Winners of Pocket Parks funding announced

Dozens of community groups will share £1.35m to turn neglected urban spaces into pocket parks.

Announced last week on World Wildlife Day, the funding will help community groups to create 19 brand new parks and refurbish 49 currently unused and unloved plots of land.

The government define a pocket park as a piece of land of up to 0.4 hectares (although many are around 0.02 hectares, the size of a tennis court) which may already be under grass, but which is unused, undeveloped or derelict.

The government hopes 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.

Since 2016, the government has now funded 352 grants to support community groups to create 146 new parks and give a vital boost to 206 derelict urban spaces in towns and cities in every region of the country.

Communities Secretary, Robert 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.’

Among the successful schemes to be funded are:

  • The Groundwork Trust in Oldham and Rochdale are receiving more than £15,000 to totally transform the currently over-grown and unloved Rochdale Boarshaw Clough Nature Reserve into a pocket of peace and tranquillity for local residents. They will build new paths through the reserve, improving the whole community’s access to nature. They will also breathe new life into the disused amphitheatre which will become a new focal point in the neighbourhood – a space for different community groups to encourage people to spend time outdoors.
  • Dukeries Active Zone in Hull is receiving more than £25,000 to totally transform an existing park with plans to turn it into a green sanctuary which encourages young families, teenagers and adults to get outdoors. They will introduce new natural zones to improve the area’s biodiversity and involve residents in the creation of a new mural – giving local residents a sense of community pride. They will also encourage gardening activities and provide improved equipment to increase physical activity among people of all ages.


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