Reimagining Parks for the 1 in 3 shut out

by Amber Fisher in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Total raised £1,991

 
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+ est. £255.00
£30,000 target 23 days left
6% 19 supporters

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Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 21st June 2024 at 1:13pm

Enabling everyone to access nature in parks

by Amber Fisher in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

 donated match funding
Aviva Community Fund is providing live match funding
  • Imagine if you could see friends walking together in the park but not get through the gate.
  • Imagine if you couldn't take your child to their friend's birthday picnic.
  • Imagine if you had to walk or wheel an extra mile around a park on your daily commute.

This is the reality for millions. This reality means millions are unable to use parks and enjoy their physical and mental health benefits, let alone fight the environmental emergency. 

Reimagining Parks

A huge proportion of our population (around 1 in 3 people) are unable to access urban nature and as a result, can be confined to concrete. 

The majority of the 580 parks and green spaces across Bristol and Bath were not inclusively designed  – this means accessing them can be especially difficult Disabled people and carers, women and girls, minority ethnic groups and people in low income areas. 

Current crises include cost-of-living, mental health, local ecological and climate, and a global environmental emergency. It is a no brainer that we need more people to be able to access parks.

Our Reimagining Parks campaign will lead the change - with your support we will make parks, habitats and activities more accessible so more people can benefit.

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Over the next 12 months we will:

1. Launch a programme of accessible activities - for 2,000 people each year

Physical activities will include sensory walks/wheels, supported play sessions, family activities and accessible gardening. We plan to hold regular activities in:

  • Bath: Sydney Gardens, Royal Victoria Park, Brickfields Park and Alice Park.
  • Bristol: Eastville Park, Hartcliffe Millennium Green, Withywood Park, Willmott Park, Stockwood Open Space, Blaise Castle Estate and Ashton Court.

The activities will support people when using new parks for the first time. This will remove the stress of planning and help people visit again unsupported. We will train new Disabled guides to deliver their own activities, reaching more people and passing the baton to the community.

We will also introduce female-focused activities and facilities with women and girls, connecting them in nature more safely and with each other. We will be truly led by the community.

2. Build two exemplar parks - for 200,000 people

We have chosen Hartcliffe Millennium Green in Bristol and Brickfields Park in Bath. These parks will set an example whilst enabling more people - including whole families - to enjoy outdoor recreation, play and connect in nature. 

Brickfields Park will be an exemplar park designed by and for women and girls, with safety in mind. We undertook a consultation with young people to understand what they wanted from Brickfields Park, and used the opportunity to work with another charity, Make Space for Girls to understand the needs of teenage girls.

Read full information on our plans here:

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3. Introduce natural habitats to over 40 inner city parks - for 2,000 people each year

We will hold open community gardening sessions multiple times weekly with under-represented communities. 

We will host activities designed for specific impairments including planting spring bulbs, creating wildflower meadows, planting trees, building bird boxes, managing invasive species and planting and maintaining new beds for pollinators. 

4. Host more in nature mental health sessions - for 500 people each year

Roots to Wellbeing provides in nature therapy sessions for people with mental health conditions. We will adapt the Roots to Wellbeing programme to provide regular out of hours activities, for 100 people in employment every year and 100 young people in full time education. After taking part, 91% of people feel happier.

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Why does it matter?

  • Parks are good for everyone’s health and our environment so it is essential we protect and invest in them. Before the 1840s there were no public parks in Britain. As towns grew, residents were excluded from accessing the natural world. It was at this point that parks were created, so everyone could benefit.
  • Nearly 200 years later and entire communities remain excluded from parks, affecting our health, wellbeing, quality of life, economy and the number of people who can make a difference to nature. During the pandemic, this inequality was starkly highlighted. Whole parks were cordoned off. 
  • Parks are not a statutory requirement. Public park budgets have reduced by 50% over the last 10 years and action to save them is not being taken.

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Your donations, doubled

Thanks to the Aviva Community Fund, all donations up £250 will be doubled at no extra cost to you. This gives us double the opportunity to enable more people to access and benefit from nature in parks.

  • Just £10 doubled to £20 could fund tools for an activity to build a raised planter so wheelchair users can get involved with urban gardening.
  • £25 doubled to £50 could help fund a supported play session enabling a whole family affected by disability to enjoy time in the park and not worry about their child's safety.
  • £50 doubled to £100 could fund two flowering trees in an ecologically barren park, absorbing carbon and cleaning our air whilst attracting pollinators.
  • £100 doubled to £200 could fund a community gardening session, or a sensory walk for Disabled people and carers to ID nature and connect.

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The difference you will make

With your support we will build upon our existing work. Over the last five years:

  • 85% of people we supported feel more able to access parks
  • 87% understand about how to make a difference to the environment
  • 91% feel happier through accessing and connecting with nature and parks
  • 92% feel a greater sense of belonging in their community
  • More than 2000 species thrive per habitat created, ranging from the most efficient pollinators hover flies, to birds and bats.

You can read more about our impact here.

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Other ways to support the campaign

  • If you would like to restrict your gift to a particular aspect of the campaign, please pledge then drop us a line on [email protected] to let us know your preferences. 
  • If you would like to pledge offline, please email [email protected].
  • If your organisation would like to get involved, we have a number of mutually beneficial opportunities. Please get in touch on [email protected].
  • If you would like to share your story, please email [email protected].
  • If you would like to contact us about the campaign specifics, please contact us on [email protected].

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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£1 or more

Personal updates

We will keep you updated on the campaign and our project progress

£250 or more

Public thank you

We will thank you in our annual report and on our website

£500 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Invitation to a unique event

We will invite you to a campaign event so you can meet the team and hear first hand about how your support is making a difference

£1,000 or more

Your Park Team Day / personal volunteering day

Receive a bespoke whole day event for you and your colleagues or friends. You'll get out in the park and make a hands-on difference to access and nature, whilst having fun.

£2,000 or more

Local Nature Champions

Companies pledging £2000 or more will join Your Park as a Local Nature Champion. You will receive bespoke Team Days and regular nature walks. For more information please visit www.yourpark.org.uk/local-nature-champions

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