Local & National News on all things community and/or out doors (and some in)
3 Feb 2012

Parks & Open Spaces

National Park expansion proposals – the next steps
Natural England
In September 2011, Natural England’s Board confirmed that it would be recommending extensions to the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Park boundaries: the relevant Variation Orders to extend the Park boundaries, maps and boundary descriptions will shortly be presented to the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs for her consideration.

These documents are also being made available for public inspection today and between now and 16 March 2012 there is a formal opportunity for everyone to provide comments to Defra on the proposals.... more

New Urban Farm Web Site
Northampton Urban Farm
The Northampton Urban Farm Project are attempting to establish an urban farm in rapidly expanding Northampton – keeping us linked with the countryside which surrounds us and informed about our food.

Eventually we hope to be open to group visits all year, and for everyone on our free open days. We ... more

Diamond Jubilee: Digging deep for commemorative woods
BBC News
Organisers of a project to create a series of new woods to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee hope to plant one million trees during February.

The Woodland Trust said next month marked the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne. ... more

Defra announces £800m funding plan for Canal and River Trust
Third Sector
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has committed £800m of funding over the next 15 years to the Canal and River Trust, the charity that will be formed from the English and Welsh branch of British Waterways.

British Waterways, previously a quango, will become the country’s 13th ... more

Section of England Coastal Path opens
BBC News
A section of a proposed England Coastal Path has officially opened in Dorset, close to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing events.

The 20mile (32km) route will start at Rufus Castle in Portland and will end at Lulworth Cove.

Ramblers and mountaineers have welcomed the news, although t... more

Now parks pay the price as cuts bite
Sheffield Telegraph
SHEFFIELD’S parks and other green spaces joined the firing line yesterday in the council’s big money-saving programme.

A proposed cuts and income generating package includes higher fees for football and cricket pitches, cuts in bowling green maintenance, the introduction of car park charges in three big parks, the dropping of council su... more

Plans to improve town centre traffic flows showcased
Northamptonshire County Council
Plans to improve traffic flows in the centre of Northampton as part of a wider project to regenerate the town have gone on show.

Northamptonshire County Council is proposing several changes to the road network in the Bridge Street, Drapery and St J... more

Pilot gritting scheme launched as agencies work together to prevent winter falls in Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire County Council
A pilot gritting scheme has been launched in the county to reduce the risk of vulnerable people falling in adverse winter weather and increase their independence.

The project is a joint initiative b... more

Vandals cause damage to fitness park in Northamptonshire
BBC News
Vandals have damaged an outdoor fitness area being built at a park in Northamptonshire.

Damage was caused to the concrete foundations where the equipment will be placed at Southfields Park in Northampton.... more


Big Jubilee Lunch - Sunday 3rd June 2012
The Big Lunch
The fourth annual Big Lunch will fall on the same weekend as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. So anyone who would like to celebrate and commemorate the Queen’s 60 year reign can do so by holding a Big Jubilee Lunch!

Queen's Diamond Jubilee logo As announced by Buckingham Palace The Big Jubilee Lunch will be a part of the main programme of events over the central weekend of Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June 2012.

A special 4-day Diamond Jubilee bank holiday - Saturday 2nd to Tuesday 5th June - will take place so there will be plenty of time for you to enjoy lunching in your community.... more

Heart of the Community Awards 2012
Northampton Borough Council
There are people all over Northampton that help their neighbours, support local groups and regularly go out of their way for others in their community.

We think it's about time these people were recognised and thanked in public, but it's up to you to tell us who is working hard at the heart of your community. ... more

Neighbourhoods Green good practice guide launch
Neighbourhoods Green
Neighbourhoods Green is a partnership initiative which highlights the importance of open space for residents of social housing and works with social landlords to raise the quality of their design, management and safe use.

The project provides guidance, support and tools for housing associations, l... more

Communities need innovative funders
I'm very pleased to share a new publication with you today which has been created to showcase what we're learning through working with the 17 Neighbourhood Challenge projects.

