BOURNEMOUTH, Poole and Christchurch have been awarded £224,000 of government funding to enhance the "ecological potential" of eight parks in some of the area's most deprived wards.

The Parks Foundation and BCP Council’s project ‘Nature Recovery in Urban Parks’ have been awarded the grant from the second round of the government’s £40 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

It is hoped that the grant will create a ‘nature recovery network’ across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s parks and open spaces.

The Parks Foundation Manager Cathi Farrer said: “The Nature Recovery in Urban Parks project will enhance the ecological potential of eight parks within BCP Council’s most densely populated and deprived wards.

“We’ll be making physical improvements to the green spaces, delivering engagement activities to educate and inspire residents into nature, empowering communities by creating new volunteering opportunities and employing more staff within the environment sector.”

The eight parks the project will take place in the BCP Council area are Branksome Recreation Ground, Haskells Recreation Ground, Jumpers Common, Kinson Manor Playing Fields, Muscliff Park, Pelhams Park, Slades Farm and Strouden Park.

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The parks have been chosen based on the Ecological Network of Dorset and the green spaces which have the highest potential for improvement to help to create a nature recovery network across our conurbation.

Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cleansing and Waste at BCP Council Cllr Mark Anderson said: “I am delighted that we’ve been awarded this grant to help transform eight of our parks and green spaces across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

“These outdoor spaces have become a lifeline for so many over the last year and a half and in addition to improving theses spaces, this grant will help with engagement activities, getting more people outside and connecting with their local parks and green spaces.

“We are passionate about helping people lead active, healthy and independent lives and this funding builds on the foundations we’ve already set in place with our three Pilot Parks (Winton Recreation Ground, Waterman’s Park and Alexandra Park), encouraging more people outside and using their local parks, which helps us work towards this priority.”

Ninety nature projects across England have been awarded grants from £68,100 to £1,950,000 to create and retain over 1,000 green jobs, backed by the Government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “The diverse and ambitious projects being awarded funding today will help environmental organisations employ more people to work on tree-planting, nature restoration and crucially, help more of the public to access and enjoy the outdoors.

“Through our £80 million Fund, we are on track to support over 2,500 jobs, plant almost a million trees and increase nature recovery at a huge scale across the country, which will help us deliver against our 25 Year Environment Plan.”