Community groups in the North West are receiving more than £175,000 to fund the creation of two brand new Pocket Parks and refurbishment of seven currently derelict and unused green spaces.

The news comes on World Wildlife Day,Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced dozens of community groups will receive funding to transform neglected urban spaces into thriving green havens for the whole community to use.

The £1.35 million funding will help community groups to create 19 brand new parks and refurbish 49 currently unused and unloved plots of land, breathing new, green life into our towns and cities and increasing biodiversity across England.

The new parks and green spaces will provide new areas for children to play, outdoor fitness facilities for residents, and places for families and friends to come together, helping encourage community integration and tackling loneliness.

The Groundwork Trust in Oldham and Rochdale are receiving more than £15,000 to totally transform the currently over-grown and unloved Rochdale Boarshaw Clough Nature Reserve into a pocket of peace and tranquillity for local residents.

They will build new paths through the reserve, improving the whole community’s access to nature. They will also breathe new life into the disused amphitheatre which will become a new focal point in the neighbourhood – a space for different community groups to encourage people to spend time outdoors.

The Friends of Fletcher Moss Park and Parsonage Gardens will also be receiving funding.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

“Pocket parks are used for everything from exercise and gardening to socialising and relaxing. They have huge benefits for our mental and physical health and allow us to take a moment out of our busy lives to connect with nature.

“We are determined to protect our nation’s parks for future generations to enjoy, and on World Wildlife Day, I am delighted to announce the recipients of the extra £1.35 million for the Pocket Parks fund – adding 68 new parks, which will take the total we’ve backed to 352.

“Creating more pocket parks is part of this Government’s ambition to ensure that communities have a real sense of identity and place, and that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy green spaces in their local area.”

Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, Chief Executive of environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy which runs the Green Flag Award scheme for parks and green spaces, said:

“This is great news for people and for the environment, creating more parks and green spaces at the heart of communities.

“We look forward to seeing many of these sites achieve the Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award in the years to come.”


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