The groups have had an incredibly busy time since the call for ideas back in October 2010, and we have seen a real range of actions taking pla... more


Grants available
Northamptonshire Community Foundation
Northamptonshire Community Foundation makes the grants process simple and easy for you. The Grants Team would love to talk to you about your project idea and we can match you to the fund that makes the best sense. In most cases if you apply for up to £2,000 your application will go to our monthly small grants panel. Applications for £2,001 to £5,000 go to our quarterly Community Grants panel. We also manage the High Sheriff's Initiative Fund which takes place every 4 months... more
Time to Change grants fund
Time to Change
The Time to Change grants fund will distribute £2.7 million to approximately 75 projects across England from April 2012 to March 2015. This is the first time that Time to Change has awarded grants of this scale and we are looking forward to supporting local communities to actively challenge stigma and discrimination in innovative ways.

Applicants... more

Funding opportunity
Peoples Postcode Trust
People’s Postcode Trust is the grant-giving organisation funded by the players of People's Postcode Lottery. We aim to make the world a better place by providing funding that makes a positive impact in local communities.... more
Transform your patch
This year Britvic and PepsiCo brands have partnered with Groundwork (a leading environmental regeneration charity) to start a movement to transform outdoor spaces all over the country. Every drink represents one square centimetre of real land transformed in either a park, playground, skate park or 5... more
NCF February Newsletter
Northamptonshire Community Foundation
What a fantastic night we had at our ‘Growing Together’ Annual Awards in November 2011. Over 20 shortlisted groups, six winners and over 150 guests attended. Our thanks to The University of Northampton for sponsoring the night and John Griff for giving his time to present the evening. If you weren’t... more
Social value bill passes second reading in the Lords
Third Sector
The Public Services (Social Value) Bill, which aims to make it easier for charities and social enterprises to win public contracts, has edged closer to becoming law after passing its second reading in the House of Lords.

The private member’s bill, introduced... more

Health & Sport

Parkruns come to Northampton
Northamptonshire Sports
Parkruns are part of a national initiative and provide free, running events every Saturday morning. Parkrun events are organised entirely by volunteers so if you have a couple of hours spare every other Saturday morning, why not help out at the Parkrun in Northampton? You don't need to be a runner to volunteer, just someone who may have a couple of hours spare every other Saturday morning who we can call upon to help with the coordination and smooth running of the event.

All Parkrun volunteers will receive training and will guided at each Parkrun by the Race Director. Volunteering at parkruns is fun, rewarding and provides a great social experience ... more

Adults not active enough for their health and wellbeing.
Travel Actively
Daily walking or cycling can prevent coronary heart disease, strokes and cancers and can tackle the worrying rise in obesity and mental health issues.

England’s leading walking, cycling and health organisations are delivering 50 practical projects aimed at encouraging and enabling 1.8 million more... more

Multi Sports Sessions at Danes Camp
Northamptonshire Sports
On Saturday 11th February Danes Camp Leisure Centre will be hosting a launch event for their new Multi-sports club for young people with disabilities that's due to start on Monday 5th March 5-6pm.

These initiativ... more

Active Travel Champions
Active Travel Champions are volunteers who help people be more active through walking or cycling for more of their everyday journeys.

Champions give advice about walking and cycling and/or set up walking and cycling activities in their local c... more

Nordic Walking Courses
Northamptonshire Sport
An introduction to Nordic Walking where you can learn the benefits of Nordic Walking and discover how it helps your burn 46% more calories than ordinary walking.

