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Autumn Newsletter

Greenspace Campaigning Update, October 2018
 

The calls are growing for urgent and effective action to reverse the crisis for our public green spaces!  These vital spaces are increasingly under threat, facing an underfunding crisis caused by government cuts to public services.

Park users and park lovers all over the country are having to speak out, work, lobby and campaign to save them, and having to strengthen our groups and our movement at all levels. However, there a number of major developments which are helping raise the profile of the problems and most importantly raise the profile of the solutions...
 

'SAVE OUR PARKS' MEDIA CAMPAIGN  

We are pleased to say that, following discussions with ourselves, the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces - as well as with Fields in Trust and Keep Britain Tidy - a national newspaper, Mail on Sunday, has launched a Save Our Parks campaign, taking many of its demands from the Parks Charter (see below). On 30th September there was a front page / 6 page article with many examples of determined and inspirational local community campaigns, details provided by local Friends Groups following our appeal for examples to be sent to the paper. Click here to view the pages and click here to view the link to The Mail

This was followed up by another 7 pages on the 7th October, click here to view the pages and  Click here to view the link to The Mail.

So keep on campaigning!

CALLS FOR LONG TERM ACTION - THE CHARTER FOR PARKS  


Around 20 national organisations and very many other groups have now signed up to back the new Charter for Parks calling for proper recognition, funding and protection for all the UK's public green spaces.

Please add your group and publicise widely to other organisations!  Full information/sign-up form can be found here and you can watch a great piece about the Charter shown on Countryfile BBC1 in August by clicking here.  

It is also worth noting that this piece was followed up by another excellent BBC1 Countryfile feature focusing on the NFPGS Chair's local park Lordship Recreation Ground in London and his calls for proper investment in all UK parks, click here to view.


PRESSURE ON GOVERNMENT  

We have arranged a delegation to meet up with the Chair of the Communities and Local Government Parliamentary Committee in Westminster. 2 years ago this Committee held a Future of UK Parks public inquiry, and made a range of important recommendations to the Government. We want to ensure this is going to be properly followed up as the situation on the ground is continuing to deteriorate and requires immediate and effective Government action.

The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces, as the voice of the movement of over 6,000 local Friends Groups, continues to be a key participant and influence in the Greenspace Sector / Government liaison body - the Parks Action Group - discussing and debating what must be done to rescue the situation.

The PAG involves 9 national greenspace organisations and 9 Government departments. There are 6 working groups (funding, access, standards, vision, skills and community empowerment). We ourselves are coordinating the 'Empowering Communities' workstream, and have proposed a series of regional conferences for Friends Groups and Council parks service reps to strengthen networking, good practice and partnership-working. If agreed, these could start to be rolled out this winter. We and others in the Parks Action Group are calling for the Government to commit substantial resources to parks to reverse the underfunding crisis and make a real difference on the ground.

The Government says it is committed to parks, but has so far refused to accept its responsibility for causing the crisis or for taking the necessary action to rescue the situation. The PAG 'Funding' working group is proposing a range of effective solutions. Around £1-2billion per year extra would help mitigate the years of cuts.


STRENGTHENING OUR MOVEMENT

The next NFPGS General Meeting for Area Forum reps is on Saturday 13th October from 12noon to 4pm. The meeting will be held at The Priory Rooms, Quaker Meeting House, 40 Bull St, Birmingham B4 6AF. The theme of the meeting will be: 'Safeguarding and enhancing the UK's public green spaces -  strengthening our voices, networking and campaigning'. If you are part of a Forum or network of Friends Groups please see if your Forum has received the invitation and might be able to send a rep to this important meeting - lunch provided and fares for a Forum rep can be re-imbursed. If you are not yet linked up with other friends and community groups in your town/area/region and you want to get such coordination going, please contact us for advice and encouragement.
 

Best wishes to all!

Dave, Sarah, Michelle, Nigel and Roland
- for the NFPGS

Chris Packham launches People’s Manifesto for Wildlife


Chris Packham has launched a People’s Manifesto for Wildlife. Seventeen independent experts have suggested practical, creative and hard-hitting measures to stop the destruction of UK wildlife.

