Heritage. It was saved from being developed for housing by public subscription and was opened as public park in 1906 and became known as “The People’s Park”.
Fruit and Nut Village are an organisation that was set up between Lets Grow Together and Food Forest Brum. They bring together pre-existing fruit trees in the area, adding nut groves into them, creating different ways for fruit trees to be grown in the area.
Edgbaston Reservoir is a 70-acre site, situated in Ladywood, less than two miles from the City centre. It is a designated Local Nature Reserve and a site of historic importance. The group are keen to guard against any developments which could be detrimental to the whole ethos of a very special place.
The group started in 2011 because Cannock Chase Council wanted to gain a Heritage Lottery bid, which they achieved. The council assisted by The Friends of Hednesford Park successfully obtained a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant of £2.2M as part of the improvements to the park and war memorial.
Friends of Broadwaters are a group of some 60 members who help manage the park at Broadwaters which covers an area of 2.022 hectares. Located on the outskirts of Kidderminster, it hosts the Broadwaters Annual Fair and Christmas Fair. The Friends group was formed eighteen years ago, following a project instigated by Wyre Forest District Council, and supported by the Local Heritage Initiative.
Friends of East Rugby Group (FERG) have been going a couple of years. The Friends took on a little local park because it was becoming a very anti-social park, yet it had a nice area for the children to play. There were drug problems on the site and it was becoming generally rundown and neglected, thankfully the Council help the group and support them with their mission to make the park feel welcome and loved again.