The Urban Green project empowers local people to transform their green spaces
Urban Green provides practical hands-on support for community groups to improve their local green spaces for the benefit of people living in the neighbourhood, not to mention creating wildlife-friendly environments. Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, Dorset Wildlife Trust has been working with three community groups to reclaim, transform and connect to their green spaces.
Urban Green current projects
St Peter's Church, Bournemouth Town Centre
Volunteers at St Peter’s Church in Bournemouth town centre have been working hard to transform their churchyard into a tranquil place with wildlife-friendly planting and make it a safer space for everyone in the community to enjoy. Clearing the invasive rhododendron and undergrowth has been quite a challenge as has planting 6,000 bulbs which are going to make a huge impact in the Spring. There is plenty of historical interest in the churchyard, notably the grave of Mary Shelley located in the graveyard and the Grade II listed Chapel of the Resurrection to commemorate local men who fought in the First World War as well as the graves of many prominent locals who lived in the town. Key to the vision is to provide places to sit and reflect or have lunch, an outdoor learning space as well as wildlife and history trails.
In North Bournemouth, the Townsend Together partnership are working to improve the local green spaces on the estate for residents to use and enjoy in different ways as well as making those spaces more wildlife friendly. The work has included planting the roadside verges in front of the shop and car parking area with wildlife friendly plants and creating low maintenance community wildlife gardens opposite the youth centre and in the grounds of the YMCA. Planting has concentrated on a variety of perennials, shrubs and trees that will attract more wildlife and that are good for encouraging pollinators and other invertebrates. To engage with the local community, the project has encouraged people to get involved with the working parties and hosted a popular bird box making event at the local community centre.
Bluebell Community Woodland, St Michael's Church, Hamworthy
Over in Hamworthy, local residents have risen to the challenge of creating a community woodland, garden and a 'Living Churchyard' in the grounds of St Michael's Church. Local people have joined together with community groups including Adam Practice, Friends of Hamworthy Park, Holton Lee, local tree surgeons, nurseries, social workers and more in a fantastic effort to improve this important green space. Working parties have been clearing paths, removing the invasive laurel, thinning the holly and improving the habitat for birds and animals. This work has already made it possible to hold family events at the woodland to engage the neighbours and the broader community including minibeast hunting and Forest School which have attracted many young people from the local scout group, nursery and secondary school. There are plans for a woodland toddler group to meet in the woodland soon.
The Urban Green project has enabled us to transform our neglected, dark and dangerous churchyard into an oasis for the public, visitors and office workers who now use it to wander through, have lunch on our new picnic benches and relax. We have planted thousands of plants for pollinators and butterflies and will be installing bat and bird boxes and a heritage and nature trail. Thank you to all involved for their guidance and support.St Peter's Church, Bournemouth
Get involved with Urban Green
Please get in touch if you are interested in getting involved in any of these Urban Green projects.