Residents across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole can immerse themselves in nature this summer, with a number of free activities planned across ten local parks which are being delivered by The Parks Foundation through the Nature Recovery project.
During August, more than 90 events including nature discovery activities, crafts, and wildlife walks will offer fun for all the family. Attendees will have the chance to build habitats like bug hotels, try grass printing, or become a nature detective and survey trees, bees, and butterflies.
There is also a series of activities focused on the world of insects, inviting participants to take a closer look at invertebrates and discover the fascinating insects living in our parks.
The parks hosting activities are Alexandra Park, Branksome Recreation Ground, Haskells Recreation Ground, Jumpers Common, Muscliff Park, Pelhams Park, Slades Farm, Strouden Park, Watermans Park, and Winton Recreation Ground.
The Parks Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Cathi Farrer, said: “Summer is a brilliant time to explore our local parks. From the dragonflies and damselflies laying eggs in the new ponds at Watermans Park and Winton Recreation Ground, to the wildflowers, plants, and blackberries which you can discover at our urban foraging events – the parks are full of life!
“The Nature Recovery project aims to connect residents with nature on their doorstep and empower communities with opportunities to get involved to help local wildlife. We hope everyone has lots of fun at our activities, as well as learning something about our precious natural environment.”
Last summer, The Parks Foundation alongside BCP Council was awarded £224,000 funding from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund to deliver a Nature Recovery project in selected parks.
Together with monthly activities delivered by experienced Parks Activators, the project will also increase habitat for local wildlife and make physical improvements in the parks.
Residents can view plans for the parks on The Parks Foundation’s website, where an online survey about the plans can be completed before the end of August.
The draft plans include enhancements for wildlife and the community, such as a foraging orchard of fruit and nut trees at Slades Farm which visitors can enjoy, with the blossom providing a vital source of pollen.
Councillor Mark Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Place, commented: “Not only is being outside and connecting with nature known to improve our health and wellbeing, it also allows us to explore and discover the wonders in our local area.
“The Parks Foundation’s summer offering is an extensive programme of activities giving residents the opportunity to get outdoors and discover local parks and the amazing diversity of wildlife we have across our conurbation.”
The Parks Foundation also delivers a wellbeing programme in Boscombe called Parks in Mind where participants take part in horticulture, conservation, and arts therapy to improve their mental and physical wellbeing. Local residents can also attend free park yoga on Sunday mornings in Bournemouth Gardens, Christchurch Quomps, Upton Country Park, Shelley Park and Slades Park.
To view the summer activities and book a place, visit: parksfoundation.org.uk/events/
Published August 2022