Seeking new ‘friends’ to celebrate green spaces

St Mary’s Park, which saw its 80th anniversary this year. Photo: Groundwork South

St Mary’s Park, which saw its 80th anniversary this year. Photo: Groundwork South - Credit: Archant

Ever forgotten an anniversary? With everything that has happened this year you would be forgiven for having missed at least one special date; we did.

So here is our ‘sorry it’s late’ card for St Mary’s Park in Brixham, which on June 1 quietly achieved the milestone of having been a public park for 80 years.

Laid out in 1940 across two fields purchased by the then Brixham Urban Council, St Mary’s originally had football and hockey pitches as well as a putting green.

Although these are not features of today’s park, it does boast a bowls club, tennis courts, children’s play area, outdoor exercise equipment, wildflower area and table-tennis table.

All this, plus a variety of mature trees around its boundary, an open area of grass perfect for an informal kick-about and some rather picturesque vistas across to the south Devon fields beyond Brixham.

So then, what to get the octogenarian who seemingly has everything?

How about some new friends? Like many parks and green spaces across Torbay, St Mary’s has a ‘Friends’ group – members of the local community who volunteer their time to help care for it – but they are in need of new members and if there’s one thing that recent times has shown us, it’s that it’s important to have a good support network.

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For green spaces, this support could be gardening, fundraising, planting trees, creating or enhancing habitats for wildlife, organising community events and much more.

Each community will have different priorities, needs and vision for its local green space and each ‘friend’ will bring different skills and knowledge and it is all this combined that guides what support is needed and can be offered.

In partnership with Torbay Council, Groundwork South are working to support communities that want to actively care for and celebrate their local green spaces; helping parks like St Mary’s to make some new friends and ensuring they have someone to celebrate those special milestones.

To find out more about St Mary’s Park or joining a community Green Space group in Torbay, contact Hannah Worthington on 07940510616 or email