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

Parks & Open Spaces

Grey places need green spaces
Environmental charity Groundwork today publishes a report highlighting the myriad reasons why we need to preserve and nurture our national urban green spaces. 

Drawing parallels with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and the huge investment in public parks and open spaces to meet social nee... more

Park life: the wildlife of Britain's cities
The Guardian
Far from destroying the British love of nature, our cities have become urban oases for wildlife.

Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, the British are more obsessed with nature and wildlife than any other nation on earth. Television programmes such as Springwatch have legions of loyal fans;... more

Home buyers want to live near public green spaces
Woodland matters
One of the eight key features that people need and want from their homes is public open space, particularly in urban areas.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has published a new report ”The way we live now: What people need and expect from their homes”. The research, carried out on ... more


Is your garden a blooming joy
Northampton Borough Council
If your garden stands out in the neighbourhood, or your hanging baskets are a blooming joy, then why not enter the Northampton in Bloom garden competition.

Part of the summer long Northampton in Bloom campaign, the competition aims to get local residents involved, by showing off their green finger... more

£100 fine if your garden is a tip
Daily Mail
Ministers want to stop irresponsible homeowners or tenants from blighting whole streets or neighbourhoods by turning their front garden into a ‘dumping ground’.

The powers will apply to privately owned homes as well as council houses. Officials will target only those guilty of ‘persistent, unreaso... more

Could planting trees be the next crime control strategy?
Smart Planet
“Ugliness is so grim,” urban beautification advocate Lady Bird Johnson once said. “A little beauty, something that is lovely, I think, can help create harmony which will lessen tensions.”

Though criticized for her efforts (some suggested her projects were merely “cosmetic”), Lady Bird Johnson may ... more

Red Tape Challenge
Cabinet Ofice
The civil society sector is central to the Government’s ambition for a stronger society. But we know that red tape can make it extremely difficult and frustrating to start and run a charity, social enterprise or voluntary organisation.

Much has already been done. In May 2011 the Civil Society Red... more


Nottingham leads the way in protection of UK parks and green spaces
Nottingham City
Nottingham City Council has played a leading role in a scheme launched at Chelsea Flower Show today (Tues, May 22) to protect parks and open spaces.

Working with the national parks charity GreenSpace and with Birmingham City Council, Nottingham has helped develop The Green Places Fund, a way of fi... more

Children & Young People

The Benefits of Risk in Children's Play
Risk teaches children how to fail and try again, test their limits and boundaries, become resilient and acquire coping skills. It's an important part of play, yet children are allowed fewer and fewer opportunities to experience risk. These leaders in the movement to restore children's play speak out... more


Nature sites burst with benefits
It has been found that for each pound invested, urban nature sites give a return of between three and 20 times.

Greenspace Scotland with funding from Scottish Natural Heritage studied four very different sites and concluded that not only were they havens for wildlife but also benefitted people thr... more

Welland river wildlife habitats boost
People are being encouraged to help improve the river Welland in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire.

The Welland Rivers Trust said it wanted views on a draft plan which had identified areas of concern.

Peter Barham, of the trust, said: "We would love to hear from anyone who would ... more


Working group publishes code of practice for volunteers
Volunteering England
Many people volunteer informally, helping out neighbours and supporting the community. This code provides some basic guidance for individuals on staying safe and avoiding risk.

Volunteering is not a generally risky activity. Even though individual volunteers have a duty of care to each other and o... more

Volunteers can have single 'portable' criminal records check under new law
Third Sector
Cabinet Office says the change will decrease the number of people requiring an enhanced check

Volunteers will be able to have "portable" criminal records bureau checks, under a new law passed earlier this month.

The Cabinet Office said today that new measures introduced in the Protection of Free... more