Start of a journey for community green spaces

Looking across the green space over to Centenary Way (spot the staffie!). Photo: Groundwork South

Looking across the green space over to Centenary Way (spot the staffie!). Photo: Groundwork South - Credit: Archant

The blue-grey staffie is friendly and bouncy, and a good scratch behind the ears testifies that her fur is as soft as it looks, all velveteen and warm.

Groundwork logo

Groundwork logo - Credit: Archant

A chat with her owners reveals that they walk the grass pathways of this green space along Centenary Way, in Barton, at least once a day. It’s just across the road from them, quite peaceful and just about large enough for this playful pup to properly exercise her humans!

On first view you might be forgiven for thinking that the site is little more than a non-descript green space.

Even though it adjoins a small area of woodland known as Ellacombe Plantation, it’s ringed by housing, dissected by overhead electricity lines and bordered by a nearby retail estate, meaning there is a danger of it being just another bit of urban space.

However, for the Staffordshire terrier and her neighbours, it’s a place to stretch your legs, space to clear your head after work, somewhere safe to play near home, a bit of ‘wilderness’ to explore and a buffer – should those neighbours feel a bit too close at times.

For Groundwork South, a visit to Centenary Way is a step on the journey we are taking with Torbay Council to support communities across the Bay who want to celebrate and care for local green spaces.

By identifying why the site is important, how it’s used, who it’s used by and how everyone would like to shape the part it plays in the community, we can all map out a route for this neighbourhood that will take it from A to B: from just living near another urban green space, to being able to enjoy and celebrate ‘our community green space’.

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There is a danger of unappreciated green spaces dropping off the map; we have the chance to work together to make sure that this doesn’t happen in Barton.

To find out more about this site and how you can get involved in caring for Green Spaces across Torbay, contact Hannah Worthington on 07940510616 or email