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Your Park Bristol and Bath announces projects to be funded by the inaugural Love Your Park Community

Groundbreaking local projects in the Bath area have been awarded a grant from the first ever Love Your Park Community Fund helping communities to recover from the pandemic while cherishing their green space. The Fund will directly benefit 1000 people in the immediate vicinity of the projects as well as providing benefits for the wider community.

The innovative Fund is the result of generous donations from local people and businesses in support of community groups with an inspiring grass roots idea for projects that meet local need in their park or green space. These are the unsung local heroes in and around Bath who volunteer their time and go the extra mile for their community and their green space.

All the projects demonstrate how they will help communities to recover from the pandemic by connecting with those who do not regularly benefit from a green space, are socially isolated or without a garden of their own. One in eight households has no access to a private or shared garden and those of Black ethnicity are 2.4 times less likely than those of White ethnicity to have a private garden (Office for National Statistics, 2020).

Many of the groups came together during Covid-19 and the projects aim to enhance the wellbeing of communities, both physical and mental, improving access to nature and providing opportunities to socialise and be active. Their ideas will benefit both people and nature, protecting local habitats and creating wilder spaces in our parks.

Projects awarded grants in the Bath area are:

• Blooming Whiteway – a group dedicated to growing community connections on the Whiteway estate who will use the grant to create a community Peace Garden building on activities supporting residents to connect with and celebrate their green spaces. The Garden will include natural seating, bee friendly sensory planting and a Memorial Area for local people to reflect and rest. The group says ‘We hope that creating a peaceful place to sit and reflect, plus the addition of a Memorial Garden will help people to engage with the many losses that have been experienced during the pandemic’

• Grow Batheaston - a group of enthusiastic volunteers who came together as a response to the pandemic and climate emergency. They want to help local people to learn about and appreciate how managed meadows and more planting would improve living in the area and result in a positive impact on the environment. The group will use their funding to involve the local community in creating areas of wildflower meadow, including preparing the ground, sowing and eventually community scything of the meadow. They will also discuss ideas for the future exploring how to collaborate as a community to improve their urban space.

• Keynsham Abbey working group are a group of dedicated volunteers who care passionately about the historic remains of the Abbey and gardens within Keynsham Memorial Park. Many passers-by are completely unaware of the existence of the Abbey site and the group will help to bring the remarkable story of the Abbey to life by creating a website and hosting visitor events for the wider community. They will also use the funds to restore and replenish the medieval plants and herbs that would have grown at Abbey, rekindling its origins, improving local signage and celebrating its unique history.

Charlee Bennett, Director, Your Park, Bristol and Bath commented: “We’re so excited to be announcing the projects we’re supporting through the first ever round of the Love Your Park Community Fund. Local groups have told us just how vital their community green spaces have been during Covid 19. We are delighted to be helping them on their journey and can’t wait to see the impact they will have.”

The Love Your Park Community Fund was created through individual donations to the Your Park Bristol and Bath charity, via initiatives such as the ‘Big Give’ as well as support from local companies including C J Hole and Good Energy.

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