Green spaces at the heart of community life 

The gardening group from Paignton’s Royal British Legion branch hard at work clearing one of the raised beds.

The gardening group from Paignton’s Royal British Legion branch hard at work clearing one of the raised beds. - Credit: Groundwork South

A blossoming cherry tree, children playing chase, neighbours chatting as one arrives home from work, and a fluffy pup chewing its lead as it is walked - each of these things help to illustrate the role that Crownhill Park plays for its community.

This visit to the green space is a chance to meet members of that community and to hear from the people who know and value the park.

Doing this while being in the space they are talking about makes it possible to see how the park features as part of their daily lives, to understand why plans and/or changes have been suggested and to picture how they might work on the ground and the impact they may have. 

It means that ideas are brought to life. 

This is further illustrated on a visit to the Royal British Legion branch in Paignton, where members of the gardening group are clearing three raised beds on the corner of Church Street in preparation for some new planting projects.

As they dig, rake and clear, they are approached by locals who comment how lovely it is to see someone taking action and thanking the group for their efforts. 

Undated handout photo issued by the National Trust of Cherry blossom in the garden of Dunster Castle

Cherry blossom - Credit: PA

While Crownhill Park plays a large part in the lives of its community, the raised beds probably do not figure much in their community’s daily lives. 

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However, the British Legion members are looking at how to change this, with a mix of plans and ideas for a memorial garden, pollinator patch, sensory planting and more.

Of course, with these plans comes talk and ideas about how to ensure the community are involved as well. 

At Groundwork South we know the impact that green spaces have on the communities that live around them and the important role they play.

Being able to visit Torbay’s green spaces together with the people who care for and about them, means that we can ensure the support we provide puts community at the heart of things. 

For support with caring for your local green space in Torbay, please contact Hannah Worthington on 07940 510 616 or email hannah.worthington@groundwork.org.uk