your community greenspace logo

The Nene Park: Your Community Greenspace project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund is an exciting project for Nene Park that includes improvements to the infrastructure in the Park, new events and community projects - that will respond to the growth of the city and region.

The project has three key aims:

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

Heritage Lottery Fund LogoWhy are these aims our focus?

Peterborough is the UK’s fastest growing city by population, fostering an incredibly diverse and rapidly expanding breadth of communities, its vibrant multiculturalism exemplified by over 142 languages spoken in local primary schools. The City has significant health and wellbeing issues, for example the number of obese people, and hospital admissions for mental health issues amongst young people are both significantly higher than the national average.

Nene Park Trust has 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. We also have a part to play in addressing citywide challenges whilst also enhancing our own heritage and nature capital through community involvement.  Our ultimate goal is to ensure the Park continues to enrich the lives of Peterborough’s people, present and future.

What stage are we at?

We are currently in the development phase of the project. During this phase (August 2019-2021), we have funds to pilot activities that help inform further development of the project’s activity, conservation and evaluation plans.

We have been working with community groups and carrying out outreach in the city to find out how regularly groups access greenspace and what we could provide to encourage underrepresented groups to access greenspace more regularly. All this information will help us develop our project plans further.

The project team has been working hard in this current research and development phase of the Your Community Greenspace project. During this phase we have funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to pilot activities that help inform the development of project activity, conservation plan and evaluation plan. 

We have been working with community groups and delivering outreach activities in the city to find out how regularly groups access greenspace and how we can develop the Park to support underrepresented groups to access greenspace more regularly. All this information will help us develop our project plan. 

Some of our pilot activities have included:

  • Partnering with members of the local Sikh community to plant trees in the Park and creating a tree line for visitors to enjoy.
  • Partnering with Cross Keys Home’s ‘Inspiring the Next Generation’ team to offer work experience to young people not in employment, education or training.
  • Partnering with members of the local Hindu community to deliver an event in the Park celebrating Makara Sankranti – a kite flying event.
  • Working with Youth Inspired to raise awareness of the benefits of greenspace and encourage young people to get involved in volunteering.
  • Drop-in volunteer taster sessions at Thorpe Meadows.
  • Visiting libraries and other community settings across the city.

What happens next?

Following the development phase, we resubmit a more detailed application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. If we are successful in moving through to the second phase, the project will contribute c. £3million to a new 5 year project that will see the development of a variety of exciting activities, including:

  • Development of our activities and events programme to become more reflective of and responsive to our local community.
  • Strengthening our volunteering offer, with a focus on corporate volunteering, giving the local community enhanced opportunities to help manage the Park and its natural heritage.
  • Renovation of an existing building to provide a multi-use community hub within Ferry Meadows available for local groups with enhanced meeting and toilet facilities.
  • Creating more capacity for school groups to visit the Park and learn about nature, conservation and the environment.
  • Replacement of Pontoon Bridge, an iconic landmark of the Park that is reaching its end-of-life. The new bridge will be adorned with murals and other artworks representing the multifaceted culture of Peterborough.
  • Development of a volunteer / apprentice workspace in the Yard area.
  • In collaboration with local colleges, appointment of three apprentices to work closely with Rangers to learn essential landscape / habitat management skills.
  • Travel opportunities to support groups getting to and around Nene Park.
  • Recruitment of a Community Warden to engage with our visitors and be the public-face of the project.
  • Formation of a volunteer Project Support Group to help steer the direction of the project and ensure community groups are involved in the development.

We look forward to the exciting developments.

If you are interested in any of the above and would like to be involved, contact Hannah Keeley at [email protected]