Following an 18-month development phase, we have received confirmation that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has approved a grant of £1.965 million towards the 5-year delivery phase of Nene Park: Your Community Greenspace, a £3 million project which will bring improvements to Nene Park infrastructure and deliver a range of community events and opportunities for Peterborough and the region.

Made possible by funds raised by players of the National Lottery, Your Community Greenspace is an ambitious and exciting project with three key themes:

  • Empowering and engaging our communities to help conserve the natural heritage of Nene Park.
  • Building bridges with the multi-cultural communities of Peterborough to make Ferry Meadows an inclusive community hub.
  • Improving physical and mental health and wellbeing through nurturing connections with nature and the outdoors.

Throughout the development stage of the project, we have been working with community groups and carrying out outreach across the city to find out how regularly groups access greenspace and what could be further provided to encourage under-represented and under-served groups access greenspace more regularly. Some of the pilot activities carried out included:

  • Partnering with members of the local Sikh community to plant trees in the Park and creating a tree line for visitors to enjoy and to celebrate 550 years since the birth of Guru Nanak.
  • Partnering with Cross Keys Home’s ‘Inspiring the Next Generation’ team to offer work experience to young people not in employment, education or training.

Now that the Trust has secured the funding for project delivery we can begin to make some of the wider project plans a reality, including:

  • Developing the activities and events programme to become more reflective of and responsive to the local community.
  • Strengthening the volunteering offer at Nene Park, with a focus on corporate volunteering, giving the local community enhanced opportunities to help manage the Park and its natural heritage.
  • Replacing Pontoon Bridge, an iconic landmark of the Park that is reaching its end-of-life, and refreshing the welcome area and toilets.
  • Appointing apprentices to work closely with Rangers to learn essential landscape / habitat management skills.
  • Developing transport opportunities to support groups getting to and around Nene Park.
  • Forming a volunteer Project Support Group with a youth panel to help steer the direction of the project and ensure community groups are involved in the development.

Matthew Bradbury, Nene Park Trust Chief Executive said, “We have a strong track record of providing a Park that is much loved by our community; but we want to take steps to ensure Nene Park is as inclusive as possible for all of Peterborough’s residents. This grant will allow us to implement a transformative and impactful project for the Trust and Nene Park. We are extremely grateful for this fantastic show of support for our work from The National Lottery Heritage Fund”

We are looking forward to delivering these exciting plans for the Park and for Peterborough over the next few years and will be recruiting additional staff to expand the team. This project will be far reaching; improving and transforming Nene Park to meet the needs of the many communities of the city and helping improve physical and mental health and wellbeing for all as we recover from Covid-19.