Pocket parks

Green oases offer people a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of life to relax, improve health, learn about nature and spend time together. Not all communities in Portsmouth enjoy easy access to such usable space.

In 2019 the UK government launched a £1.35 million fund for community groups to create new mini-parks for the well-being of local residents.

In terms of the details, a pocket park is a small piece of urban land from 0.4 hectares (the size of a football pitch), to around 0.02 hectares, (the size of a tennis court) that is basically underused or derelict. Ownership of the site may rest with the community, the local authority or a private sector body / trust including a housing association.

Once a suitable bit of urban land is identified and the owner on board, then a community group can apply for a small grant from the Government to turn it into a green oasis, tailored to the needs of the local area.

Existing pocket parks are used for everything from a quiet escape from busy city life to physical exercise, growing vegetables, children’s play and community events; they can include trees, soft fruit bushes, sensory areas, raised beds and benches.

A local Pocket Parks project is being run by Emma Loveridge, lead gardener at Treadgolds Community Garden. If you’d like to get involved or find out more about how to set up your own Pocket Park, contact emma.loveridge@johnpoundscentre.co.uk.

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