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Southampton National Park City
Southampton is a unique city. We are well known for our maritime history, our pioneering research, and our incredible natural
heritage - these make us resilient, healthy and prosperous.
The Southampton National Park City project wants to create more spaces that are safe to play in and where nature can flourish - a city where people, culture and nature work together.
We are working towards national park city status for Southampton.
Web: https://southampton-national-park.com/ - contains listings of most green spaces and associated groups
Southampton City Council Green City Plan 2030
Friends of Portswood Rec
The Friends of Portswood Rec are committed to working with Southampton City Council to improve the physical and natural environment at Portswood Rec to make it a more accessible, attractive, and safer place for all members of the community to visit and have fun.
Since 2012, the Rec has been protected in perpetuity by Fields In Trust as part of their Queen Elizabeth II programme marking the Diamond Jubilee of HM The Queen. In 2021, it was awarded a Green Flag and in the same year was recognised by DEFRA with a Bees Needs Community Champions Award.
The park has a play area, football goal with Astro, tennis courts, segregated dog walking area, community garden with picnic tables, areas managed for wildlife, and a separate open area of grass for sports and events which is also used by the local school.
The Friends group have successfully sourced grants to contribute to improvements at the park including replacing and upgrading equipment in the play area to make it more accessible, resurfacing of the tennis courts and providing the football goal.
The Friends have an active group of gardeners who aim to maintain the gardens, improve biodiversity, and support wildlife at the park using funding attained by the group. To date the gardeners have formed two small meadow areas to encourage wildlife, planted native shrubs and plants to attract bees, butterflies, and moths, and created nesting and drinking sites for bees, other insects, birds, and bats.
The Friends group also organises regular litter picks and occasional community events.
The gardening group meet at the park most weekends. Everyone is welcome and details of these sessions and other volunteering opportunities with the Friends are published on their Facebook page.
Friends of Riverside Park
About us: The Friends of Riverside Park is a group made up of local people who would like to see improved facilities and better maintenance in Riverside Park. They aim to maintain and improve the physical and natural environment of the park in liaison with Southampton City Council, promote wider use of Riverside Park across the whole community, protect and promote the natural beauty and wildlife of the Park, help make the Park a clean, safe and healthy place to be, secure funds to improve amenities, and ensure community-based involvement in the future of the Park.
Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery
About us: Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery are a group of enthusiasts interested in the history, wildlife and maintenance of the Old Cemetery in Southampton - a Grade II listed cemetery. Their two major aims are to uphold the original purpose of the cemetery and to support the ecological aims of the adjoining Southampton Common (a Site of Special Scientific Interest). They organise many guided walks and other activities throughout the year which are all free but requires booking. The events include Wildlife and Butterfly Walk, Titanic Walk, Heritage Walk, and Task Days (conservation work for members only). Donations are appreciated to help further their good work.
Tel: 07538 888 655 (Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm)
Friends of St James’ Park
FoSJP is a registered Charity.
Aim: To work towards creating a park that will best serve the various needs of all our community.
Their Mission statement is to celebrate and enhance the life of the park and its community through social, environmental, and economic development.
The onsite café is run by ParkLife CIC who hire out a community room located at the back of the Café.
The park has 5 entrances, botanical and scenic walks, sports equipment, climbing wall, tennis courts, basketball half court, Zip line, table tennis table, and play facilities for children.
FoSJP offer the following groups and volunteer opportunities:
- Community Club:
Every Monday and Wednesday 11-4pm. A fun and welcoming group(18+); playing board games, doing arts and crafts, offering support with IT queries and supplying endless cuppas and biscuits - Everyone welcome :)
- Serendipity group:
A small supportive group for young adults with Autism working alongside Autism Hampshire. For more info email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Their gardening team (Volunteer based)
Meets in the Park every Wednesday; 1 pm to 3 pm (weather permitting). Always followed up with refreshments on the Café decking.
- History group (Volunteer based):
Local history research group, who working with the community collects and publish research and have published work (This group is currently supporting the Spitfire Charity with their work)
Friends of Freemantle Lake Park
This group is a community organisation that aims to care for and improve the park for the whole community to enjoy and cherish for years to come. They hold events such as litter picks, nature days, regular get togethers, meetings, and occasional events throughout the year. Please visit the Facebook page for regular updates about the park, events and community updates.
Friends of Peartree Green
The Friends of Peartree Green are a group of volunteers who work together with the city council to look after Peartree Green, a local nature reserve since 2017. We organise events to encourage people to use the reserve and to get involved. These include conservation work parties and litter picks, guided flora and fauna walks usually led by local expert Phil Budd, chair of Southampton Natural History Society, and events for families and local schools. Peartree Green is a diverse habitat of approximately 20.8 hectares (51.4 acres) bordered on the west side by the main railway line from Southampton to Portsmouth and on the east by the main road, Peartree Avenue, running from Woolston to Bitterne.
