Friends of The Byes / Sidmouth BEE Project | Facebook
Such groups are being more and more relied upon by local authorities facing budget squeezes:
Future of parks is in the hands of partnershipsFuture of parks is in the hands of partnerships – Glendale South West
The Western Morning News carried the piece - together with a warning from the CPRE:
People power is needed to safeguard Westcountry parks
By Western Morning News | Posted: November 16, 2014
By Mike Bramhall
People in the South West need to be prepared to fight to preserve their parks and green areas, to save them from the threat of sell-offs or neglect.
Meanwhile, construction firms seeking to build new homes across the region must be aware of the need to provide adequate open spaces, where fledgling communities can develop a sense of social cohesion.
That was the message from campaigners and civic guardians in the wake of a new report which called for the public to be more involved in the future of parks. Produced by national green services provider Glendale, the report said government cuts had led to an average 15 per cent reduction in the funding for green spaces.
It echoed the findings of another report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, which warned that national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are under increasing threat from development and government funding cuts.
Terry Doyle, Glendale’s South West and South Wales regional director, said: “There is worrying downward trend in expenditure on parks and green spaces. Volunteer groups, community interest groups and trust are going to be critical in managing parks as they can also tap into alternative sources of funding, and help alleviate pressure on local authorities that are already having to juggle scarce resources.”
Mike Gallagher, chairman of the Friends of Devonport Park in Plymouth, said public involvement was vital in safeguarding the future of existing parks and green spaces, particularly in the Westcountry’s cities. He said: “Ten or 15 years ago, Devonport Park was a place where people would not go – it was so overgrown.”
The green space, which dates back to 1858 and is the oldest formal public park in Plymouth, was transformed thanks to the efforts of the Friends, which launched as a voluntary community group and is now a registered charity. The group helped secure a £5.2 million scheme, which was funded by the city council, the Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership and the Heritage/BIG Lottery Funds.
Mr Gallagher said: “The park would not have been restored without public involvement. The council pulled it together and have been brilliant, but they needed community support to get lottery grants to do the work. People have to fight to keep spaces such as this. If a community values its green spaces, it needs to get together and do something about it.” Greens spaces are the lungs of a city – people need somewhere to go to relax. There are so many health benefits to having them and keeping them.”
Keith Lewis, chairman of Exeter Civic Society, said: “We are well blessed in Exeter. We have quite a few parks and valley parks. But for some of the new developments, coming on line, the quality and extent of the green spaces they have are quite small.
“We are not getting the large green spaces which are really good for community cohesion and allow people to come together – that’s a shame. Newcourt has a new community park which should enable that community to develop. But I’m not sure that is happening in every area.”
parks green space | Western Morning News
In which case, concerns about the green spaces in Sidmouth might be well-founded:
Sidmouth’s need for open spaces: New study challenges crucial part of EDDC’s planning application for Knowle | Save Our Sidmouth
Futures Forum: Knowle: the Byes and when a 'meadow' is a 'park'...
Futures Forum: Knowle: the Byes and when a 'meadow' is a 'park': part two
With thanks to:
West Country parks under threat from developers | East Devon Alliance