Community Spaces is a £57.5m open grants programme funded through the Big Lottery Fund and managed by Groundwork UK. This is a place for the Community Spaces team, Facilitators, projects as well as passers-by to share their stories about transforming green open spaces.

The last post

Posted on 28th March 2014 by

buntingThis will be the last post from Community Spaces as the programme comes to a close after five fabulous years.

We have seen more than 900 community groups from all over England do amazing things to transform their neighbourhoods - creating playgrounds, sports facilities, gardens, allotments, public artworks and other projects from the Scilly Isles to the Scottish borders.

More than 9 million people have benefited from Community Spaces projects, almost 8 million hectares of land have been improved and around 85,000 trees have been planted.

Independent evaluation of Community Spaces has shown that groups are now more confident about taking on new projects to build on the skills we have been able to develop together.

Any remaining queries from groups who have received grants from the programme should be addressed to general.enquiries@biglotteryfund.org.uk quoting the name of the programme – Community Spaces – and the name and Unique Reference Number of your project.

But that not need be the end of things…

Groundwork, which has managed Community Spaces on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund, continues to work with communities across the UK, changing places and changing lives in cities, towns and villages like yours.

We’d love to keep in touch with you from time to time, but if you’d like to be taken off our mailing list please email getinvolved@groundwork.org.uk.  You can also stay up to date with Groundwork news through our website – www.groundwork.org.uk – or via Twitter – @groundworkUK – and Facebook – www.facebook.com/groundworkuk.  There is a Groundwork Trust in your area, offering local inspiration for local projects.

You have been part of an amazing programme and we hope your involvement has inspired you to continue making a difference.

Best wishes

The Community Spaces team

Geoplay Park – The Theme Song

Posted on 24th February 2014 by

A great new song performed by local children to explain the history behind the Paignton Geoplay Park, a Community Spaces flagship project.

Paignton Town Community Partnership worked with the English Riviera Global Geopark, local artists and pupils at Curledge Street Academy to produce the film.

Songwriters Hugh Nankivell and Steven Sowden wrote the song Geoplay and recorded the musical arrangement using 27 different instruments. The song follows the four different geological time periods around which the park is themed.

Melanie Border, Geopark co-ordinator, said: “I think it’s fantastic we now have a new theme song for the Geoplay Park.

“It really helps explain the stories behind the geological theme of the Geoplay Park and I’m so pleased all of the children from Curledge Street Academy had such a great time making the film.”

Wheelchair trail opens

Posted on 19th February 2014 by

marsden walkers posterA busy weekend in store on March 1 and 2 at the Tunnel End Nature Reserve at Marsden, Huddersfield when the Marsden Walkers are Welcome group is launching the Tunnel End Wheelchair Accessible Route and Nature Trail.

The group, helped by a Celebrate Your Space grant from Community Spaces, has bought thousands of native bulbs to plant along the route so the walk will become a sight to behold in spring with snowdrops and yellow aconites followed by wild garlic, bluebells and wood anenomes.

Volunteers are needed on both days from 10am-2pm to help plant the bulbs and enjoy a range of activities including adventure-based learning for forest school activities and on the Sunday, weather permitting, a Tyrolean Traverse rope ride.

Marsden Walkers are Welcome have created a route of which a section is fully wheelchair accessible. The route, on land belonging to the Canal and River Trust, follows the river for 0.5 miles. Other sections are suitable for all-terrain pushchairs.

The wheelchair accessible riverside path has benches or leaning posts every 100m so is ideal for anyone who needs to build up their walking ability due to illness or disability.

A local environmental arts company, Grow to School, has worked with the group to create a nature trail where metal plaques can be spotted and used to make detailed rubbings simply using paper and crayons or soft pencils.

For more on the event, visit the group’s Facebook page.

Chain(saw) reaction saves the day

Posted on 19th February 2014 by

chainsawThere’s nothing like real-world learning…

Fresh from the successful opening of the Greenmount Sidings project in Bury, Alistair Waddell, chair of the Greenmount Village Community Group, has developed an interest in woodland management.

Armed with a trusty new chainsaw, Alistair and colleagues from the group have invested some of their Community Spaces sustainability grant in woodland management lessons from Paul Robinson of Bury Council.

And last week Alistair had what he describes as “a bit of an advanced lesson.”

chainsaw 2He says: “A large pine tree fell down right across the path that goes through Greenmount Sidings and it needing clearing quickly. So Paul contacted me and under his direct supervision I assisted him, along with my wife and son, in removing the tree within a few hours of it coming down. Without help from the community this would have been a job that would not have been completed for a few days, and would have caused a lot of distress to those who use the area for their walks.

