“Parks and green spaces are treasured assets and are often central to the lives of their communities. They provide opportunities for leisure, relaxation and exercise, but are also fundamental to community cohesion, physical and mental health and wellbeing, biodiversity, climate change mitigation, and local economic growth.”
Public Parks report, House of Commons
Bridport has an important relationship with the surrounding landscape. The Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan not only recognises the setting of Bridport but also the distinct identities found in the green corridors that not only connect local residential settlements but contain a wide range of wildlife that includes badgers and bats of many species. These corridors allow residents to walk from their villages into Bridport along the network of footpaths that exist in the area, thus alleviating the need for a car. The area is dominated by several hills, hey are flat-topped with steep sides and clearly visible across the town, adding to the distinct “sense of place”. As well as their inherent value in terms of natural beauty, they are of economic value in terms of tourism and attracting people to the area.
In autumn 2018 a Green Spaces Scoping Study was commissioned by the Town Council to support the development of a strategic interpretation scheme. This green space interpretation is one of a number of projects that link strongly to the aspirations of the Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan and includes consideration of information panels, signage, way-markers, street furniture, as well as walking and cycling routes around and through the town.
The aim is to create a high quality, strategic and coherent interpretation scheme grounded in the stories and heritage relevant to local communities yet pertinent to visitors to the town and which will conserve and enhance the local distinctiveness and the heritage of the neighbourhood plan area.
The Green Spaces Interpretation Study includes:
• • Criteria and principles to be used in developing the scheme
• • Examples of best practice and inspirational solutions from other places
• • Summary of existing, relevant community consultation and other local activity that might relevant (e.g. local heritage trails)
• • Outlines of the thematic strands and stories to inform design
• • Details on potential for engagement of local artists/community groups in delivering the scheme
• • Outline proposal for key elements of the scheme together with indicative costings
• • Indicative funding plan
A successful application to the Dorset AONB Sustainable Development Fund will help fund the development of a round Bridport Green Route which will be launched in April 2020 and reflect the actions identified in the Interpretation Study.
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