Duration: 45 minutes... more

Children & Young People

Nature Deficit Disorder: What You Need to Know
How important is a walk in the woods to a child's development? It's one of the most burning education questions of the day, and, according to experts, a lack of routine contact with nature may result in stunted academic and developmental growth. This unwanted side-effect of the electronic age is cal... more
Not problems to be solved, young people use their passion to solve problems
This programme inspires and empowers young people from across the UK and Ireland to make a difference in their communities by applying to Starbucks Youth Action for seed funding and volunteer hours from Starbucks partners. As well as supporting the young people to bring to life the projects that me... more
Love Outdoor Play campaign
Play England
Play England's Love Outdoor Play campaign is calling on everyone to Love Outdoor Play in whatever way they can.

This could be as simple as taking five minutes to map their local play space on our online map, signing up to regularly give money, time or skills to a local play project, or finding ou... more

Out of sight – not out of mind
Play England
Playing outside might be dangerous – it sometimes seems crime and anti-social behaviour is rife and around every corner. All the more reason then to keep children indoors and safely out of harms way…

Besides what life lessons will be learnt from climbing a tree and experiencing that terrifying moment when you are not... more

Children want to play outside more
More than a third of children would like to branch out from computer games to try a wider range of play opportunities, according to a survey by the Big Lottery Fund.

The fund, which hands out almost half of the money raised by the National Lottery, found that 87% of children aged between seven and... more


New evidence shows pylon plans need rethinking
Campaign for National Parks
New evidence has been published on the true costs of burying overhead electricity lines underground.

Although undergrounding is more expensive then overhead lines, the cost is just 4.5 to 5.7 times more expensive, not 10 to 25 times more expensive as previously quoted. There are also wider benefit... more

UK retailers fail to meet food and packaging waste pledges
The Guardian
British retailers have failed to meet a pledge to cut back on supply chain food and packaging waste, with thousands of tonnes of fruit and vegetables, milk and yogurt thrown away every year, after being rejected for being the wrong shape, size or standard.

The disclosure is embarrassing for the Br... more

New pocket guides make local planning accessible
Campaign to Protect Rural England
To help explain the latest Government reforms to the English planning system, a series of new guides and events are helping lead people through the planning labyrinth.

The new series of three pocket guides make it clear how people can influence the future of the area in which they live [1]. They ... more

Its all about plastic
Northern Ireland to bring in 5p plastic bag tax from 2013
The Guardian
A 5p plastic bag tax will be imposed throughout Northern Ireland from next year.

Alex Attwood, environment minister in the Northern Ireland executive, said on Monday that the 5p levy would rise to 10p by April 2014.

"We want to demonstrate that t... more

Accumulating 'microplastic' threat to shores
BBC News
Microscopic plastic debris from washing clothes is accumulating in the marine environment and could be entering the food chain, a study has warned.

Researchers traced the "microplastic" back to synthetic clothes, which released up to 1,900 tiny fibres per garment every time they were washed.... more

Fungi Discovered In The Amazon Will Eat Your Plastic
Fast Company
Polyurethane seemed like it couldn’t interact with the earth’s normal processes of breaking down and recycling material. That’s just because it hadn’t met the right mushroom yet.

The Amazon is home to more species than almost anywhere else on earth. One of them, carried home recently by a group fr... more


Latest Volunreer Opportunities
Northampton Volunteer Centre
For thr latest local volunteer opportunities visit the NVC web site.... more

Training & Courses

WANTED! Planning Champions
Campaign to Protect Rural England
CPRE in partnership with NALC are seeking to provide a number of exciting opportunities throughout the country for individuals to become Planning Champions. This is as part of the Supporting Communities and Neighbourhoods in Planning (SNCP) project.

Planning Champions will be volunteers who are av... more

Adult Learn to Ride Courses
Northamptonshire Sport
Whether you've never learnt to ride a bike and need help starting from scratch or you just want to refresh the skills you had when you were younger - our Adult Learn to Ride Courses can help.

If you are a complete novice and prepared for a bit of a challenge then with the help of our trained instr... more

Letting the grass grow
This is a workshop to facilitate learning, sharing and discussion about the drivers and practicalities of managing open spaces less intensively.... more

Other Newsletters

GreenSpace Newsletter
... more