Buckinghamshire’s Public Parks
The Buckinghamshire Gardens Trust Newsletter grown in response to requests for articles for the extra June Newsletter and what started out as one newsletter will now probably fill two! The plan now is to make a record of these parks and produce a ‘Guide to Buckinghamshire Public Parks ’, this will include a description, a history of the park and an up- date on the condition of the park in 2020.
The Gardens Trust, have launched a new lottery funded project for 2020-22 ‘Unforgettable Gardens; save our heritage’ and ‘Guide to Buckinghamshire Public Parks’ will be our contribution to this national initiative. This is a most appropriate project given the considerable support the National Lottery has given to public parks since its inception in 1993 bringing many back from the brink with its generous grants. Our aim will be to ensure that ‘the green lungs’ that are our local public parks will be ‘unforgettable’ in the future, and continue to provide the much needed relaxation and recreation areas to urban dwellers.
Most of our volunteers are now able to travel to the parks as restrictions have been lifted but the archives are currently closed so research is rather limited. However, with help from Julia Wise at Bucks.CC and on-line research we have so far written introductions to the following parks: Vale Park Aylesbury, The Rye High Wycombe, Lowndes Park Chesham, King George V P. Risborough, Tomkins Park Winslow, Linear Park Buckingham, Wolverton and Higginson Marlow.
In these extraordinary times we have been encouraged to take daily exercise, walking and cycling being the main options. This is wonderful for those fortunate to be living in rural Buckinghamshire, and I now know all the public footpaths within 5 kms of my village Oakley and view the fields as one big beautiful park. The countryside has really been at its best this spring, blue skies, abundant blossom, and birds singing their hearts out, including our local cuckoo that returned from warmer climes at the end of April. However, for those living in our towns with little or no garden the public park has come into its own during the pandemic.
For so long our public open spaces have been neglected and under-valued and often the first facility to face local authority financial cutbacks. They have also been low on the list of sites researched by our volunteers, this all changed in 2018 when research and recording volunteers, Gill Grocott and Jill Stansfield researched the parks of Milton Keynes. They have now written reports on the three parks that make up the linear park system which are a feature of the planned cityscape: Ouzel Valley Park, Campbell Park, & Willen Lakes.
As Buckinghamshire is predominantly a rural county with only a small number of medium sized towns, there are no large public parks on the scale of those created in UK cities during the nineteenth century, such as Birkenhead Park, Sefton Park (Liverpool), Derby Arboretum, Victoria Park and Battersea in London. There are however, 27,000 public parks across the country and we have a wide variety in Buckinghamshire. Our initial list has Scottowe’s Pond, Lowndes Park Chesham.
Chesham Town Council
Please contact us; if you would like to contribute an article, tell us of a great idea to promote parks, or provide photographs or information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the coming weeks support your local park and get out and enjoy these wonderful places!
Claire de Carle Vice Chair