On 31 July Florence Park will see the opening of a new attraction.
NaturEscape is an outdoor space that aims to run forest school sessions for the community. It has been constructed in the area that used to contain the disused mini-golf site.
Oxford City Council has worked in partnership with Flo’s the Place in the Park Community Hub to create NaturEscape. The project has also benefited from community involvement through fundraising, volunteer-led design and doing the actual work, which has included planting a meadow and trees and hedges, sponsoring stones for the sensory pathway, creating the fire pit and digging the site that will become a pond. The City Council invested £7,000 for fencing and to convert the space from its former use. This has been more than matched by community fundraising of a further £15,000.
“This new NaturEscape resource will add a new dimension to Florence Park. It will be a natural dog-free play area and a useful learning resource for the community.
“It is fitting that NaturEscape is opening during national Love Parks Week (23 July to 1 August) as it shows how much our parks are loved and how they continue to provide a focus for our communities.”
Cllr Lubna Arshad, Cabinet Member for Parks and Waste Reduction
‘We have been amazed by the support this development has received. It has been exciting to see it take shape and it will continue to evolve for many years to come. We hope people who have sponsored a stone and others will come and find ‘their stone’.
“Next steps include fundraising for a pond for the water area, some shelter for rainy days, and sound sculpture the ‘air zone’, as well as living tree arches and more. As well as regular forest school sessions for our nursery children, we hope to develop regular outdoor grandparents group - and other sessions for families with young children”
Annie Davy from Flo's the Place in the Park
Other organisations involved in the partnership to create the NaturEscape project include the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment, Grundon Waste Management Ltd, the Doris Field Trust, Oxford Garden Partners, the Nature Effect, Flo's the Place in the Park, Good Gym and lots of local individual people power.
For more details visit: Naturescape