Reimagining Parks for the 1 in 3 shut out

by Amber Fisher in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Reimagining Parks for the 1 in 3 shut out

Total raised £1,267

 
Gift Aid
+ est. £151.50
£30,000 target 34 days left
4% 14 supporters
Support
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 21st June 2024 at 1:13pm

Enabling everyone to benefit from and connect with nature by making parks accessible, safer and enjoyable and with health in mind.

by Amber Fisher in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

 donated match funding
Aviva Community Fund is providing live match funding
  • Imagine if you could see the park's nature from your window but not get through the gate.
  • Imagine if you couldn't take your child to their friend's birthday picnic.
  • Imagine if you had to walk or wheel an extra mile around a park on your daily commute.

This is the reality for millions. This reality means millions are unable to use parks let alone fight the climate and ecological crises. 

Reimagining Parks

The majority of the 580 parks and green spaces across the two cities are not inclusively designed, which significantly impacts access to them – in particular, for Disabled people and carers, women and girls, minority ethnic groups, and people in low income areas. This means a huge proportion of our population are unable to engage with nature on their doorsteps. 

With a cost-of-living crisis, mental health crisis and a global environmental emergency, it’s simply a no-brainer that we need more people to be able to get out into parks, which are free to enjoy. It is crucial that we join together to protect and invest in them for both people and planet.

Our Reimagining Parks campaign will lead the change, and we have set ourselves a huge ambition for everyone in Bristol and Bath to have a park that is accessible to them within a ten-minute reach of where they live, work or study. That means making parks and introducing habitats that are physically accessible, designed with safety and enjoyment in mind, and used to support people with health issues as well as the environment.

Donate and help us reimagine parks for nature and the 200,000 people in Bristol & Bath who are shut out. 

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With your support we will

  • Reintroduce natural habitats to over 40 inner city parks across Bristol and Bath with under-represented communities. We will host activities designs for specific impairments including planting spring bulbs, creating wildflower meadows, planting trees, building bird boxes, managing invasive species and planting and maintaining new beds for pollinators. 
  • Dramatically increase the number of people who can take environmental action., increase environmental awareness and opportunities to support nature close to home.
  • Create two exemplar parks in Bristol and Bath that are the first fully accessible parks for all physical disabilities and differences, enabling Disabled people and carers to connect with nature. Read more about the work we will complete in Brickfields Park and Hartcliffe Millennium Green.
  • Develop a programme of accessible and enjoyable environmental activities in Bristol and Bath such as sensory walks, supported play sessions, family activities and accessible gardening for 2,000 people. 
  • Create two exemplar parks redesigned by women, with safety in mind.
  • Introduce female-focused activities and facilities, connecting women and girls with nature and each other.
  • Expand our Roots to Wellbeing programme for people with mental health issues to two new areas of health deprivation in Bristol and Bath, to support 100 extra people each year.
  • Adapt the Roots to Wellbeing programme to provide regular out of hours activities, such as a summer programme of community gardening and activities for families, to support 100 people in employment and 100 young people struggling with their mental or physical health every year.

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Why does it matter?

Parks are good for everyone’s health and our environment so it is essential we protect and invest in them.

Before the 1840s there were no public parks in Britain. As towns grew, they encroached onto fields and residents were excluded from accessing the natural world and its health benefits. It was at this point that parks were created, so everyone could benefit.

Nearly 200 years later and entire communities remain excluded from parks, affecting our health, wellbeing, quality of life, economy and the number of people who can make a difference to nature.

During the pandemic, this inequality was starkly highlighted. Whole parks were cordoned off. But even now, under-represented groups lack access to outdoor space.

Parks are not a statutory funding requirement. The value of parks and green spaces is underlined in multiple reports, including by the Government’s own advisory bodies. However public park budgets have reduced by 50% over the last 10 years and action to save them is not being taken.

“The statistics are horrifying for people who don’t have sufficient access to nature for example, people growing up with little green space around them are 55% more likely to develop psychiatric disorders in later life, at greater risk of things like depression, anxiety, and obesity, to name just a few things.  

It’s actually not difficult to make parks more accessible. Unfortunately, many measures are not possible within the shrinking budgets that local authorities, who are responsible for the basic maintenance of parks, have available to them. 

 “We are absolutely clear on what needs to be done and we are determined to start delivering the changes now.” Charlee Bennett, CEO.

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Our impact

As a result of our work over the last five years:

  • 85% of people we supported feel able to access parks more.
  • 87% understand more about how to make a difference to the local environment
  • 76% of people feel happier through accessing and connecting with nature and parks
  • 92% feel a greater sense of belonging in their community
  • More than 2000 species to thrive per habitat created, ranging from the most efficient pollinators, hover flies, to birds and bats.

You can read more about our impact here.

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Your donations, doubled

Thanks to the support of the Aviva Community Fund, any donations you make will be doubled. This gives us double the opportunity to enable more people to access and benefit from nature in parks.

  • Just £10 doubled to £20 could fund tools for a raised planter so wheelchair users can get involved with urban gardening.
  • £25 doubled to £50 could fund a seeds for a wildflower meadow the size of a tennis court, providing food and homes for around 2000 species.
  • £50 doubled to £100 could fund two flowering trees in an ecologically barren park, absorbing carbon and cleaning our air whilst attracting pollinators.
  • £100 doubled to £200 could fund a community gardening session, or a sensory walk for Disabled people and carers to ID nature and connect.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£1 or more

Personal updates

We will keep you updated on the campaign and our project progress

£250 or more

Public thank you

We will thank you in our annual report and on our website

£500 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Invitation to a unique event

We will invite you to a campaign event so you can meet the team and hear first hand about how your support is making a difference


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