Government should learn from Cumbrian green-space project

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‘The government could learn a lot from the Our Green Space project in Cumbria.’

Our Green Space project: The naming ceremony for Barrow’s community garden, Green Heart Den, in July 2008

So declares our general secretary Kate Ashbrook, who spoke at the project’s celebratory event in Penrith on 11 November.

‘Here five communities*, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Friends of the Lake District, have revitalised their local green spaces and their local environment. Their energy, enthusiasm and gritty determination to succeed are an example to us all—and this is a fine example of localism long before government reinvented the term.

Our Green Space project: The green at Nether Wasdale

‘The work of these communities is even more vital now, when our green spaces everywhere are under unprecedented threat, from changes in the planning law and the proposals from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to make it much harder to register land as town or village greens.

‘The Open Spaces Society would like these Cumbrian endeavours to protect, manage and celebrate local green spaces to be replicated throughout England and Wales, for the benefit of local people. We shall work with Our Green Space and other bodies to spread this important message,’ Kate concludes.

* The five communities are Asby, Barrow-in-Furness, Burgh-by-Sands, Newbiggin and Wasdale.

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