8 Jun 2018
From national parks to individual street trees, our natural environment can help improve community cohesion, boost health and well-being, and increase resilience to extreme weather
'Green spaces' or 'green infrastructure' are terms used frequently
by funders or other decision-makers, but what are they referring
to? Parks, green roofs, cycle paths,
SuDS, allotments, gardens, woodlands, meadows, street planters
and trees all come under the umbrella term of green spaces. Green
infrastructure tends to refer to urban systems and can include
storm-water management, whereas green spaces are more often used by
community groups to talk about publicly accessible natural assets
like local parks.
You may have also heard of 'blue infrastructure' which refers to
things like rivers, lakes, ponds, canals and docks - basically
water based assets.
So what do green spaces do for your community?
Some of the benefits of green spaces include:
- Improving health by decreasing air
pollution and providing opportunities for
- Increasing mental well-being by
decreasing stress levels and reducing noise pollution
community cohesion by providing places for people to
meet, exercise, or socialise
economic productivity by making spaces more attractive
to live or work in
- Improving ecosystem resilience to extreme
slowing the flow of flood water and providing
habitats for wildlife
It is no surprise then that green spaces are championed and
protected by communities Wales-wide. As well as benefitting
visitors or residents, green spaces also provide the backdrop for a
vast array of community projects including sporting, learning,
befriending and therapeutic activities.
Examples of green space projects and support
An innovative scheme to better manage rainwater to make Grangetown
a cleaner, greener place to live. Using the latest techniques, this
scheme will catch, clean and divert rainwater directly into the
River Taff instead of pumping it over 8 miles through the Vale
of Glamorgan to the sea. Work is expected to be completed in June
2018 and will include new trees, planters, grass channels, kerb
drainage and rain gardens.
Groundwork: Green Spaces
The Green Spaces team supports neighbourhoods to develop pride in
their communities, by developing open spaces to make them cleaner,
greener and safer. The team offers landscape design expertise to
facilitate the development of well designed community gardens,
parks, play areas, footpaths and natural spaces.
Wales Tidy: Green Flag for Parks Awards
The Green Flag Award is all about connecting people with the very
best parks and green spaces. An enormous variety of green spaces
can apply for the Green Flag Award, from small urban parks to huge
country parks, university campuses, housing estates and even
cemeteries. There is also a Green Flag Community Award for
community managed spaces such as allotments, woodlands, local
nature reserves and community gardens.
How can you start or expand a green space
Disposals Tax Communities Scheme
A new Welsh Government grant funding programme, delivered by WCVA,
to help communities living within 5 miles of certain waste transfer
stations or landfill sites take action for their local environment.
Grants of between £5,000 and £49,999 are available for
projects focusing on one or more of the following
- Waste minimisation and the diversion of waste from
- Wider environmental enhancements
The first round of funding is now open with a deadline of
26 July 2018.
If you would like to know more about the fund and how to apply,
there will be funding surgeries available at the events listed
Helping Nature Work for Your Community
These free events will share experiences from projects using
nature to deliver better health, recreation and skills whilst also
protecting our natural resources and wildlife for future
generations. You'll also hear from funders and support bodies that
can help you do the same.
Tuesday 19 June 2018 - CAVS, Carmarthenshire
Thursday 21 June 2018 - Glyndwr University,
Friday 22 June 2018 - Butetown Community Centre,
- Understand the policy framework around natural resources in
- Learn about setting up and running a nature-based community
project from practical project examples
- Find out about grant funding available for projects and
organisations to benefit nature and communities in Wales
- Increase your knowledge of good governance, networking, and
publicity support available to groups
If you would like to know more about setting up or running a green
space project, check out the Environet webpages for more
advice and guidance.
Get in touch!
Email email@example.com for
more advice on sources of funding, potential project partners, and
good governance. If you already have a green spaces project you
want to shout about we can also promote your good work through our
e-newsletter and social media.