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Local communities across the country have been given the go ahead for landscaping to commence on over 80 ‘pocket parks’.
As outlined in the DCLG (Department of Communities and Local Government) prospectus “pocket parks are small areas of inviting public space where people can enjoy relief from the hustle and bustle of city streets”.
Often landscaped from a single vacant plot or irregular pieces of land, pocket parks are not big enough for physical activities but instead provide communities with accessible green spaces, an opportunity to get closer to nature and socialise as well as a place to host community events.
£1.5 million has been allocated for the programme and grants ranging from £10,000 - £15,000 per project have now been awarded to the relevant local authorities for work to begin.
There are no strict guidelines regarding the landscape design of the pocket parks, innovative and traditional design proposals are welcomed equally. For the pocket parks to prove successful in the long run careful consideration must be taken at the design stage.
When it comes to designing a pocket park, there is no shortage of inspiration. The nationwide programme itself is in fact based on the recent pocket parks incentive that formed part of the Mayor’s London’s Great Outdoors programme. £2 million of funding was allocated to the design and landscaping of 100 pocket parks across 26 London boroughs. The programme itself proved to be a huge success and all 100 pocket parks are now complete and open to the public.
Without programmes of this nature, many of these urban spaces would no doubt have remained unloved and derelict for years to come.
The positive impact green spaces can have on a local community and its social well-being should not be underestimated. Small parks and green spaces enhance the existing landscape, improving the quality of life within the area and adding value to nearby homes.
With benefits like this in mind and the fact that parks are amongst the most frequently visited destinations in our towns and cities, large or small, it make sense to have more of them.
Further information regarding the pocket parks programme is available via GOV.UK website.