Dozens of communities across the UK will receive funding to transform neglected urban spaces into thriving green spaces, communities secretary Robert Jenrick has announced
Community groups will receive £1.35m funding to transform neglected urban spaces into green spaces.
The funding will support community groups to create 19 brand new parks and regenerate 49 neglected plots of land, increasing biodiversity across England.
The new parks and green spaces will provide new areas for children to play, outdoor fitness facilities for residents, and places for families and friends to come together, helping encourage community integration and tackling loneliness.
Creating pocket parks
These new grants will fund the third round of Pocket Parks since the scheme launched in 2016.
Pocket Parks range approximately from the size of 1 tennis court to the size of 16, between 0.02 to 0.32 hectares. They inject green space into towns and cities and provide opportunities for the whole community to benefit from spending time in nature.
The government has funded 352 grants to support community groups to create 146 new parks and give a boost to 206 derelict urban spaces in towns and cities.
Jenrick said: “Pocket parks are used for everything from exercise and gardening to socialising and relaxing. They have huge benefits for our mental and physical health and allow us to take a moment out of our busy lives to connect with nature.
“We are determined to protect our nation’s parks for future generations to enjoy, and on World Wildlife Day, I am delighted to announce the recipients of the extra £1.35 million for the Pocket Parks fund – adding 68 new parks, which will take the total we’ve backed to 352.
“Creating more pocket parks is part of this Government’s ambition to ensure that communities have a real sense of identity and place and that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy green spaces in their local area.”
Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, chief executive of environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, commented: “This is great news for people and for the environment, creating more parks and green spaces at the heart of communities.
“We look forward to seeing many of these sites achieve the Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award in the years to come.”
A responsible approach towards carbon impact
Félicie Krikler, director of Assael Architecture, said: “The climate crisis is a major issue that needs to be addressed across all sectors, including construction and the built environment.
“As our housing needs grow and cities become increasingly dense, incorporating green space throughout our urban areas is necessary to balance the environmental impact of our buildings.
“Not only will parks, landscaped gardens, green walls and rooftops help combat carbon emissions but will also improve our air quality, create habitats for insects and wildlife, plus make our towns and cities beautiful places to live.
“It’s fantastic to see the government is leading the way for a responsible approach towards carbon impact, however, a concerted effort from the property industry is needed to ensure that this Pocket Park project is just the beginning.”