Our Patch May

Our Patch 
May 2023
Dear friends, welcome to the e-zine for London Parks Friends Groups,
In this issue…

  • A report by CPRE London is being launched today about which boroughs gain the most benefits from their friends groups – check out the report details here
    • Special thanks to the friends groups who contributed successes and challenges to our survey earlier this year, which provided useful context for the report – see section 6 from page 8 to see the results and all the amazing contributions by friends groups to London green spaces
  • Minutes of the recent coordination meeting are here
  • Volunteers’ Week is 1-7 June! With GoParksLondon we’d love to help celebrate all the hard work your groups do. During the week 1-7 June we’ll be asking you to post images of your groups at work on social media and tag us, so that we can share, too. You can also send us your images and we’ll share these over social media, and try to encourage more people to join their local group.
  • Inclusion is really important for friends groups, and many of you are already doing great things to make friends groups representative of their communities. LFGN is forming a working group to meet three or four times a year to help develop ideas and best practice to enable all London’s friends groups to be as inclusive as possible. Would you like to join our group? Email Laura to express your interest.
  • Park Watch is coming! #MakeSpaceForGirls has launched #Parkwatch. All you have to do is pay a visit over the weekend of 27-29th of May to your local patch… or to however many public parks and gardens near your home you want… then simply count how many people you see at that moment and whether they are using specific spaces such as playgrounds, skate parks, or sports pitches. Even better if you can note whether they are male or female. Use the link below to access a reporting form for your results or to find out more. https://lnkd.in/eXnwM3J2 
  • It’s London Open Gardens 10-11 June. A few highlights to note: 
    • Garden Selector Guide With so many special green spaces to visit, the Garden Selector Guide can help you plan your weekend to squeeze in as many gardens as possible or find something to match your mood. Each garden has its own online page, explaining its history and horticulture as well as its opening times, facilities and accessibility, any planned events and its exact location.
    • FREE Self Guided London Open Garden Walks 
      Created by volunteer Garden Co-ordinators, these self-guided easy walk routes take in collections of nearby gardens for attendees to explore at their leisure.
    • And of course, Weekend Tickets
      If you haven’t yet purchased your tickets for London Open Gardens 2023, don’t delay, especially if you are interested in attending one of the special tours with experienced guides, which are selling out fast. 
  • From VCSE: ‘The VCSE Barometer Survey provides timely intelligence about the voluntary and community sector to policy-makers and government. It is led by Nottingham Trent University and Pro Bono Economics and is supported by Lloyds Bank Foundation. It has the backing of all the major national and regional infrastructure organisations. Findings from previous quarters have informed government decisions and featured in national media. The theme for this quarter’s survey is Volunteering. We are eager to learn about your experiences in retaining, supporting, and recruiting volunteers over the past year. Take part here.’
  • Offer of volunteer support – from a student researching friends groups: 
    • ‘Hello, My name is Isaura, I am a postgraduate student at the London School of Economics in Human Geography and Urban Studies. I am originally from Belgium, where I did my undergraduate in Social and Economic Sciences at the University of Antwerp. At the moment, I am writing my dissertation on participation in and inclusion of London green spaces. London prides itself on being the greenest metropole (and I do agree there are so many amazing parks!), and I wish to research more on how this comes about and who gets to enjoy these beautiful green spaces. When I heard about Friends of Parks
      Groups, I immediately was a fan of the concept and thought it would be an interesting way to research parks as these groups are active within the parks, live nearby and come together as a community. I have decided to take an ethnographic or participation observation approach (the name kind of gives it away) which means that I will be volunteering, but will also observe the way the group operates, the events are organized, … It would be great too to just have small conversations with the volunteers about the group, volunteering, green spaces, … basically anything you want to talk about! These are not formal interviews and won’t be transcribed, everything will be anonymized, and if you do not wish to be included, you can let me know at any time. I might want to do some more formal interviews afterwards, so in case you would be willing to do that, you can always reach out to me! I am excited to join you soon and meet you all! In case you have more questions or you want to get involved, do not hesitate to email (isaurabonneux@gmail.com) me! Kind regards, Isaura’
  • ‘Over the course of this year, Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL), the capital’s local environmental records centre, will begin routinely sharing records with the NBN Atlas to improve the accessibility and legacy of our species data. Data will be shared at 10km2 resolution, without recorder names and under a CC-BY licence. If you provide data to GiGL and would like to share any concerns about this proposal, please get in contact with Community Officer Victoria Kleanthous using the email victoria.kleanthous@gigl.org.uk.’
  • TCV is looking for Woodland Volunteers!
    • ‘Dear Woodland Volunteer/Community Group, I am writing to see if your group would be interested to help improve the condition & accessibility of existing woodlands in London and to connect more people with trees & woodland spaces. The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) are working with London Wildlife Trust (LWT) to help develop a Woodland Condition Assessment Tool which will help improve woodland management. We are seeking London based woodland volunteer/community groups to help trial the assessment tool and provide feedback to LWT. TCV are offering 1-to-1 support sessions to visit groups & help complete the assessment. In addition to the assessment, TCV would like to survey community groups needs, identifying priority boroughs (based on poor greenspace provision, high deprivation and undermanaged local woodland), to help plan training sessions, establish a 1-to-1 group support programme and an email support service which will all help future community engagement. This work, which has been funded through the Trees Call to Action Fund, will help support the delivery of the London Urban Forest Plan and the work of the London Urban Forest Partnership convened by the Greater London Authority and the Forestry Commission. I am available to meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays, although other days may be available with suitable notice. To arrange a support session, please contact:- Alastair.McKinlay@TCV.org.uk 07740 899 656′
  • Are you on Facebook? Join the LFGN Facebook group and get the latest LFGN updates and hear directly from friends groups across London.
  • Do you have a success story you’d like to share? Email Laura about your project
  •  Future meeting dates can be seen here.

All best

Dave Morris, Chair LFGN
Alice Roberts and Laura Collins at CPRE London CPRE London is working with LFGN to bring more support to London’s friends groups

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