Improving Green Spaces

There are many ways you can work to improve your park or green space. Here are some suggestions:

Undertake a park survey

Collecting the views of people who use a green space is important. It’s easy to make assumptions about how people relate to a place and what they value and need. Undertaking a park survey means that you talk directly to people in the park, you meet people you wouldn’t otherwise have contact with and you can give out information about the Friends group and invite new members to join. Remember – a group provides a voice for the community and it is louder, clearer and less likely to be ignored or opposed if it speaks for everyone.

Here is a Template Park Survey example from Love Parks.

The Friends of Kneller Gardens in Twickenham run a regular survey – Kneller Gardens Park User Survey. They advise the best way to run the survey is to go into the park and record the answers yourselves. The May half-term holiday is a popular time as the park is full of families, and the survey needs to reflect a good cross section of park users.

And if you’re involved in a Recreation Ground, here is the Friends of North Sheen Rec Survey from 2013.

Quality marks

The Green Flag Community Award is a national award that recognises high-quality green spaces in England and Wales that are managed by voluntary and community groups. The Award has an impressive and established background – it is part of the Green Flag Award scheme, the national quality standard for parks and green spaces. Visit the website to see the requirements and how you can apply to be part of it.

Friends of School House Lane Orchard are regular receivers of the Green Flag award here in Richmond Borough amongst others.


Creating a vision plan for your park

Richmond Council Parks Department are inviting groups to develop Vision Plans for their parks or green spaces. This enables plans and goals to be drawn up with ideas and aims for 1, 5 and 20 years. SWLEN has designed a guidance document and a ‘vision plan’ template to assist groups in their plans.  Groups are invited to design their plans over the winter of 2015-16, with completed plans given to LBRuT Parks department by January 2017. Contact us for digital versions of the vision plan documents.

Create a green space trail

Groups can now create their own trails and walks around their green spaces using a FREE TICL phone app. Download the app here:

Need some help? Creating tree trails guides with TICL app for SWLEN. Note: if you don’t follow these instructions and use the code provided, the trail you create will not stay active.

Richmond Local Studies have made a Treasure Trail using the TICL app for the ‘Know Your Place’ Heritage Festival. The KYPcache Treasure Trail is a free activity for the whole family available through August and September 2015 with secret caches hidden all over the Borough, each containing historical facts about the area.