Our green spaces need friends
For me, one of the most inspiring aspects of helping to create Cottingham’s Neighbourhood Plan – Neighbourhood Planning – Cottingham PC (cottingham-northants-pc.org.uk) – was learning about our green spaces, and about how much we can and must do to preserve, safeguard and improve them. Some of these are obvious and well-known such as the Dale, the playing field and the churchyard. Other, smaller areas such as the wide verge of Glover Court, the recently cleared area between the Church and the Dale and several other green areas beside and between roads, behind garages etc are verdant, fertile plots just asking to be helped along a bit to reach their aesthetic and biodiverse potential. We feel that, although we do have several flora and fauna species-rich spaces they, along with the smaller areas, could be greatly enhanced if managed, studied and tended on a holistic, strategic basis across the village. For example, much is often said of the importance of ‘wildlife corridors’, but in truth we don’t really have a handle on where these are locally and what issues and threats they face.
We’d like to initiate a Friends of Green Spaces working group. This is partly inspired by the now-diminished ‘Friends of the Dale’ that did a great deal to secure and safeguard that space over many years. From conversations I have had with members of this group and several other residents it is clear that we have a significant amount of interest, knowledge and expertise in our midst. It is also hugely encouraging that we have some young village residents who show passion and determination to prevent deterioration (e.g., of verges), promote diversity, enhance pollinator populations and connect with nature.
If you’re interested in helping develop the idea of such a working group, please let me know (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). We aren’t pre-supposing anything at this stage about the size of the group, the scale of its aspirations or the scope of its work. We’re just putting it out there with a view to facilitating an exploratory meeting sometime in October and see what happens. We could become FroGS !! See what I did there…?
Best wishes and stay safe
Chair, Cottingham Parish Council