Most recently the Children’s pilot for the project has been looking at Stechford Recreation Ground, known locally as Yardley Fields you can find out more about what is happening in Stechford Recreation ground pilot here: Stechford Recreation Ground (Yardley Fields) – Naturally Birmingham Future Parks Project
Below you can find out what happened at in the Dawberry Fields Park pilot and how we aim to bring parks to life across Birmingham.
The Children’s pilot is based at Dawberry Fields Neighbourhood Park
Dawberry Fields Neighbourhood Park: Allens Croft Road, Birmingham, B14 6RP
The Children’s Pilot sits in the Environmental Justice Framework in the Citizen Involvement section of the FPA Project. But work with children and young people is also covered through all the sections including Healthly City and Natural Environment.
Birmingham Children’s Trust and The Friends of Cotteridge Park are leading on this pilot with the help of other project partners and the wider team.
Children’s Pilot Objectives
- Making green spaces a key part of children’s education and the wider support offer to vulnerable children, such as those in care
- Develop mechanisms by which children and young people can embed green spaces into their lives
- Encourage communities and young people to connect and get involved with nature through the season’s and help families to learn the skills of using green space
- Embed green space training and ideas with mentors to engage with young people in safe green spaces to promote their health and well-being.
- Promote green space and the environment to schools, nurseries, and early years settings to encourage healthy living and skills i.e. walking to school and growing seeds.
Children’s Pilot Proposals
“My Park” Creating Lifelong links with green space
Support the creation of a Friends of Park group to get more of the community involved and how this can help build sustainable activities for children and their families, including help for children and families to learn the skills to continue with these activities.
At Dawberry Fields Park we will do this by encouraging young people to connect with nature through fun family events helping children to learn about the environment and green space. We want them to say – “this is my park” with excitement and pride.
After speaking to the community and local schools we decided to go ahead with an idea of a nature trail around the park which will run during the October half term 2020, this has been advertised with the Birmingham Children’s Trust children in care teams, 2 x local schools, 2 x community centre and local police. This is an opportunity to start to bring the park to life please note due to COVID-19 there will be guidance in place in line with local restrictions. It is hoped that families will share their experience of the Nature Trail via Twitter and Facebook.
To help make Dawberry Fields more of a community park and a place of enjoyment notice boards (that are in the process of being built) will be installed at the site entrances.
We are also looking to engage with local schools and community centres that wish to be involved with designing their own artwork to place at the entrance of the park.
“Park Stars” – Park Ambassador Role
Park Ambassador Programme for young people – We know how important parks have been throughout Covid-19 and some young people across the city have really enjoyed being outdoors, learning ‘green’ skills and staying active. We are looking to work closely with schools and young people to endorse the learning of ‘green’ skills and support those that have an interest through a Park Ambassadors Role.
We are looking at the Park Ambassador role across the whole Naturally Birmingham Programme with opportunities to be involved at every age. We have started with a Junior (7 – 11 years) programme called “Park Stars” https://naturallybirmingham.org/birminghams-park-stars/
“Education Naturally” – Learning Outside the Classroom – Birmingham’s Park Ranger Service would normally be offering a programme an education with sessions run in Birmingham’s parks and open spaces
Development of the Park Ambassador role for children aged 12 years up to the age of 16 will be included in the children’s pilot. Older Children will have the opportunity to become a Park Ambassador through the BCC Jobs and Skills Pilot that will include Youth Workers and engagement with Friends of Parks Groups through Birmingham Open Spaces Forum.
If you’d like to know more about becoming a Park Ambassador then please contact us – firstname.lastname@example.org
Early Years – “Growing Together“
We recently deliver 5 online webinars for Early Years practitioners in Birmingham. All the webinars were well attended and covered:
• The Naturally Birmingham Future Parks Accelerator Project • How the project wants to develop ways that young children in Birmingham can be better connected to green spaces • Green spaces • Making plans linked to the EYFS • Getting confident in moving your activities outdoors • Biodiversity in education – Wildlife early years • The ecology of the natural world – on our doorstep • Ideas for improving outcomes for children using your setting’s outdoor environment. • Valuing Nature – What we mean by Natural Capital • Forest School activities. • What are the threats to the natural world and how can your setting help • Why this is so important
We are now compiling a list of links to useful resources and creating a nature trail for under fives. We will also be developing our “Park Warriors” young park ambassador programme because we believe it is never too early to be involved in and learning about your local parks and open spaces.
Primary Schools – “Education Naturally” – Learning Outside the Classroom
We will encourage parks to put up Nature Trails for primary school children to engage with nature and walking to school.
Mentoring for Children in Care
Birmingham Children’s Trust are committed to providing mentoring support to young people. We are encouraging our mentors to join the green space approach to help the young people to embrace the outdoors.
We want young people to be excited by green space, and be confident this can be achieved with the help of their mentors, having a shared connection with green space to encourage young people to undertake their sessions in the natural environment. Our young people within Birmingham Children’s Trust will have the opportunity to engage in becoming a ‘Park Star’.
Birmingham Children’s Trust
Friends of Cotteridge Park
West Mildnads Police
The Active Wellbeing Society
Early Years Team – Birmingham City Council
Wildlife and Conservation work –
If you run a community group and would like to be involved with the activities that take place or have ideas around what you’d like to see within Dawberry Fields Park – please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you. – Samantha.j.Hall@birminghamchildrenstrust.co.uk
Evolve Health Mentors have been out and about in Birmingham’s Parks and have also started to get the children they are mentoring out into green spaces to feel the benefits of being connected to nature.
“I could stay here forever” – watching the birds by the lake
“This reminds me of Alice in Wonderland” – looking at twisted branches coming out of bracken
“It feels really peaceful” – in the woods.
Quotes – Anonymous (Mentee)