Community Profile: Limestone Landscapes Project

What inspired you to get involved with Limestone Landscapes Project?
The Limestone Landscapes project is an exciting regeneration project ran by the Limestone Landscapes Partnership.  The project acknowledges that the natural environment is not constrained by local political boundaries and that working on a landscape scale is a good way to address environmental issues.  Continue reading

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Standing strong for parks

Neon colours, big hair and leggings are back in a big way, but one thing we don’t want a repeat of is unusable playgrounds, flowerless borders, vandalised toilets and litter-strewn parks.

After years of investment, our green spaces are now thriving and the surrounding communities are blossoming, masses of research prove their worth and surveys show that people rate quality local green space as a priority. Yet the reality is that public parks and green spaces are facing further significant reductions in funding, which could see this investment thrown away and results reversing. Continue reading

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Calling all naturalists: explore your local park with OPAL

If you are interested in nature and the environment, then Love Parks Week is your chance to take part in some exciting projects across the country that will let you really dig deep into the natural world.

A great way to get involved is by taking part in an OPAL (Open Air Laboratories network) survey. You will learn more about your park, from air pollution to biodiversity, and you will also contribute to ongoing scientific research.

There are six surveys that focus on different aspects of the environment: Soil, Air, Water, Hedgerow Biodiversity, Climate and Bugs Count (which explores invertebrates). You can download and print survey packs from the OPAL website. They contain everything you need, including step-by-step instructions, identification guides and worksheets to fill in. Once complete, simply submit your results online and compare with the thousands who have already taken part. All data is analysed by OPAL scientists.

OPAL is an England-wide initiative that runs local and national environmental projects for all ages and abilities. It is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme and brings together 15 of the UK’s leading environmental organisations, including Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum.

Look out for OPAL activities in your local area and our community scientists who will be able to guide you through the surveys. The events are also a great way to learn new skills, meet like-minded people, help the environment and have lots of fun too.

Check out the OPAL website for more details on the surveys and activities near you: www.opalexplorenature.org

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An interview with…Scott Stuart, Apprentice, The Royal Parks

  • When did you start the Royal Parks Apprenticeship programme?

The programme started in September 2011. My employer was keen to get us in a month before college started, but unfortunately that was not possible, so we started with the contractors a week before college started.

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Transferring of, Assets, Liabilities or Responsibilities?

In small but smart meeting room adjacent to Rumbles Café, set within the highly used and publicly valued green flag award winning park called Sutton Fields, GreenSpace East Midlands delivered a workshop on Asset Transfer and Big Society which included wise and experienced words from the Catering Manager of this social enterprise. Continue reading

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