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

Parks & Open Spaces

The Chron spends a day in the life of Debbie Samwell, Delapre Park’s new ranger
Chronicle & Echo
EVEN when cleaning graffiti off a dog poo bin, park ranger Debbie Samwell remains cheerful and smiling.

Although this may be one of the more unappealing aspects of her job, there is little that Debbie – who is one of the new park rangers patrolling Northampton’s premier parks – dislikes about her ... 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


Northampton shows its love for new website
Let Yourself Grow
Last week a broad range of Northampton businesses, organisations and individuals came together to help launch a new website - Love Northampton. The new initiative was officially unveiled on Valentine’s Day in Northampton Town Centre and showcases the best Northampton has to offer, all in one place.<... more
Umbrella Fair 2012
Umbrella Fair
Following the sucess of previous years events, it has been anounced that this years Umbrella Fair on the Racecourse will be held on 18th & 19th August... more


Sport Relief Mile - Boughton Pocket Park
Northamptonshire County Council
Before you sign up for the Sport Relief Mile in Northampton or Milton Keynes, did you know that Boughton Pocket Park is also an official Sport Relief venue?

Boughton Pocket Park are hosting one-mile, three-mile and six-mile runs on the afternoon of March 25th 2012. As well as the running, there wi... more

Applying to Awards for All
National Lottery
Awards for All - England, is the Big Lottery Fund’s small grants programme, which aims to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need. To achieve our aim we want to fund projects that meet one or more of the following outcomes:

People have better chances in life – with bett... more

Best bits: Funding community action
The Guardian
We round up our experts' advice on how to secure funds for local voluntary and community organisations

Share 3 reddit this Comments (0)... more

BIG 2 Bonanza
Northampton University
Following the success of 'Big Ideas Bonanza' last November, we are back with the second round of Bonanza - 'BIG 2'. We are inviting individuals and organisations from across Northamptonshire to come forward and submit their ideas on how to tackle social inequalities.

The most promising application... more

Health & Sport

Regular exercise can improve memory and learning

Walking or cycling regularly for between six months to a year can improve memory and problem solving skills in the elderly by between 15 and 20 per cent, according to researchers.

They have shown that such exercise can also increase the size of crucial parts of the brain. The scientists have also ... more

Times safety campaign proves that cycling is now mainstream
The Guardian
Can we dare to hope that maybe – just maybe – we are on the cusp of something special?

After years of being dismissed as anti-social ("lycra clad velociraptors"), deviant ("road tax dodgers") or just plain weird, cycling it seems is starting to emerge as something attractive, aspirational and even... more

Half of people in UK fear our roads are unsafe for cycling
More than half (56 per cent) of us fear urban roads are unsafe to cycle on and 70 per cent want residential speed limits to be dropped to 20 miles per hour to make them safer, according to a new survey released today by the charity Sustrans.

The survey is released ahead of a Parliamentary debate o... more

The push for cycling needs to be backed by funding, not just words
Left Foot Forward
The Times’ high-profile cities fit for cyclists campaign has brought together organisations and individuals with a wide range of interests. As the pressure builds and the debate is taken to the House of Commons, Sustrans’ Eleanor Besley asks whether David Cameron is going to put his money where his ... more

Children & Young People

School playtime bans: a former head speaks out
Rethinking Childhood
A few days ago former primary school head teacher Juliet Robertson got in touch after reading my blog post on the school that banned children from having best friends. Juliet is now a leading educational consultant; her blog I’m a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here! is for my money one of the most lively,... more
What next for this year's child?
The Telegraph
I can expect to live until I’m 82 if I’m a girl and 78 if I’m a boy. If I’m a girl, I’ve got a one-in-three chance of reaching 100. If I’m a boy, my chances are one in four (although some people will live to 130 or beyond).

Information technology will advance so quickly I will have to constantly r... more

Unstructured play essential to child’s development
Guelph Mercury
What is play?

Play can be characterized as any activity in which your child has fun; is uncomplicated and without any goals; and is both initiated and controlled by the child. Through this unstructured play, children are introduced to many different concepts of learning — such as math, reading, wr... more

outdoor play is not a waste of time
Let the children play
When I play outside :

I take risks

I face challenges

I solve problems... more

Study: Depictions of Nature in Children’s Books Down By Half Since 1960
Tree Hugger
When you settled into bed at night as a child, can you remember what your parents read to you? What were your favorite children’s books and did you pass those vintage classics onto your kids? Where the Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak and Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne were certainly among my favor... more


Five things you can do about litter
Litter Heros
Be a hero - pick up some litter

This is a site for people who want to do something about litter. It's aim is to encourage as many people as possible to pick up litter and promote policies that will stop people littering. In a group or on your own, picking up litter is more than OK, it's actually a... more

The wrong way forward - the Ramblers analysis of the CLA's report
Today’s (23 Feb) report from the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) on a ‘common sense approach to access in the countryside’¹ is anything but - argues the Ramblers.

The report, released today, suggests the ‘Right Way Forward’ for access to the countryside is to reduce the protection surr... more

Money is wasted on right of way claims, say country landowners
The Guardian
Public money is being wasted on trying to reopen rights of way unused for decades, or even centuries, while authorities struggle for funds to keep existing paths and bridleways in good condition, according to a report by rural landowners.

The legal system on public access defies "all sense of prop... more

Britain calls on the world to put a price on nature
The Telegraph
Every country in the world should measure ‘natural capital’ as well as GDP in order to create a global economy that values the environment as well as money, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman will say.... more

Training & Courses

Is your organisation looking for funding?
Northampton Volunteering Centre
Is your organisation looking for funding?

Come along to a Meet The Funders event

Northampton Volunteering Centre is hosting a FREE Meet The Funder event. Sean Tizzard from The Big Lottery Fund and Lesley Owen-Jones from the Heritage Lottery Fund will be giving presentations about their current f... more