Birmingham Parks Stars launch
If you want to join in the Naturally Birmingham Park Stars activity for children aged 7 -11 years please follow this link: https://naturallybirmingham.org/birminghams-park-stars/
WHY DO THE UK’S PARKS AND GREEN SPACES NEED AN ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME?
Whether our green spaces are parks, allotments, nature reserves, country parks, public open spaces, parts of our homes, cemeteries, wildlife corridors, woodlands, playing fields, community gardens, the bit of grass at the end of the road or two planters greening a grey street, their importance has always been recognised by the individuals that use them. But over recent years the funding available for the development and care of green spaces has been reduced.
FUTURE PARKS ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME BACKGROUND
Just as we are beginning to show the true value of open spaces to our society and economy, the future of our public parks is under threat due to a reduction in local authority funding.
In response, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Trust, with government support, announced a multi-million pound initiative to secure the future of the UK’s urban parks and green spaces. In the first project of its kind in the UK, eight urban areas are joining forces in a pioneering programme called the Future Parks initiative.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund joined forces with the National Trust to find and back ambitious and sustainable solutions to protect and enhance public parks and green spaces.
FPA is a UK-wide £10m strategic initiative.
It is helping eight local authorities and communities develop and implement innovative funding and management solutions for all their green spaces, against a challenging backdrop of financial uncertainty.
The FPA will support places to grow the contribution parks make to civic life while becoming financially sustainable. It will involve discovering how parks and green spaces could be better used, managed and funded to serve community needs and aspirations now and over the next generation.
With grant funding and support from a team of experts, the places chosen to be FPA pioneers will work together to catalyse and share innovation, learn rapidly together and build their capacity to lead for ambitious change both in their place and to benefit the rest of the UK.
The FPA will promote an holistic approach, ensuring that all parks and green spaces in an area are protected and enhanced to deliver quality and fair access to green spaces for free for everyone.
“Our urban parks and green spaces are essential to the health and well-being of the nation and yet in some areas they are facing a very insecure future. Future Parks isn’t simply patching-up a few problem parks. It is enabling local authorities and communities to take a longer-term, strategic approach to managing, funding and maintaining them, so future generations will be able to enjoy their many benefits hundreds of years from now.” Ros Kerslake, The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s CEO
The Future Parks Accelerator Programme in Birmingham – Naturally Birmingham
Birmingham’s project in the FPA Programme is called Naturally Birmingham. Hamira Sultan, a Consultant in Public Health in Birmingham City Council, is leading the Naturally Birmingham programme, but the project includes a range of partners and has people’s views and values at its heart.
The programme considers four specific pilot themes:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Employment and Skills
The programme will be supported by:
- A range of BCC departments including the Parks Service, Landscape Practice Group, Ecology Team, Public Health, Housing Development, the Children’s Trust and Employment and Skills.
- The Birmingham Children’s Trust
- Birmingham Open Spaces Forum (BOSF) and associated Friend Groups.
- The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS).
- Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust .
- Witton Lodge Community Association.
The benefits green spaces provide is called Natural Capital. For Birmingham it has been estimated there is approximately £11 billion worth of value in green spaces over a 25 year period, and £4 billion of this is linked to wellbeing in the population.
The challenge to help other parts of the Council not directly responsible for parks and green spaces to realise these benefits and reconsider how they currently value these assets.
THE FPA PROGRAMME WILL RUN FOR 2 YEARS STARTING FROM MAY 2019 AND THE PROGRAMME AIMS TO TEST THE FOLLOWING KEY OUTPUTS:
- A more positive perception and attitude towards green spaces in the community, within BCC departments and across the senior leadership team
- Promoting skills and professional careers in green spaces and linked sectors, and ensuring they are locally accessible
- A clear approach to how housing can prioritise green spaces as part of future housing developments
- Making green spaces a big part of children’s education and wider support for children in care
- Making green spaces a key offer as part of current social prescribing models through a good understanding of changes to health and wellbeing
- Identifying alternative funding sources for sustaining parks
- The development of a 25-year green spaces strategy
You can contact us by emailing [email protected]