Briony Nesbitt, Project Development Officer (Communities)

Part of my role as Project Development Officer (Communities), is to get out and about in the local community, attending coffee mornings and community events to hear all about your views and experiences of green space and Nene Park. Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Millfield festival organised by Peterborough Presents where we met an array of community groups enthusiastic about green spaces and their local community. 

A newly created position at Nene Park Trust is Community Green Space Officer which has been funded by the Future Parks Accelerator Project. We would like to welcome Pia Larsson to the role, she will be working with the communities to deliver community-led volunteer groups across Peterborough Green Spaces outside of the Nene Park boundary. The aim is to help set up volunteer groups at Central Park, Tenter Hill and Thorpe Lead Meadows to reflect how local people would like to maintain and use their green spaces. This could be simply maintaining the area as it is, creating a wild flower meadow or installing some picnic benches to enjoy on a sunny day.

These places have been selected by the community as areas they would like to help maintain and improve. Nene Park Trust has been working closely with Peterborough Citizens to engage with local communities in Peterborough and identify any change they would like to see in their local green space and how they can be involved in making those changes.

Through a listening exercise by Peterborough Citizens, Central Park was identified as an area for improvement as a green space in the city. A combination of students from surrounding schools, the Police Crime Commissioner, Peterborough City Council, and the Friends of Central Park group met together to develop actions to improve this area including a volunteering offer which will be established by Nene Park Trust and then led by the community.

By working together, to make the space feel safe and a positive place for people to use, it was proposed that the park would benefit from a regular presence such as volunteer wardens. These local volunteers help signpost people to key areas, be someone to communicate with about the park, undertake checks around the park, and report any incidents. This concept is partly modelled by our volunteer rangers here at Nene Park. 

If you are interested in being involved in these community-led projects in these green spaces or then do get in touch by emailing [email protected], we would love to hear from you.