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

Parks & Open Spaces

Work to fix park path set to start
Northampton Borough Council
Work to fix the footpath that circles the middle boating lake in Abington Park and underpin the concrete beam that provides its supporting surround is to start within the next few weeks.

For the past 18 months a 40-metre stretch of the path has been fenced off because of subsidence due to fluctuat... more

How healthy is your park?
Love Parks Week
A healthy park means a happy community. That’s why this year we’re highlighting how vital it is that our green spaces are kept in good health.

But what does a healthy park look like? Quality green spaces are attractive and welcoming; they’re clean and feel safe. A community comes together around a... more

Save our woodland walks
Woodland habitats are some of the most magical places to walk, full of diverse wildlife and history.

The Ramblers is committed to campaigning for access to all woods where people walk, not just those owned by the Forestry Commission. The woodland walk is a pastime that all enjoy, and it is crucial... more

Urban green spaces require sustained investment
The Guardian
As the world's population continues to grow at a vast rate, the pressure on urban spaces has never been greater. Landscape architects have long recognised the multiple benefits of successfully integrated green spaces. There is also strong evidence to show that local communities with access to these ... more
More green space equals less stress for the unemployed - study
The Scotsman
STRESS levels experienced by unemployed people are linked more to their surroundings than their disposable income or degree of deprivation, a study has shown.

The Scottish research suggested that the presence of parks and woodlands in deprived areas could help people cope with job losses, post tra... more

Parks After Dark: Balancing Safety, Efficiency, and Dark Skies
City Parks Blog
The issue of lighting in urban parks can be surprisingly contentious. One school of thought is that parks are supposed to offer a refuge within the city, a piece of nature untarnished by the glare of neon, light-emitting diodes, and halogen. Dark-sky advocates argue that while some parks might need more light than others, no park should contribute ... more
The reasons we love our urban green spaces are as varied as the places themselves
Tranquil haven, bustling central plaza, domesticated Serengeti, irresistible playground, slice of the good life or a place to perfect your kickflip with your mates – we all have an Urban Oasis we love.

What you might not know is that they are also working hard behind the scenes; acting as communit... more

More than two million British homes without a garden
The Telegraph
More than two million British homes will no longer have a garden by next year as the slow death of the English garden gathers pace, according to secret Government forecasts.

The report suggests that by next year 2.16million homes will be without a private garden, compared to 1.6 million in 1995, a... more


Charitable status for Northampton Leisure Trust
Northampton Borough Council
Northampton Leisure Trust has been awarded charitable status by the Charity Commission - a move that will allow more money to be invested in Northampton's leisure and sport services.

As a charitable organisation, there are no dividends paid to shareholders. This is good news for residents as it means any profit or surplus the Trust makes will be automatically reinvested to improve Northampton's range of leisure services and facilities.

Northampton Leisure Trust was set up in April 2011 to ma... more

Events Calendar
Northampton Borough Council
Lots of activities taking place around town this spring and summer... more
Love Northampton
Northampton Borough Council
New web site for what's happening in Northampton... more
Building Safer Communities - Strong foundations by local people
"This report ranges widely. It covers all of Helen [Newlove]'s priorities and lots of action in Government and beyond. It is also full of examples of the outstanding work being done by grassroots activists for whom Helen is such a powerful champion."... more
Free tree packs
Woodland Trust
The Woodland Trust has a fantastic range of FREE tree packs available to communities, schools and youth groups.

Imagine your local area teeming with birds and butterflies flitting in and out of hedgerows, children learning in an... more


Apply by 5 March for Starbucks Youth Action 2012
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
Ordnance Survey launches neighbourhood innovation challenge
Ordnanace Survey
Budding innovators and entrepreneurs are being asked to contribute ideas that could improve neighbourhoods and communities across Britain, with a £115 000 prize fund available to help develop the best entries. ... more
Pears Foundation launches first phase of national philanthropy campaign
Third Sector
A 12-month campaign to get people giving more money, time or energy to good causes has been launched to charities had its initial launch today by the Pears Foundation.

The Give More campaign, announ... more

Health & Sport

Does outdoor play help keep the doctor away?
Is modern living resulting in more people becoming disconnected from green spaces and the natural world, at the expense of our health and well-being?

Most concern is centred around children, who - say campaigners - are missing out on opportunities afforded to previous generations, ones as simple a... more

Why all health professional should give exercise advice to patients as part of routine care
Exercise Works
Exercise as a 'vital sign' is an important concept in the fight against the global epidemic of non communicable diseases (#NCDs) such as diabetes, obesity, chronic lung disease (COPD), cancers and heart disease.

Giving exercise advice has been the stumbling block within health care systems for the... more

Children & Young People

Design for Play: A guide to creating successful play spaces
Free Play Network
Play should be at the heart of children’s everyday lives and experiences throughout childhood. We want children to enjoy a healthy balance of structured and unstructured play in their leisure time.

Children enjoy playing and prefer to be outside, but opportunities to do this are falling. Through o... more

Playday 2012 is on 1 August.
Play Day
On Playday thousands of children and their families get out to play at hundreds of community events across the UK.

As well as a celebration of children's right to play, Playday is a campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives.... more

It’s back, it’s bigger and it needs your school.
The Big Pedal
In March 2011, over 800 schools helped us pedal to 600,000 school journeys by bike over just 15 days.

In 2012 we want a thousand schools. Will you be one? Can you help us top one million bike trips? ... more

National Citizen Service might cost £110m in 2014, says Cabinet Office
Third Sector
Department reveals the figure as it begins to sound out the forward market for the youth volunteering scheme.

The government's National Citizen Service programme might cost up to £110m in 2014, according to the Cabinet Office.

The department yesterday issued an "early market-sounding questionnai... more

3rd Annual Playwork Awards 2012
Play Work
These awards set out to celebrate all that is good about the playwork sector. We aim to praise the work we do by identifying people who have made a noticeable contribution and difference to the lives of those they work w... more
Resources for families
Freerange Kids
Whether you're looking for ideas for children's games or advice about planning a walking or cycling trip or even a street party, these activity sheets are a great starting point for helping your family to become more free range.... more


National Trust aims for nature generation
The National Trust is planning a campaign this year to improve peoples' links with nature and wildlife.

The Trust's director-general Fiona Reynolds said children needed freedom to discover nature for themselves.

More children go to hospital having fallen out of bed than having fallen out of a tr... more

Stuff you don't need? Freegle it!
You might not need your old sofa or wheelbarrow any more – but there might be someone just round the corner who does. Or if there’s something you’d like, someone nearby might have one that they might just throw away if they don’t know what else to do with it.

Freegle groups make this happen online... more

Sainsbury's changes food freezing advice in bid to cut food waste
The Guardian
Long-standing advice to consumers to freeze food on the day of purchase is to be changed by a leading supermarket chain, as part of a national initiative to further reduce food waste.

Brand new labelling on food products being rolled out in all Sainsbury's stores from Friday will instead advise cu... more


Criminal records checks on volunteers double in six years, campaign group says
Third Sector
Report by the Manifesto Club says unnecessary vetting has 'destructive effects' on volunteering.

The number of criminal records checks carried out on volunteers more than doubled between 2004/05 and 2010/11, a report from a campaign group says.

The study by the Manifesto Club, which lobbies agai... more

Training & Courses

Sports Courses
Northamptonshire Sports
A range of day and half day courses for activity managers.... more
Next weeks news!
News Archive
10 February 2012
3 February 2012
27 January 2012