Monmouthshire County Council has been awarded a preparatory grant under the Welsh Government Local Places for Nature fund to undertake a study over the next two months to find out how you want Community Nature Spaces to develop in your area. The overall aim of the project is to create spaces for nature and people on the Rockfield Estate and to involve local people in the process.
Community Nature Spaces could be:
community growing spaces/mini allotments
fruit trees/community orchards
re-wilded areas/mini meadows that can also be used for wild play
flower-rich meadows mounds and slopes/pollinator planting
local provenance tree nurseries/tree planting
The Council has appointed Pegasus Group, a specialist environmental consultancy to help carry out detailed survey of the sites, public consultation, detailed planning and design works. This study will help to enable the delivery of the Community Nature Spaces during the 2021/22 financial year, starting in April this year.
One of the lessons that the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown has taught us is the importance of having a variety of good quality outdoor spaces that are easily accessible by families and individuals, so that they can spend time together outdoors experiencing what nature has to offer on our doorstep.
The project is likely to involve transforming some of the smaller less well used and poorer quality playgrounds in the local area into Community Nature Spaces. At the same time we will be investing money to expand the larger playground at the central open space next to the Rockfield Community Centre to cater for children of a wider age range and provide more items of accessible play equipment for children and families to enjoy.
The person leading the project from Pegasus Group is Rae Luckett and the main contacts at the council are Mike Moran (Community Infrastructure Coordinator) and Kate Stinchcombe (Senior Biodiversity and Ecology Officer). In addition to engaging with local residents, we will be involving other stakeholders in the project, including the local county council member, Monmouth Town Council, Transition Monmouth, ACE (Action on Climate Emergency), Gwent Wildlife Trust, Rockfield Community Centre and NRW (Natural Resources Wales).