A new pocket park has sprung up on a small piece of cleared land in Anson Road, Worthing – all thanks to a real community effort. Local residents have teamed up with the Adur & Worthing Councils-backed Growing Communities scheme to transform the under-utilised green space owned by Worthing Homes.
The success story began when the local housing association identified the space in need of some TLC, and approached The Conservation Volunteers’ (TCV) project for help.
In partnership with local group Green Tides, TCV’s Growing Communities team knocked on doors locally and carried out surveys to find out what the local community would like to see done with the green space. The two most popular requests were to retain space for recreation and care for the wildlife in the area.
Before long, residents and volunteers from all three organisations, as well as the local Maybridge St Richard Parish Church, were working to clear the land. Local children were drafted in to build bug hotels, plant wildflower seeds, bulbs and enjoy bushcraft activities.
TCV started a Fun Club on the site and organised activities, including preparing and eating a healthy lunch, junior archery and football. Some of these activities were captured in the latest episode of the Growing Communities podcast series which has now been published.
Zoe Spicer, a local resident who attended the Fun Club, said: “It’s great that my girls are out having fun, playing football, and we are all going to share a meal together.”
The Growing Communities scheme has been made possible following a successful joint bid to the National Lottery’s Community Fund by TCV and Adur & Worthing Councils.
The team are hoping to work with Worthing Homes and residents to help them organise future football activities on the land.
The Anson Road project was invited to take part in a Natural England pilot which aims to assess the ecological value of sites and create reliable methods to measure the social and environmental benefits they provide to local communities. These include carbon storage, air quality, pollination, pest control as well as a sense of place and interaction with nature.
See the Fun Club video at: youtu.be/sAWzGv-lbXs