Future Parks project

Published 7th September 2022

Background

In 2019 the BCP region was one of only nine places across the UK selected to take part in the Future Parks Accelerator programme which puts green spaces at the heart of local communities. Future Parks Accelerator is a collaboration between the National Lottery Heritage Fund, National Trust and the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). This success brought with it a share of £6.2 million of funding and £5 million worth of support from experts in conservation, fundraising, volunteering and park management.

Working in partnership with independent local charity The Parks Foundation three BCP ‘Pilot Parks’ were selected in the first year – Winton Recreation Ground in Bournemouth, Watermans Park in Christchurch, and Alexandra Park in Poole. The aim is to use this exciting opportunity to explore inspiring ways of improving the parks for people and wildlife, with initiatives such as re-wilding, upgrading or opening a café, trialling health activities, improving access – ensuring the local community are engaged throughout the process.

Pilot Parks

Our Pilot Parks video, produced in July 2022, describes project successes and how the they have fed into an expanded new Nature Recovery project which includes a further 8 parks in the BCP region

Pilot Parks 2021-2022

In 2021 work began at the three pilot parks with the aim of increasing biodiversity, inspiring local residents about the environment through a series of events, and testing ways in which we can successfully bring urban community parks to life. The achievements of recent work has been condensed into an infographic report:

Nature Recovery Project 2022-2023

In August 2021 The Parks Foundation (TPF) was awarded a further £224,000 from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund to build on the ‘Pilot Parks’ initiative in a further eight parks across the BCP region, called the ‘Nature Recovery’ project.

The eight parks are Branksome Recreation Ground, Haskells Recreation Ground, Jumpers Common, Kinson Manor Playing Fields, Muscliff Park, Pelhams Park, Slades Farm and Strouden Park.

Green Heart Parks

A model for rejuvenating our community parks

We believe that our community parks can thrive when we work in partnership. The co-management of our community parks, where BCP Council continues with its current level of maintenance and The Parks Foundation provides additional benefits including fundraising, community engagement, nature education, biodiversity improvements and cafe management. Continual collection of data about park use, satisfaction and changes in demand will help create spaces that communities can cherish.

Green Heart Parks

Green Heart Parks

The model is the result of work in our Pilot Parks over the last 3 years

Green Infrastructure Strategy

In partnership with The Parks Foundation we are creating a 25-year parks and open spaces, or green infrastructure, strategy and business plan to create a sustainable model for 21st century parks. 

We want our parks and greenspaces across BCP to encourage healthy living and wellbeing in our communities, strengthen resilience to climate change, support nature recovery and biodiversity, and support economic recovery and prosperity.  

Our Green Infrastructure Strategy aims to achieve these goals by: 

  • Rethinking the future of parks and green spaces  
  • Connecting the Green Net 
  • Greening the urban environment  
  • Championing green infrastructure 

Stour Valley Park

A landscape scale project

Described by our partner, the National Trust, as one of their top ten development projects nationally, the Stour Valley Park is a landscape-scale project to provide connected greenspace through the Stour Valley – from Christchurch Harbour to Kingston Lacey along a 25km stretch of river.

This ground-breaking project explores improving public access and managing the spaces along the Stour Valley corridor – bringing landowners, the public, user groups and professionals together to shape the park into a landscape where people and nature thrive. Through this park, we want to improve prospects for wildlife, visitors and the local community, health, heritage, economy, and mitigate climate change.

For more information, please visit the Stour Valley Park website

Working in Partnership

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The Parks Foundation

An independent charity devoted to enhancing the BCP area’s parks and green spaces for everyone to enjoy