Great news for fans of the outdoors in Waltham Forest – the council has secured over £70,000 of Pocket Parks Plus funding from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to create new pocket parks at locations across the borough.
The grant, totalling £70,500, will fund four new pocket parks. The proposals for these parks were drawn up by local community groups including OrganicLea Community Growers, Love North Chingford Community Interest Company (CIC), and Wood Street Walls CIC. The council will work with these groups to design and create the pocket parks which will be open for everyone in the community to enjoy when complete.
Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “I know that residents will be as pleased as I am at this news. More green spaces and places across our brilliant borough – what’s not to love?
“Pocket parks provide small areas of calm in our bustling borough, where anyone can take a few minutes to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings of grass, plants, and trees. We know that access to green spaces boosts people’s mental health and improves the quality of the air we breathe, helping to protect little lungs from the damage caused by air pollution.
“The council works hard with residents and partners to create and maintain clean, green and safe neighbourhoods where all feel welcome. These new pocket parks help us to achieve that, benefitting even more people in Waltham Forest. I can’t wait to start work with the community groups who have drawn up these proposals.”
The MHCLG is keen to share learning from the projects more widely, to inform further thinking and best practice on green space management amongst other organisations who manage public space in the UK.
Roger Brown, of Love North Chingford CIC, said: “I’m really excited - this grant will help us bring a derelict piece of land at the centre of Chingford Green back into community use as a toddler-friendly pocket park. It’s a great example of partnership working with the council and helps boost our town centre. It’s the first of many planned environmental improvements here.”
Work on the new pocket parks is expected to start in summer 2019.