Green Spaces and Green Infrastructure
Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Green Spaces and Green Infrastructure Strategy
‘The Council and its partners will work with the community to provide an expanding, well used, managed and connected network of Green Infrastructure to realise a wealth of benefits for people, wildlife and the local economy.’
These documents provide the vital guidance and direction to help Bath and North East Somerset Council achieve its environmental responsibilities, as well as fostering extensive community involvement. By linking into the wider strategic planning of the local authority and other partners seeking to deliver the Sustainable Community Strategy for the area, these strategies are contributing to numerous objectives; for instance, climate change mitigation and adaptation, providing healthy ecosystems, local food cultivation, conserving landscape character and promoting mental and physical health.
This enables effective targeting of resources towards the provision of high quality green spaces for the district. In particular, mechanisms for creating new green spaces and the protection and enhancement of existing assets are supported through the strategy. Furthermore, they provide a management framework to enable the owners of all publicly accessible green spaces to manage them to the full benefit of all members of the community and to enhance biodiversity.
In delivering these strategies, Bath and North East Somerset Council is working with its partners in the local community on a range of initiatives which include, for example, enhancing access to green spaces for all, promoting volunteering and wider community involvement in managing spaces and investigating environmental education opportunities.
Bath & North East Somerset Council have adopted a Risk Benefit approach to children’s play which weighs up benefits alongside risks when making judgements about places to play or activities to do. This approach has been put into action to create some natural play features in Carr’s Wood, a Council woodland in Twerton, Bath. As a result of publicly adopting this approach, the Council has drawn praise from the Health and Safety Executive:
“This is an excellent example of how local authorities can help set the record straight – making clear that health and safety is about enabling activities like this to take place, not stopping them.”
It also gained positive interest from the National Trust, Play England, RoSPA and the Play Safety Forum.
Green Flag Awards and Bath & North East Somerset Council
The Green Flag Award scheme is managed by Keep Britain Tidy Group and is the national quality standard for parks and green spaces. Sites are reassessed every year to ensure continued high quality standards of maintenance and management. Several of the sites submitted include those within, or closely related to, wards with the highest levels of need. The sites also represent a cross section of the types of green space within the district. The sites are:2018/19
- Keynsham Memorial Park
- Royal Victoria Park, Bath
- Alexandra Park, Bath
- Bloomfield Green
- Silver Street Nature Reserve, Midsomer Norton
Alexandra Park was named in honour of Queen Alexandra and opened in 1902 to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII. It is situated at the top of Beechen Cliff giving magnificent panoramic views of the city and the surrounding wooded vales and hills. It’s size is 4.5 hectares (11 acres). The Alexandra Park Forum was set up in 2010 as a friends group for the park and helps to promote an active series of community events, festivals and plantings throughout the year.