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

Parks & Open Spaces

How a group of enthusiasts are raising awareness of the long-lost Northampton Castle
Chronicle & Echo
Standing on a small mound of earth and peering down on the Northampton station car-park below, I imagined myself as a king or queen visiting the town in days gone by.

No, I hopefully hadn’t gone barmy or been taken over by megalomania, rather, the place where I was standing, at the top of St Andre... more

Theatre in the Parks
Northamptonshire County Council
During this summer the country parks will be hosting outdoor theatre productions of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and E. Nesbit’s The Railway Children.

Spread a blanket on the grass and enjoy these unique performances bought to the county by Heartbreak Productions – all in the beautiful sur... more

Play Work Assistant
Northampton Leisure Trust
Northampton Leisure Trust is looking for Casual Play Work Assistants to work with local communities, within Northampton to deliver innovative Play Ranger and Play Scheme activities, for children and young people.

Casual Play Work Assistants form a team who represent Northampton Leisure Trust. Cand... more

Nature Play: Maintenance Guide
Play England
This guide is aimed at those responsible for developing, delivering and maintaining innovative natural play spaces within parks and similar spaces.

It supports those who want to introduce nature play into their play spaces, and does it according to the design principles outlined in Design for Play... more

The rise of the adult playground
Glossy exercise machines are cropping up in parks, near the brightly-coloured swings and slides for children. It's the latest bit of government "nudge theory", writes Sophie Robehmed.

Kids heading down the slide headfirst, babies talking gobbledygook in the sandpit and a golden retriever bounding ... more


Come & be part of the Olympic spirit in Northampton

On Monday 2 July, you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of history & celebrate the Olympic flame coming to Northampton.

From 10am members of the local community will be carrying the flame into & around the Town and you will have a chance to see this momentous occasion.

With the ro... more

Picnic Blankets Underway
Jubilee Picnic
Anna and I ran the first Jubilee Crafternoon workshop yesterday! Team ‘Cupcakes & Coronets Picnic Quilt’ had a lovely afternoon of playing with fabrics, cutting stencils and drinking tea. Thanks to everyone who came and took part it was a great start to our Jubilee make-a-thon. The second part of th... more


Government introduces Small Donations Bill
Third Sector
Plans in today's Queen's Speech would allow charities to make claims on small donations without paperwork

A Small Donations Bill, introduced in today’s Queen’s Speech, will allow charities to claim ‘top-up payments’ similar to Gift Aid on small donations totalling up to £5,000 a year without indiv... more

Health & Sport

Instinctive parenting – a psychological perspective
Outdoor Nation
There is a substantial and growing body of evidence that children’s psychological and emotional development requires a meaningful connection to nature and natural spaces and this is being championed by the National Trust amongst other organisations.

I write this as a Clinical Psychologist with ove... more

Lack of contact with nature 'increasing allergies'
A lack of exposure to a "natural environment" could be resulting in more urban dwellers developing allergies and asthma, research has suggested.

Finnish scientists say certain bacteria, shown to be beneficial for human health, are found in greater abundance in non-urban surroundings.

The microbi... more

Children & Young People

Allotments & Children by Tim Love
For some of the older allotment-holders children onlyspell trouble, but if you start children off early enough, everyone can enjoy the experience. We took on an allotment when our children were 2 and 6. In the first few months I hardly visited the allotment alone and half our visits were inspired by... more


Countryside under threat as developers fail to compensate for damage to wildlife
The Telegraph
Developers are required to ensure large construction projects deliver more benefits for wildlife than the harm caused by building on or near important natural sites, the study by the think tank Policy Exchange said.

Well-loved species such as hedgehogs and house sparrows have seen numbers halve in... more

English Heritage Angel Awards - Apply Now
English Heritage
The search has begun to find winners for the 2012 English Heritage Angel Awards. The annual competition was founded last year by Andrew Lloyd Webber to reward the efforts of local people in saving their heritage.

The Telegraph is media partner for the awards. A piece by Melvyn Bragg on the awards ... more

New Nene Valley Web Site
Nene Valley
What are you waiting for?

Rediscover your inner voyager with a visit to Nene Valley. The best vantage point is onboard ship, kayak, or canoe, we’re not fussy. Plus the region’s walking and cycling paths, commanding some of Britain’s most spectacular views and peppered with gourmet eateries, are no... more

Wales gets tough over green travel
Wales is set to become the first country in the world to make it compulsory for local authorities to provide safe and integrated routes for walking and cycling as part of an ambitious plan to boost green travel and end the hegemony of the car.

A white paper launched on Wednesday morning by the Lab... more

Litter, Twitter and my media storm
The Guardian
Well, this is odd. It's odd to do something so small and so simple, and within hours to find a moderately sized media storm is swirling around you.

Of course, these are the days of Twitter. Without Twitter nobody would have known what I had done – apart from the people in the car, my partner and m... more


Local Leaders
If you want to plan a celebration for the Games, look no further. Sign up to be a Local Leader and whether you invite three friends or your whole community, you'll get celebration tools, the chance to profile your event on the London 2012 What's on event listings and access to exclusive competitions... more