How to start making a local greenspace plan - working out a strategy based on how the local people want to use their green spaces, as well as the need to enhance local biodiversity levels and the landscape in line with city planning objectives.
People places - which enhance the liveability of Stocksbridge and so its success as a community in economic and social terms as well as environmental.
These notes aim to help Stocksbridge's local communities work out what they might do to change their local green spaces. It shows how it would be possible to re-make them so that they are more supportive of daily and special outdoor activities.
The needs of the fit and healthy in relation to the provision and type of green space in the local residential environment.
A series of freely available online 'ideas sheets' relating to the design and management of local public and in particular green spaces have been prepared by Anne Beer of Map21 Ltd - see below. You can look at this information online and print out anything you find useful or interesting (but if you use it in a publication you must reference the source properly). These notes suggest ways of looking at the link between people and the green spaces in their local built environment:
• Liveable public space
• How people experience green and open spaces in urban areas ?
• Making user friendly spaces and how we can design settings which support outdoor activities ?
• How can we identify what sort of conditions users need if they are to enjoy using green spaces?
• What do users think makes a "good" built up area?
• What are the benefits of good open spaces?
Find out about the socio-economic characteristics of your district by using the Information about your area from the National Statistics - Click through to this page and then fill in your postcode.
The special needs of the very young and those with mobility problems
- Designing places to play near and around the home - how green spaces can be made more supportive of children's needs
- Designing places near the home where the elderly and less able-bodied can enjoy being outside and using green spaces
The above studies have been prepared by a landscape designer who was brought up in Stocksbridge (C. Higham). They are based on long term studies of related issues by Anne Beer, Professor Emeritus, University of Sheffield.
How to make change happen and related information
This website also contains information on how to go about changing your local greenspaces. Over sixty examples of community based projects are included in this website (click below to view):
Developing a local Green Space Strategy
Although all sorts of individual greenspace projects are possible in an area like Stocksbridge, which has no shortage of green spaces; prioritising the work is vital. To do this a green space strategy needs to be developed for the whole township of Stocksbridge and its surrounding agricultural land. Such a strategy will set out the overall objectives for the total area and what this means for each of its parts - neighbourhoods and open unbuilt areas.
To get an idea about what sort of things need to be considered and to be done take a look at the work on greenspace being done in a nearby town - Wakefield. That town's green space strategy is considered by CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment - the national organisation for improving greenspaces) to be one of the best in England at the moment. See how the local people in that area have been involved and the sort of strategies needed to make change happen in Stocksbridge. If a local group has ideas - Sheffield City greenspace planners would like to hear from you and help you get going.
Getting design ideas
Once the strategy is worked out, the community can get ideas about how to proceed to the design and implementation phases by having a look at the information available on internet. See in particular that produced by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment - the national organisation for improving greenspaces. Start with the Park - creating sustainable urban green spaces in areas of housing growth and renewal. You can download this in .pdf format.
Also have another look at the section ideas about Greenspace Design on this website
To get things moving
To enhance the green spaces in the built-up areas of Stocksbridge, the Steel Valley Project has identified various forms of help for local community groups:
There is information on this website showing what is involved in
• implementing specific projects (for instance, making a wildflower garden, planting an area of trees and shrubs, or making a play feature, and lots of other small and large-scale projects). The web pages on this website were prepared by a local specialist, Jim Flanagan. They are based on local research in Stocksbridge as well as on projects being carried out elsewhere in Sheffield - Manor and Castle area and by the Sheffield Wildlife Trust.
• funding, which can be applied for from various sources: Sheffield City Council and other public bodies such as South Yorkshire Forest, Yorkshire Forward, Countryside Agency, as well as on occasion from private businesses
• skills development training, which is available to local people wanting to work on their local landscapes and enhance them for their community.
Support is available
Local green space projects can be supported, which aim to benefit the local population and visitors to the area. Schemes can be undertaken to:
• enhance the level of biodiversity - through changes in the management of the existing land cover (woodlands, shrub areas, rough grass areas, mown areas, wetland and water courses)
• enhance the visual attributes and so improve the overall appearance of the green spaces and built-up areas of town
add to the recreational potential of the local landscape (by making pathways which encourage walking - for health and pleasure)