Neighbourhood projects

Here are some neighbourhood projects that have taken place over the last two years. If you have any ideas that would help improve our town, whether it’s something you would like to set up yourself, suggest to us, or work with us to get going. Please email neighbourhood.warden@stevenage.gov.uk

Peartree Spring School clear-up

Pupils, parents and teachers from Peartree Spring School approached us about a local alleyway which had become a dumping ground for litter. We gave them support and funding to help make a more inspiring entrance to the school.

Mijke Pechey, the Curriculum Leader at the school, wrote: “We were contacted by a parent and found the alleyway in a horrible state of neglect, but pupils have come up with lovely ideas to brighten it up with child-friendly murals, colourful paving and some nice planting. 

“After contacting the council, our local neighbourhood warden came in to speak to some of the children about their ideas and is now helping us to turn their plans into reality by liaising with the relevant council departments on our behalf.  We are thrilled to have secured some funding from the council to help us as well. 

“We are turning this forgotten alleyway into a bright and welcoming space that will start the school day off on a happy and cheerful note and make it more pleasant for everyone in the community to walk through.  It is a wonderful community project and all the children at school are excited to be part of it.” 

Transport company Arriva have now offered to support the project by sponsoring a litter bin on the edge of the nearby park, sending volunteers to help and paying for bulbs to plant.

If you have an area you would like to brighten up, you can find out more online about how you could work with us to improve our town:

Community revives The Oval garden

Resident Joanne House got together with her neighbours and local councillors to revamp an overgrown community garden and bring it back into use.

The Oval Community Garden in Stevenage had been maintained by the local children’s centre until they moved. Joanne became frustrated when the grass became overgrown, it was covered in litter, and was being vandalised. She convinced local councillors to join her and tidy it up so the community could enjoy it once more.

Councillors arranged for the council to cut back overgrowth and Joanne revamped the garden with their help and other volunteers, including young people from the Church of Fire and Miracles at The Oval. It reopened in 2017 with new fencing, seating, flowers and plants including strawberries and tomatoes.

Cllr McKay said: “Joanne really got this off the ground and now lots of people use it. Toddler groups have been down there and people just go and sit and enjoy it.”

Anyone is welcome to come along and help with the upkeep or enjoy the garden. The Friends of The Oval Community Garden meet on the first Saturday of each month and can be contacted on Facebook: /theovalcommunitygardenstevenage

Local play areas

Stevenage Borough Council is investing to improve play areas throughout the town, and inviting children and young people to get involved with the opportunity to pick their favourite pieces of play equipment for their local play area.

Children and young people are consulted through schools, community groups and site visits. Once the consultation is closed, we collate the scores and ensure that the most popular items are included in the new design.

Already many play areas have already been created, incorporating the children’s ideas. As well as swings and climbing frames, the play areas include a zip wire, basketball hoops, climbing wall, rocking boat and a dinosaur domain.

Local children had a part to play helping us redesign play areas at The Oval, Martins Wood, Chepstow Close, Canterbury Way, Bandley Hill, Bedwell, Cook Road, Scarborough Avenue, The Noke and York Road have been completed.

Our surveys since show more children have visited the play areas every day and satisfaction has improved. In 2018/19 the council is working with local children again, to design and deliver more new play areas. To find out when improvements will be made to your local play area or to see the improvements that have already been made use the link below.

Community creates a new garden for Bragbury End

In 2016 Bragbury End Residents’ Association approached us about a strip of land that they were interested in taking over to create a community garden. We had no other plans for the land and were pleased to take the residents up on their offer to take care of it.

Volunteers of all ages came together in Bragbury End to transform a patch of land into a thriving community garden. They planted raised beds and bushes and even created a floral display to mark the town’s 70th anniversary in 2016, at the garden on Hertford Road.

They have planted mulberry, walnut, pear and cherry trees, and hosted events there. New volunteers are always welcome. You can join the Bragbury End Community Garden volunteers on Saturday mornings from 10am. Or follow their progress on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Bragbury-end-Community-Garden

Neighbourhood wardens work with residents

Our new neighbourhood wardens have been out and about talking to residents and helping solve any concerns.

Warden, Sue Amey, said: “One house in St Nicholas had a lot of old furniture and rubbish in the front garden which was an eyesore. Residents were concerned about it and came along to a Residents’ Association meeting to complain.

“I went along to talk to the woman who lived there and said please can you get it cleaned up in the next 14 days or we will have to take it further. A week later the rubbish was gone. The other residents are relieved and pleased it’s been sorted out.”

If you’re concerned about something in your area then you can contact the wardens at neighbourhood.warden@stevenage.gov.uk or call 01438 242558.

Residents clean up in Bedwell

Bedwell Residents’ Group spruced up their area with a weekend litter picking morning in spring 2017. They wear high visibility jackets with ‘Bedwell Residents’ Group’ emblazoned across them so they are easily recognisable. The group plan future littering picking sessions and you can keep an eye out for what’s planned and when by checking the events section of our website.

Keeping our town green and clean

Our Green Spaces Volunteer initiative was launched in 2011 in response to a growing interest among local residents who wanted to play an active part in the maintenance and management of their local green spaces.
 
Volunteers are welcome to attend for as much, or as little, time as they can afford and no previous experience is required - people just need to enjoy working in the outdoors and want to make a difference to the town.

Tasks include woodland coppicing, pond clearance, management of ancient hedgerows, butterfly surveys, installation of bird/bat boxes, bulb and tree planting, and help at events. 

More than 100 people have joined the Green Space Volunteers, they met new people and learn new skills, and make a great contribution to the town’s green spaces for residents, visitors and wildlife. 

Use the link below to find out more about the Green Space Volunteers.