OOTS: Love Parks Week

It's Love Parks Week at the moment (until August 1st), so what better excuse is there to briefly introduce you to John Coles Park, Chippenham's main public open space. You can see it's laid mainly to grass with lots of grand specimen trees. Elsewhere there's a large playground, a sensory garden, a bowling green, floral bedding, tennis courts and that all important cafe for drinks and ice creams. On Sunday afternoons in the summer various bands are scheduled to play on the bandstand: I can hear them playing up at the allotment when the wind's in the right direction. When I took this picture the park was being well used (it is the school holidays after all): it's just that it's rather large, so the two hundred people or so there at the time were spread out a bit.

Love Parks Week is sponsored by Green Space, a charity which aims to raise awareness of the value of our open spaces and campaigns for better provision. I'm rather concerned that the current economic and political climate will put even more pressure on the funding of our open spaces, so anything which raises awareness of their value and aims to get everyone using our parks more has to be a good thing. The Love Parks link at the top of this post takes you to the page where you can search for events at an open space near you.

This also provides me with the perfect excuse to remind you that the next edition of Out on the Streets (OOTS) is almost upon us. I'll be writing the kick-off post next Monday (August 2nd) and I look forward to seeing your neighbourhood (or holiday destination) wearing its summery planting finest :)


  1. Hi VP - I had NO idea it was Love Parks Week, so thanks for that! Your park looks nice - and very similar to our Queen's Park. We don't have a sensory garden (sadly) but there is a minature train that tootles round the small lake instead!

    Chesterfield has lots of Parks and my school (Parkside ...because it's next to Queen's Park!)has named its Houses after 3 of the Parks - Somersall, Linacre and Holmebrook. We are well blessed in good Parkage! :)

  2. Lovely picture. I was watching a programme on city parks a few years ago and realised that my children in rural country had missed out. Yes we have lots of green but mostly we have to stick to footpaths. These are often full of cow pats! In most areas any common ground has long been fenced in and farmed. We have a few small playing fields with a swing or two but they are often smaller than a football pitch. As gardens get smaller there is less and less room for children to run in, so I do hope that your parks survive the recession.

    Best wishes Sylvia

  3. Your park sounds very nice, we're out in the sticks a bit but do have a fenced off area with swings, slide etc. A new death slide has been installed for the older children at great expense, some grant or other, problem is it's only 15 foot long, oh well you can't have it all!

  4. Best park ever must be Singleton Park in Swansea. Even with the best coastline and beaches in the world on our doorstep Singleton had enough charms to lure people away from them.

    Everything a park should be, large, loads of different areas - a small lake, a botanical gardens, a stone circle, another formally planted park inside, a Swiss Chalet, beautiful trees giving fruit to a fab collection of conkers, and a dog rescue centre where kids could borrow a dog for a day and take it out in the park. (The latter is no longer available probably due to small kids losing too many dogs.)

  5. A very soothing picture. Parks are so important - everyone needs green space as a contrast to the hustle and bustle of built up areas.
    BTW - Thanks for the book.

  6. Ooh! I managed to sneak in some OOTS, and it even includes the park next to my house. http://gardenfaerie.blogspot.com/2010/08/mish-mash-seed-grow.html

  7. Veep, I've been so out of circulation for the past few months due to the double whammy of school and marathon training, I had no idea you were running an OOTS Love Parks Week. I love parks! Here's a belated park post from a couple of years ago... one of my favourite Toronto gardeny spaces:


  8. NG - glad to hear it :)

    Sylvia - there's some hope in the gloom which I gleaned from a workshop I attended recently. More to come

    Damo - does it get used or does its shortness mean it's not thrilling enough?

    Arabella - that sounds fab. Andrew Wilson made some interesting remarks re the provision within parks at the seminar I went to - more to come on that

    EG - so glad the book arrived safely :)

    Monica and Helen - thanks for being such great supporters of OOTS :)


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