Friends of Town Quay Park (FTQP)
Town Quay Park is hidden away in the city centre between the lower end of the High St & Bugle St (off French St, SO14 2AG). Having saved the park from being sold for housing development, FTQP now has a group of gardening volunteers who meet regularly, weather permitting, to maintain and improve the park. More volunteers are needed to help with this. As well as planting fruit trees, herb beds and bulbs, they have created a wildlife area with native trees and wild flowers. St John’s primary school next door to the park are encouraged to use the park as much as possible for play & learning. A new ‘arena’ area has recently been added, with raised beds (1 of which commemorates Huguenot refugees’ arrival in England). FTQP would like to see this used more for events that bring our diverse inner-city community together, as well as anyone else interested. New members are always welcome, gardening volunteers and anyone who wants to get involved, or run an event in the park are welcome to contact FTQP via the website or facebook page.
Address: c/o 29 Bugle St, SO14 2AL
facebook: Friends of Town Quay Park
Friends of Weston Shore
The aim of the Friends of Weston Shore is to enhance and promote the beach and its surroundings for local people, visitors to the area and the wildlife to be found there. This group grew out of an annual clean up on the shore that began in 1996, and as the cleanups have been a big success, it forms a regular part of the group’s activities. Other events they have been involved with are book readings on the shore, picnics, and promoting walks to appreciate shore’s birdlife. This group welcomes everyone to join them with their scheduled cleanups and wildlife surveys!
Friends of Westwood
Hampshire Conservation Volunteers (HCV)
HCV are out most weekends, working on a wide variety of sites which are valuable for wildlife. In the spring and summer, their tasks often involve the construction of paths, boardwalks and fences, while autumn is traditionally the time for pond maintenance. Winter months see the management of woodlands and downland by coppicing, hedge laying and scrub-bashing, usually with a roaring bonfire. The majority of their work is for charities such as Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation, local councils, and land-owners who have some form of stewardship agreement.
New volunteers are always welcome and no previous experience is required. Duke of Edinburgh award participants are welcome. Before work starts, training is given in the safe use of tools and any potential hazards are explained. Experienced volunteers will explain and demonstrate work techniques. Please follow this link to check out future events! -https://www.hcv.org.uk/hcvprog.htm
Tel: Karen Minett (01256 211271), Mark Dakin (01252 547508), Jenny Wedick (01329 314617)
Living Lordswood initially focused on caring for creation through litter picking and nature walks but, over the years, they have experimented with other ideas to help make life greener, healthier, more loving and fun! They are keen for people to enjoy it to the full whilst making sure the planet is left in great shape for the next generation. There are lots going on - and a place for everyone. Activities to get involved in include litter picks, nature walks, choir, and meetings where you can meet new people and discuss life’s big questions.
Sholing Valleys Study Centre
Sholing Valleys is an Environmental Study Centre and a registered charity, for nearly twenty years. The centre was set up to preserve the Miller’s Pond and to educate the public about this unique environment and the wildlife that can be found there. They have an active approach to both nature conservation, management, and education and community involvement as a core priority They hold regular events such as conversation days, educational sessions for children, guided nature walks, talks, and family fun day. Local groups including a Forest School, Scouts and Guides, and the local Police also use the facilities. Why not look at their story map at: https://artswork.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=f69f60e032224c288fbd82b7af48fb9d
Address: Station Road, Sholing, Southampton, SO19 8FP
Tel: 023 8043 2395
Greenways are ribbons of open space that follow stream valleys. They form valuable breaks in the built up area and in some cases reach out into the open countryside beyond. They provide areas for recreation, enhance Southampton’s landscape and provide a green corridor for wildlife.
Trees for Life
"Trees for Life is our annual free event for families to plant a tree to celebrate babies born in Southampton.
Parents, Grandparents and guardians of babies born this year can join our special day and plant a tree to commemorate the birth. Every year, we create a wooded area, leaving a lasting legacy for everyone to enjoy and helping to make Southampton a greener city."
Southampton City Farm
The Farm aims to offer people the ability to interact with animals and the natural environment in a farm-like setting. They are based on 1.2 hectares site made up of a farm, woodland area, growing area, pond, and a fully equipped building suitable for a range of indoor activities in Southampton.