“I believe you can say that this is a success story of the sort Community Spaces was anticipating and we did not think we could do for many reasons. I, for one would never have thought it possible 12 months ago!

“Thanks for the foresight and the opportunity.”

www.greenmountvillage.org.uk

 

Start planning for Climate Week

Posted on 7th January 2014 by

climate week logoIt’s time to start planning for Climate Week 2014, which runs from March 3-9. Britain’s largest climate change campaign  will see around half a million people attending more than 3,000 events each year.

Climate Week is about how people can live and work more sustainably. There are various ways to get involved:

Enter the Climate Week Challenge, a competition for small teams in schools and workplaces. It needs no preparation, is free and helps develop innovation and teamwork. There are one-hour and one-day versions. Register here.

Enter the Climate Week Awards for professional achievement that is helping to create a more sustainable society. Click here to find out more.

Run a Climate Week Swap event at which people can exchange unwanted clothes, books or children’s toys. Find out more here.

By registering your events and activities they will be listed as an official part of Climate Week, encouraging others to take part and so growing the movement for environmental change.

The sponsoring partners for Climate Week 2014 are Anglian Water, Severn Trent Water, Thames Water and Wessex Water.

Fair in the Square

Posted on 17th December 2013 by

arlingtonThe Arlington Association held its first Christmas Fair in the Square, helped by a Celebrate Your Space grant from Community Spaces.

Gordon McArthur from the association reports that the fair was a great success – and even the weather was relatively kind.

Click here for more pictures

Sparks fly at Broadwaters

Posted on 12th December 2013 by

CM 18Lots of festive fun in Kidderminster as the Friends of Broadwaters held a Christmas market in their park, helped by a Celebrate Your Space grant from Community Spaces.

As well as stalls and games, a fire juggler, young trumpeter Joseph Hill (right), the Someone at the Door Samba Band and the choir of St George’s Church all helped the event to go with a swing. The day finished with a spectacular fireworks display.

Friends chairman Michael Abraham says: “We have hadCM f 16 various telephone calls and emails thanking us for this wonderful celebration of our grant and green space and asking when we can do it again.

“The event could have been a damp squib but the funding enabled us to celebrate in style with a wonderful display of fireworks and the lively music of the samba band.

“This really did bring the community together and we celebrated in style.”

Please send in your pictures and reports of Celebrate Your Space events. We are always glad to share the joy…

Be a Friend of Groundwork

Posted on 11th December 2013 by

friends of groundwork

Community Spaces may be coming to a close in the next few months, but the job continues for Groundwork, which has managed the programme since 2008.

Groundwork operates in communities and neighbourhoods all over the country, helping to change spaces for the better, improve people’s employment chances and enable everyone to lead cleaner, greener lives.

You have already been part of our story so here’s your chance to stay involved and tell the world about what you have helped us to achieve.

We have launched a Facebook page for Friends of Groundwork. It’s a place for memories, thoughts and ideas about what Groundwork has meant for you and how you have helped us to change places a change lives.

Come on over…

The spruced-up Spinney

Posted on 11th December 2013 by

 

bythams spinney logo

bythams spinney 2 101213Busy times at Bythams Spinney in Lincolnshire, where volunteers have been making sure their Celebrate Your Space grant from Community Spaces has been put to good use.

Dr Patrick Candler, chairman of the Bythams Woodland Trust, says: “We have just had the most wonderful of weekends at the Spinney

“Our Tree Dressing event was brilliant with bythams spinney 101213more than 300 people joining in the activities. There were lots of family groups making all sorts of decorations not just for one tree but for many all over the site. We were able to feed everyone and it was a wonderful celebration of the work that we do all year round. There was great support from the local school and scout and guide groups.”

Elsewhere, the group has been busy with hedge-laying. Patrick adds: “We have already had three working days and have completed nearly 80 metres of hedge, which is looking really excellent. We would have done more, but we have run out of materials and need to get in some more. There has been good support from the community with between 20-25 people involved in the various stages of preparation, cutting wood, trimming up the hedge and the actual laying. We have two more sessions planned in the new year on January 19 and 26.

Patrick concluded: “All told, the Celebrate Your Space Grant has been a huge success and has achieved exactly what it was supposed to do. Many, many thanks for the support you have given us. It has been much appreciated and, quite simply, without it we could not be doing what we have done.”

Praise indeed!

For more, visit the group’s website or Facebook page

 

The sound of Christmas

Posted on 10th December 2013 by

The sound of Christmas at Spitalfieds City Farm. This podcast gives a flavour of the festive season at the East London farm, home to the Community Spaces-backed Spiralfields Community Garden.

The podcast features a farm tour, wreath-making, story-telling and a meeting with Santa.

Yo ho ho