An Introduction to Parks & Open Spaces Approximately 30% of the area of the Borough is made up of green spaces. Half of this comprises parks, open spaces, recreation grounds, football pitches and amenity land. The Leasowes and Priory Park are listed on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Interest in England.
Parks Development Over the last 10 years we have been successful in securing funding for: The Leasowes restoration Phase I, £1.7 million Transforming Your Space, £300k Steps to Health, £150k Liveability, £3.4 million Play Pathfinder, £2.4 million
The Leasowes This Grade I listed historic landscape was designed between 1743 and 1763 by the poet William Shenstone, who created lakes, streams and cascades running through steep wooded valleys. In 1997 the Council was awarded £1.3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards a £1.75 million restoration of part of the north valley running from Beechwater to Lower Pool in Virgils Grove.
This major restoration project started on site summer 2008 and will be complete by January 2009. Since the award of the funding there have been extensive engineering investigations and re-designs to establish how to recreate the 18 th Century water features up to 21 st Century Health & Safety standards. In addition we have undertaken archaeological investigations at Leasowes Lane dam and the Ruined Priory.
Transforming Your Space In November 2002 we were awarded £300k from The New Opportunities Fund programme for Transforming Your Space. We carried out a programme of improvements across 11 parks and open spaces, ranging from new play areas to footpath improvements and signage. We also provided support to 11 Friends of Parks Groups.
Steps to Health The original Steps project was a Local Exercise Action Pilot (LEAP) and was a partnership between Dudley Council and the Dudley Beacon & Castle Primary Care Trust set up in 2004. The aim of the project was to increase physical activity levels and was one of the first in the country, based on walks, programmes and activities in parks. The programme was so successful that we have now created a full time post of Physical Activities Co-ordinator within the Parks Team. We now deliver a year-round programme of walks and play-style activities in 12 parks around the Borough, which attract over 1000 participants a year.
Liveability Improving Parks for People On 2 February 2004 Dudley was awarded £3.4 million from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for its Improving Parks for People project. Dudley was one of 27 authorities across the country to receive Liveability funding.
Liveability Improving Parks for People The project involved: Creating a Local Involvement Team to work with local communities and Friends Groups. Running a horticultural training project at Netherton and Priory Parks, called Groundforce. Creating long term development plans and then delivering physical improvements worth £2.4 million on 27 Parks and Open Spaces.
Local Involvement Programme We are now supporting 33 active Friends Groups, across the Borough. This element of the project was so successful that we have created 2 permanent posts within the parks team.
Local Involvement Team The Friends Group meet up 4 times a year as a network to share good practice and common issues.
Local Involvement Team This year we held an awards evening to celebrate the hard work and many achievements of the groups.
Local Involvement Team Many of the groups hold events on the parks as fundraisers, to celebrate openings, carryout consultations and to promote their group to new members.
Groundforce Groundforce is a joint initiative between Future Skills, the Grounds Maintenance contractor and Parks Development. Site based maintenance teams have been set up on both Priory and Netherton parks.
Groundforce Between April 2006 – September 2007: 181 unemployed were enrolled into training. 120 qualifications gained. 48 unemployed into jobs.
Physical Improvements We have now established long term development plans for 25 parks.
Physical Improvements Our programme of physical improvements is currently on the ground and expected to be complete in May 2009. The works include, new play areas, new multi use games areas, new planting, seating, cricket facilities, art features for example:
Parks Development We are also responsible for: the management of 2 National Collections. a successful network of self managed allotments. a parks patrol service with site based staff on 5 of the major parks. the letting of football pitches, bowling greens, grazing fields and dealing with day to day issues arising on 800 hectares of parks and open spaces located in an urban environment.
National Collections Both National Collections are housed in the Walled Garden at Stevens Park, Wollescote. We hold one of the largest Ceanothus collections in the country with over 80 different varieties.
National Collections We are one of the few National Collections for Rudbeckia, with about 26 different varieties. We are now building up a collection of Echineacia with a long term view to achieving National Status.
Allotments There are 1000 plots on 35 sites across the borough, all currently let. In fact, most sites have waiting lists. 95% of these are self managed by individual Allotment Associations. There are quarterly meetings of the Allotment Forum to discuss issues and share best practice.
Allotments We run an annual Dudley Allotment Competition with over 120 entries, which culminates in a presentation evening. The best 3 plots go forward to represent the Borough in the Black Country Intertowns Competition. In 2008 Dudley were the Black Country Intertowns champions.
The Greenspaces Team Leader The successful applicant will be responsible for the management of the Parks Development Team which is part of the Museums, Greenspaces & Bereavement Services Section of the Culture & Leisure Division.
Museums, Greenspaces & Bereavement Services Organisational Chart (October 2008) Head of Service Sally Orton Museums Bereavement Services CountrysideParks Management Support Assistant Red House Glass Cone Broadfield House Dudley Museum & Art Gallery Stourbridge & Gornal Crematoria Cemetaries Saltwells Nature Reserve The Leasowes Wrens Nest National Nature Reserve Fens Pools Nature Reserve See separate chart
Parks Development Organisational Chart (October 2008) Greenspaces Team Leader Parks Patrol & Physical Activities Manager Senior Park Keeper (North) 4 site based staff Senior Park Keeper (South) 4 site based staff Parks Physical Activities Co-ordinator Physical Activities Officer Parks Manager 2 Assistant Parks Development Officers Admin Support Officer
Information for Candidates Application forms and further information about the post of Greenspaces Team Leader are available on our website: http://www.dudley.gov.uk/welcome/jobs-in-dudley For hard copies of the application form contact DUE Personnel, 3 St Jamess Road, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 1HZ. Tel: 01384 811657 For an informal chat, please telephone Sally Orton, Head of Museums, Greenspaces & Bereavement Services on 01384-815517