“Who would have thought you can find this lovely place in the middle of the city”
“Loved it and love the way the staff really care for the animals and take time out of their busy day to talk to you and are always so friendly”
Address: Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill, Green Lane, Southampton SO16 9FQ
Tel: 023 8052 2706
Southampton University Conservation Volunteers (SUCV)
Every Sunday during University term time, SUCV runs local conservation days where they restore ecosystems and biodiversity around Southampton and Hampshire. This can involve tree felling, coppicing, planting, digging, fighting your way through brambles, and making huge fires (sometimes they bake spuds in the fire too!). Residential trips (normally Friday to Sunday, once a term) are a bit farther afield and can range anywhere from Brownsea Island, Ireland and Exmoor to the Isle of Wight! Tasks are free, with free hot drinks and unstoppable waves of biscuits. Residentials normally cost around £20 to cover food, transport, and accommodation costs.
Whether you’re a keen gardener or a complete novice, Campus Collective (University of Southampton) is the society for everyone who loves plants, food, and the environment! Get all the kit you need to grow your own organic, nutritious herbs and veg right on your windowsill, join the group for visits to local farms and community gardens, and eat and be merry with like-minded people!
The Conservation Volunteers
The Conservation Volunteers have been reclaiming green places since 1959. They help hundreds of thousands of people each year to reclaim local green places and creating healthier and happier communities for everyone. Through their environmental projects and through their network of 2,000 community groups, they see people taking responsibility for their own local environments. The activities can vary from planting trees and wildflower meadows, to building stiles, clearing footpaths or creating new food growing projects. If this is right up your alley, volunteer or work with them and learn new skills while making a difference to your community.
Tel: 02380 402593
Find yourself a countryside site for walking, dog walking, cycling, even BBQ. There are plenty of countryside for you to explore and you can locate them right here. There’s also the option for education with dedicated staff to supply excellent tailor-made information and can help support both guided and self-guided groups from early years to university age. If you want extra fresh air, volunteering isn’t such a bad idea! Along with making a real difference, it provides an opportunity to develop new skills and experience, enhance your CV, and meet new people.
South Downs Natural Burial Site
Nobody wants to think about death but if you happen to, you might have thought about funerals. Did you know there is a more environmentally friendly option for this? South Downs natural burial ground is managed according to an ecologically sound system. The woodland is worked as a coppice to ensure a rich biodiversity, encouraging wildlife including owls, badgers, raptors, and stoats. The native woodland, created by the planting of memorial trees, has become a lasting tribute to those who rest here.
Address: The Sustainability Centre, Droxford Road, East Meon, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU32 1HR
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is one of 46 Wildlife Trusts, all standing up for the natural world. Together we are the nation’s most active and influential nature conservation partnership, protecting wildlife in every part of the British Isles. Each Trust works within its local community to inspire people and bring about change. With the invaluable support of volunteers and members we manage over 60 nature reserves. We also work with other organisations and landowners to protect and connect wildlife sites across the county and inspire local communities and young people to care for wildlife where they live.
Address: Beechcroft House, Vicarage Lane, Curdridge, Hampshire SO32 2DP
Tel: 01489 774400
Mayfield Nurseries are a garden centre and café based in the old walled kitchen garden at Mayfield Park. They believe that gardening and nature have the power to transform lives. As a subsidiary charity of Solent Mind, they use donations and the sales of high quality plants, shrubs and gardening sundries, to provide a place for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities to attend the nursery, providing a supportive and caring environment for them to thrive through social and therapeutic horticulture.
Address: Mayfield Park, Weston Lane, Southampton SO19 9HL
Tel: 023 8044 7743
Plants for People
Plants for People is a community initiative in partnership with Solent Mind (Mayfield Nurseries) and Southampton City Council for residents of Millbrook, Weston and Holyrood Estates. Plants for People is about connecting, listening to residents and working with the community to develop their outside spaces with plants, flowers, vegetables creating vibrant colours and smells.
Open to all ages and abilities, residents will be given the opportunity to learn and share new gardening skills. The Community Development Worker from Mayfield Nurseries will be on-site during the following days:
Mondays 1:30pm to 4.30pm – Millbrook, meeting at Manish’s’ convenience shop
Wednesdays 1:30pm-4.30pm – Weston, meeting at Oslo Tower
Fridays 1:30pm-4.30pm – Holyrood, meeting at Challis Court
Tel: 07768 082631
ALLOTMENTS/COMMUNITY GROWING SPACES
Bitterne Park Growing Places
Bitterne Park Growing Places is a project that's helping people in Bitterne Park grow their own food, through seed and plant donations and by connecting the community to swap and share seeds, plants and growing advice.
Over 160 households have started growing food and this year, we aim to share surplus food in the community too.