The manifesto contains nearly 200 ideas to revive British wildlife. Some are imaginative steps to ensure future generations grow up better connected to the natural world and other ideas will ensure that everyone can gain access to high-quality greenspace. The manifesto also calls legal changes such as banning the weedkiller glyphosate.

Click here to read more about it.

Four UK Parks Protected to Support Active Communities

Four UK parks are set to benefit from £100,000 of investment to encourage local people to get active in their local park. Capital grants from the London Marathon Charitable Trust have been awarded through the Active Spaces programme delivered in partnership with Fields in Trust. The four recipients of a capital award of £25,000 each are People’s Park in Ballymena, Halewood Park in Knowsley (Merseyside), West Pilton Park in Edinburgh and Gelligaled Park in Rhonda Cynon Taf. Each award will enhance a vibrant green space to encourage good health and physical activity.

Well-designed and well-maintained, accessible green space can have a positive impact on public health. Recent research by Fields in Trust demonstrates the significant health and wellbeing benefits for those who visit parks and green spaces regularly. An estimated £111 million per year is saved by the NHS immediately, just from prevented GP visits alone. Encouraging those who do not currently use parks regularly to do so could save further health expenditure.

Active Spaces is the first UK-wide funding programme from the London Marathon Charitable Trust which makes grants to projects that encourage people to get active. The funding comes from the surplus generated by the iconic mass participation events organised by London Marathon Events Ltd. 

Click here to read more!

Funding Sources


Biffa Award - Recreation


The Recreation theme generally covers projects which  will benefit people within their free time. Many projects under this theme also have elements of the other two
themes within them; we receive more applications under this theme than any other.

Examples of project costs that can be funded under this category include: play equipment; landscaping including boardwalks, trees and shrubs; skateparks; woodland walks; nature
trails; outdoor gym and building work within wider community areas of sporting clubhouses e.g. communal space, kitchen and toilets.

Click here to find out more.
 

Biffa Award - Rebuilding Biodiversity


Biffa Award gives funding for developing a wildlife habitat. The criteria is:
  • The project site is within 15 miles of a significant Biffa operation. Check your project’s postcode using the Postcode Checker below
  • The project site is also within 10 miles of any licensed landfill site (To find your nearest landfill site, telephone the regulator Entrust on 01926 488300)
  • If you’re not the landowner, you will need to have a signed landowner agreement in place agreeing to access for maintenance, surveying and monitoring for a period of not
  • less than 8 years from completion of the project
  • The total cost of the project is less than £200,000 including VAT
  • The majority of costs should be direct capital delivery work
  • Staff costs must not exceed 7.5% of the deliverable capital elements
  • The project has specific targets in relation to a Biodiversity Action Plan and will deliver a direct improvement to habitats and/ or species. Research will not be funded
  • Your organisation has the support of key agencies, and has relevant experienced partners involved in the project’s delivery
  • There is a strong element of public access or inclusion, such as volunteer involvement
Click here to find out more and check that your site is eligible.


Music for All Funding - Community Project Funding


Many projects and initiatives take place throughout the UK that all aim to bring music to their community. Most would benefit from a “helping hand” to fulfil their potential in becoming truly sustainable music programmes.
Music for All is happy to take applications for funding and operates in the following times during the year:
  • Spring period – Application deadline is 1st November for funding requirement in the following January
  • Summer period – Application deadline is 1st February for funding requirement in April
  • Autumn period – Application deadline is 1st July for funding requirement in September
Click here to find out more!


Litter Innovation Fund


WRAP is happy to announce Round 2 of the Litter Innovation Fund (LIF).  A £450,000 programme, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Scope and aim of the Litter Innovation Fund:

The overall aim of the programme is to find new ways of reducing and preventing litter/littering through new methods and interventions, that have not been tried and tested before. The programme will award small grants of up to £10,000 to support innovative research projects (located in England only) that have the potential to be scaled up or replicated more widely. Applicants are required to contribute a minimum of 10% match funding, either in-kind or monetary.

Click here to find out more!
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