Tuesday, 14 January 2014

January blues?

It's difficult to write anything about January 2014 without commenting on the weather.  What a wet start to the year it's been.  The Thames in my part of Oxfordshire has doubled in width.  At the moment, my local park is completely submerged.  No doubt yours will be pretty soggy too.  Despite the mud, now is the time to start thinking about Love Parks Week 2014.  The website for this year should soon be up and running. Then you can start planning your events ready for July.

(copyright Liz Ware)
Our urban Parks are the subject of another initiative.  'Rethinking Parks' has been launched by Nesta, the Big Lottery Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.  It's worth looking at the link to the website.  http://www.nesta.org.uk/search?search_api_views_fulltext=Rethinking%20Parks  While you're there, have a look at the Nana Cafe - winner of Nesta's Ageing Well Challenge - an inspirational scheme that allows older people to use their skills and to contribute to their local community by working in a Nana cafe. http://www.nesta.org.uk/search?search_api_views_fulltext=nana%20cafe How many of our local parks could host a similar scheme?  With a bit of imagination and some local support, a venue needn't be an issue - the latest Nana project in Clapton, Hackney is housed in refurbished public loos.

It's almost impossible to pick up a newspaper or magazine without reading about another study confirming that being outside is good for us.
Who would have believed that, just a few years ago, we were struggling to get anyone to take that message seriously.  It can only be good news for the County Gardens Trusts. If people appreciate being in the natural world there's a chance that they will also take an interest in and value our historic designed landscapes.  Perhaps this is the time to spread the word about what we're doing?
 If your County Gardens Trust is involved with an exciting project, or is celebrating an anniversary this year, please get in touch.

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