The five-year strategy, which will be considered by the Council’s Cabinet tomorrow (Tuesday), aims to safeguard and enhance the borough’s open spaces.
Projects being considered include creating community orchards, boosting tree donations, increasing educational visits and developing wildlife schemes, using recycled materials such as granite kerb edgings in parks, restoring Southchurch Hall, re-landscaping Southchurch Park, encouraging more volunteering, and more.
There will also be management plans to maintain and improve parks, as well as increasing the numbers of events and activities there.
If agreed, there will be a 12- week public consultation about the proposals so residents, stakeholders and partners can have their say about it too.
Graham Longley, Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism and Economic Development, said: “Parks and open spaces are vital for the health and well-being of residents of all ages as well as adding immeasurably to Southend’s attractions as a visitor destination – and providing a haven for wildlife.
“In this difficult financial climate it is essential that we find innovative ways to make sure we protect and develop these green lungs of our town which are becoming increasingly important.”
The strategy’s five key points are:
· To provide and maintain good quality parks and open spaces
· To connect these spaces with a well-maintained and attractive street scene
· To provide recreation and sports facilities to encourage active, healthy lifestyles
· To protect and promote our natural green heritage and biodiversity, preserving it for future generations
· To encourage community involvement in the development and management of green spaces
It also sets out the following important standards:
· To ensure that all residents have easy access to a public open space of at least 0.2 hectares
· To provide one hectare of public open space per 1,000 people
· To adopt the Green Flag quality criteria for its major destination parks and open spaces
You can download a PDF of the proposed strategy here.
Information about how to take part in the subsequent consultation will be publicised when this is launched later in the year.