Residents are being encouraged to share their ideas for the future of parks and green spaces across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole to help shape the Green Infrastructure Strategy that is being developed.
The first ever Green Infrastructure Strategy (GIS) for BCP Council looks at the way green infrastructure is used and designed in the future, taking into account the way residents connect with green spaces across the conurbation while establishing the principles and priorities for investment and delivery, including the social, environmental and economic benefits.
Green infrastructure is the term used to describe a range of green spaces and natural assets in urban areas and the wider countryside and can include parks, woodland, beaches, private gardens and street trees, as well as ‘blue infrastructure’ such as rivers and streams.
Councillor Mark Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cleansing and Waste commented:
“We are committed to developing sustainable parks, creating green spaces that are more conducive to how we live. Over the last year, being able to go outside to our local parks and open spaces has been essential for so many people, helping improve their health and wellbeing and providing a welcome breathing space during extraordinary circumstances.
“Our towns of tomorrow needs to become more liveable places to help people lead active, healthy and independent lives, which is why the green infrastructure strategy is so important. We are passionate about maximising access to our high-quality parks and open spaces while also protecting and enhancing our outstanding natural environment. The GIS will inform on everything around us which is why we need to get residents involved from the outset, inviting them to participate in the survey and share their ideas on what they would like to see across these green spaces to help shape our future plans.”
Ideas in development for the future of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s green spaces include:
Natural health centres – encouraging everyone outdoors to improve health and wellbeing through nature walks, outdoor mindfulness, practical conservation volunteering and Park Yoga.
Community food growing initiatives – encouraging healthy eating, reconnecting urban communities with the land.
Green living rooms – encouraging an outdoor culture by re-imagining our open spaces as green living rooms, providing quirky and interesting spaces for outdoor performances; community cafés; outdoor classrooms and natural play trails for children.
Green sponges and air conditioning – for managing flood risk and keeping the conurbation cool and the air clean.
Urban rewilding – creating more wildlife-friendly and less-intensive management spaces to encourage native flowers and grasses that attract pollinators, birds and other wildlife.
Wildlife gardens – encouraging homeowners and developers to consider wildlife-friendly approaches to gardening to help biodiversity such as bird, bat and bug boxes and green roofs and garden walls.
To share ideas on how parks and green spaces across the conurbation should look in the future, please register and fill in the survey here.