You’ll find plenty of pictures, news and support on our Facebook page or via our occasional email updates – sign up at www.bpgp.org
Ropewalk Community Garden
A delightful walled garden in the centre of inner-city Southampton. Ropewalk Community Garden is a unique space in the inner-city of Southampton. The Garden is open every weekday between 9am-5pm and people are welcome to garden, grow food, play or relax. Soon there will be a ball area free to use, with café and public toilet coming further in the future. Ropewalk organise gatherings every third Saturday of the month when they tidy, do various maintenance and growing projects, share ideas and drink tea (and sometimes have cake too!). At these events, they’re also joined by the Transition Southampton group Bike2Basics, who can fix your bike or show you how to fix it yourself!
Address: 53 Derby Road, Southampton, SO14 0DJ
Homegrown SO14 uses creative neighbourhood participation to transform lives, livelihoods and spaces. Join us to build grow a platform realising people’s ambition for a healthier, more sustainable and connected place to live
Shirley Warren Community Garden
Shirley Warren Community Garden is an urban oasis. The volunteer project transformed from a wasteland into a popular garden complete with a sensory area including a water feature, and a pond full of wildlife.
The Community Garden is fully accessible to all, and open from 10.00am until dusk. In particular, the Garden provides a useful recreational and learning resource for the adjacent Shirley Warren Schools, and Shirley warren Action Church. They continue to invite the local community to enjoy the Garden and welcome any individuals or groups that wish to join our existing enthusiastic band of volunteers who regularly give up their time to care for and improve the Garden for the benefit of its users.
Tel: 023 8066 0225
Aldermoor Community Farm
The aldermoor community farm is a co-operative of ordinary people working together to produce as much food as we can in a sustainable way, with the further goal to nurture the potential of people and land. They are restoring an acre of agricultural land that has been overgrown for many years and designing their farm using permaculture principles. In addition to the benefit of good fresh food, they provide a place where members of the local community get to know each other, a place where people find peace and well-being, and a place of learning together. They also have a farm shop and, while you’re there, you can wander around the farm and feed the chickens or sit by the pond.
The farm shop is open on Wednesday and Saturday, from 9 am to 5 pm.
“Awesome initiative, creating food in the suburbs of Southampton. Encouraging others to get involved, and living a healthy lifestyle. Would highly recommend visiting, and helping out.” - James
Address: Aldermoor Road, Southampton SO16 5NN
Southampton Allotment and Gardens Association
Southampton Allotment and Gardens Association (SAGA) are a group of dedicated and friendly people who are keen to help other growers and gardeners to achieve their aims and listen to their views and suggestions to improve the Association and its service to members. SAGA was started as a Friendly Society during difficult economic times and still nominally retains this status today. The bulk purchase of goods required and then sold on to members resulted in considerable savings to the individual and the Association grew rapidly. This tradition is carried on to this day through their trading sheds and events where you can come to buy seeds/plants and talk to people who enjoy growing their own produce.
Anyone with an interest in gardening (you don’t even have to have a plot on an allotment) in Southampton can become a SAGA member, which allows you to purchase discounted goods at their trading sheds. They also welcome anyone to their shows and events including plant sales.
Address: 175 Manor Farm Road SO18 1NY
An allotment is an area of land, which can be rented for growing fruit and vegetables for you and your family. There are over 1800 allotment plots on 27 different sites around Southampton, available to rent annually. Anyone who lives within the city boundary is eligible to apply for an allotment. The cost to rent a site depends on the location and size of the plot. The average standard plot costs around £65 a year. Discounts are available for people over 60 and those receiving benefits. Southampton City Council can provide advice on which sites are available and how to get the best out of your allotment, depending on what you want to grow. Whether it’s a hobby or not, growing your own food can reconnect us to the food and is a great way to keep moving and maintain your health. Expect to join a long waiting list (as at May 2022).
Southampton Seed Swap
Seed Swap gives growers the chance to choose seeds from dozens of traditional varieties of garden vegetables in return for a donation or in exchange for seed they have saved. It’s a great place to meet like-minded people, from new gardeners to people who have been giving away free courgettes by the tonne!
Southampton Seed Swap happens on the second Sunday of March each year.
Address: The Art House, 178 Above Bar Street, Southampton, SO14 7DW
St Denys Front Gardens Plus
The Green Network
Hosted jointly by Southampton Voluntary Services, SO:Linked and Mayfield Nurseries/Mind, this group provides an information exchange for local prescribers, navigators and growing groups
PLEASE TELL US about any other Southampton green businesses, community enterprises or community groups that should be here by using the form below - and update us on changes to any of the above.