What do you do with an overgrown space in a disused part of a city park? Wait and watch? Plan and act? Leave it as it is? As residents and advocates for being in and protecting green spaces it seemed most logical to start planning. But what would the plan be and why do anything at all? It soon become apparent that a quick response plan would not be the answer and that some community engagement was needed. So, a few members of The Stoke Traders and Residents got together and started hatching some ideas. We secured some funding to hold a Silent Disco in the park and used it as an opportunity to speak to people. We conducted a simple survey and chatted to people about their hopes and dreams of Stoke Village and the park. It was a fantastic event full of dancing, smiles and connections. Adults and children, familiesand neighbours, young and old came together and shared their visions for the future.

From these humble acts of community engagement, we now find ourselves riding high on tangible progress. We are using the voices of community members and our observations and experiences of how people engage with the park to action developments that will enable more people to engage with the park. We have secured funding from The Green Minds project and will be working alongside Plymouth City Council to develop the space in a way that works with nature and the existing usage. https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/parksnatureandgreenspaces/parksprojects/greenminds.

We are extremely excited about the project and are looking forward to linking in and connecting with the other organisations who are involved. https://greenmindsplymouth.com/.

We are currently working with two incredibly talented local outdoor experts who are working on designs. We are looking forward to seeing the designs and sharing them with the community. These designs will be available to look at and discuss soon and will be displayed in The Village Hub. So, pop in, take a look and share your thoughts and ideas for the future of our beautiful park.

Jade Ward