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

Parks & Open Spaces

Localising playgrounds
External Works
Playgrounds can be one of the worst offenders in the struggle to make public spaces locally relevant. Following a standard recipe of ‘kit, fence and carpet’ ensures that a play space could be in Milton Keynes or Madagascar, Swindon or South LA. Without context, who’s to tell?

Adding local context ... more

Public spaces in Britain's cities fall into private hands
When it opens this week, Granary Square will be one of the biggest public spaces in Europe – a focal point for the regeneration of King's Cross, a neglected part of London. It will be managed in a private estate of 10 plazas and parkland near the rail hub.makes this clear. "Welcome to King's Cross,"... more
Privately owned public space: where are they and who owns them?
We're in the middle of a creeping privatisation of public space. Streets and open spaces are being defined as private land after redevelopment. It began with Canary Wharf but is now a standard feature of urban regeneration. In future, one of the biggest public squares in Europe - Granary square, in ... more
Visit Woods
Woodland Trust
VisitWoods is an online woodland database of the UK’s woods where you are welcome to visit. You can find woods using your postcode, town name or the wood name.

Over 10,000 woods include woods and forests owned by the Woodland Trust, Forestry Commission, National Trust, Wildlife Trusts, RSPB, local... more

A History of Royal Jubilees in Public Parks
English Heritage
England’s public parks and gardens have played a central role in the celebration and the commemoration of royal jubilees for more than two hundred years. The roll call of jubilee gardens, coronation parks, queen’s parks and parks named after princes and princesses reflect these special associations ... more
10 Principles for Successful Squares
Project for Public Spaces
Squares have been a core focus of PPS beginning with our first project 30 years ago–Rockefeller Center’s Channel Gardens. We’ve honed the ten principles below based on the hundreds of squares–the good and the bad–that we’ve analyzed and observed since then. What stands out most is that design is onl... more


Photographic Competition 2012
Nothamptonshire County Council
If you're a keen photographer, of any age, then our 'Capturing Northamptonshire' photographic competition is just for you!

We're looking for 12 photos which show the best of Northamptonshire.  These photos will then be used to produce our 2013 calendar, which will go on sale later this year.

The... more

Sign up your venue for heritage open days weekend 2012
Venues across the town can now sign up for this year's Heritage Open Days weekend, which runs from Thursday 6 until Sunday 9 September 2012.

Thousands of people flock into Northampton for the four-day heritage event which celebrates the town's fantastic architecture and culture by offering free ac... more

Communities to get more barrier-breaking powers
Communities & Local Government
Community groups, social enterprises and volunteers keen to get things done in their area will have new rights to ensure their bureaucracy cutting proposals get heard, Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark announced today... more
Civic movement to ask “how proud are you of where you live?”
Civic Watch
As part of the annual Civic Day 2012 celebrations we will be organising a national “civic pride survey”, This survey is known as Civicwatch. Any civic group or individual across England can take part and we will be asking people to tell us how proud they are of where they live.... more
Free trees for your community
Woodland Trust
Bring your community together to plant free trees from the Woodland Trust - and grow your own food, create new homes for wildlife and bring beautiful autumn colour to your local area.

Apply now for the chance to receive a free pack to plant in November 2012 as part of our Jubilee Woods project.... more

Deal agreed to keep Northampton Balloon Festival at Billing Aquadrome for the next three years
Chronicle & Echo
The organisers of Northampton Balloon Festival have announced that they have secured an agreement to keep the event at Billing Aquadrome for a further three years.

The future of the event, which onc... more

People urged to have Olympic tidy up
Herald & Post
Northampton residents are being urged to keep their streets litter-free for the Olympics.

With the Olympic Torch relay heading to the town next month, the Keep BritainTidy Campaign is calling on people to keep Northampton clean to show everyone how much you love it.... more


Volunteer fundraising: more than shaking a tin?
National Council for Voluntary Organisations
Times are tough, particularly for smaller organisations operating on a shoestring. So when we asked our smaller members what kind of funding and finance support they needed most, it’s probably not too surprising they told us they needed help with attracting and managing volunteer fundraisers.

If t... more

Health & Sport

CTC Northampton’s Summer of Cycling
CTC Northampton
In this Olympic year, your local CTC and other organizations have been working to launch Northamptonshire’s Summer of Cycling.

Our own programme has something for everyone ranging from 5 and 10 mile leisure rides to all-day rides into other counties. Across Northamptonshire there’s “The Big Bike F... more

Children & Young People

Kids have designs on what they want in a playground paradise
Call her a dreamer but little Kate Bonnie has shown urban planning can be child's play.

Urban planners designing a new neighbourhood in West Dapto, south of Sydney, took the wishes and dreams, via drawings, photographs and surveys, from 150 children to create the perfect park.

Aged between five... more

The Charter for Children's Play
Play England
The Charter for Children's Play sets out a vision for play.It aims to be a catalyst for individuals and organisations to examine and improve how they provide for children and young people's play and informal recreation. 

The Charter sets out the abiding principles on which the play sector is found... more

Children are deprived of access to the countryside, warns National Trust
Fiona Reynolds, Director General of the National Trust, said modern children were as deprived as Victorian urchins with their lack of access to green spaces.

She said that while most children have enough to eat, they do not have access to the outdoors environment, blaming ... more


Cigarette butts a major part of roadside litter
Responding to research by a major car breakdown and recovery company which shows 29 million cigarette butts are thrown from cars each year [1], the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has renewed calls to make it easier to fine people for littering from cars. Currently effective action to tackl... more
Flourishing Trees, Flourishing Minds
AWA Trees
New research has scientifically tested the idea that living near to trees may make people happier.

The study used housing association tenants who were randomly assigned their flats. There was a broadly even mix of everything apart from half the tenants had lots of trees around the flats and half h... more


Volunteers go green
Herald & Post
A green-fingered team is digging in to improve an area of wasteland.

As part of a community project, Northampton South Prince’s Trust have designed, planned and received some funding to renovate the land in Old Bedford Road, Northampton.

The group of volunteers will be transforming the site into... more

Can't find work? Volunteer and you could get some unexpected bonuses
More and more people are applying for all-expenses paid full-time voluntary work as a way to gain experience in a notoriously competitive jobs market, according to charities.

Rising unemployment, coupled with the increased cost of living, makes such placements, which often come with free board and... more

Training & Courses

Training dates
Training dates for your diary... more