A difficult balancing act for green spaces

A herring gull enjoying a promenade along the green at Paignton Beach. 

A herring gull enjoying a promenade along the green at Paignton beach - Credit: Hannah Worthington

The fact that the bird is twice its size does not seem to deter the small fluffy dog.

Big or small, the pup is set on telling the large herring gull exactly what it thinks of it! 

While the dog, its owners, and other canine-owning locals are taking a bracing walk along the Esplanade at Paignton Beach, a little further along the seafront teens and families are making good use of the basketball practice area and outdoor gym equipment at Preston Green.  

No doubt there is a bouncy ‘Tigger’ dog that’s not quite under control, a highly vocal child to disturb the peace, or a gaggle of chatty teens occupying the benches with the best views in most parks across the land. 

Today’s visit provides just a snapshot of the different roles our green spaces play and of the many different needs they must meet.

From exercise space to meeting place, and more.

How do we balance the many different roles that our parks and gardens play to best ensure that they can meet the varied needs of a whole community? 

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One way is by speaking up about what we and our community want from our green spaces.

This can be as simple as chatting with fellow dog walkers about the provision of bins in a park, speaking to other parents at your child’s school about the local play area, or sharing ideas with neighbours about enhancing an area for wildlife.

Whoever you talk to, the next step is to make sure that the gathered information is shared with the wider community, perhaps by getting in touch with the voluntary group that help care for that green space, your local Community Partnership, your ward councillor, or me - Torbay’s Green Spaces engagement officer.

We enjoy our green spaces for different reasons and by sharing those reasons we can try to ensure that as wide a range of needs as possible are met. 

To find out more about how you can get involved in caring for Torbay Green Spaces, please contact Hannah Worthington by email hannah.worthington@swisco.co.uk