Running events and activities
Covering the basics
If you’re running an event for the very first time and are not sure how to begin, a good place to start is the My Community guide on how to run a successful event for your park or green space. This guide gives you an overview of all the key things you should think about when planning an event.
However, once you have a good idea of what you’d like to do, what your aims and objectives are, you should get in contact with your local authority before you start organising your event. Depending on the type of event you would like to run, you may need certain licences and permissions. Parks Community gives a good overview of the licencing and permissions needed for an event. Your local authority will be able to advise the licencing and permissions you will need in order to run your event.
Perhaps you have a project in mind and want guidance for submitting a project plan and funding application. If so, check out our funding guidance page for more information.
But continue scrolling for links and resources you can use as inspiration for the types of events, activities and projects you could do in your parks and green spaces.
Get your project down on paper
Looking for inspiration?
A popular activity to run in local parks and green spaces are guided walks. Parks Community has produced a useful guide on how to plan a guided walk, including your must do’s and your issues to consider.
Some groups decide to focus their walk on the specific park and its heritage, or some groups might want to focus on the nature that can be found in their local green space. Perhaps your green space is a little known site of specific scientific interest, or is home to particularly interesting species of butterfly, bird or reptile. Or perhaps its simply a beautiful spot to observe nature.
The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) website has a range of resources and activity packs that you can use when running events and activities in parks and green spaces. Their Nature Walks Activity Pack includes different nature activities you can run during nature walks, to help inspire young people to enjoy nature. The pack includes activities that can be done all year round such as leaf prints, making natural dyes, and spring puzzles.
Litter picks are another popular activity to run in your local park and green spaces. For many people, activities such as community litter picks are great introductions to community volunteering. They’re a great way to bring people together to do something positive in the community. PECT’s Neat Streets Litter Picking Guide provides lots of advice on how to set up and run your own community litter pick including a guide to litter picking, template posters, sign-in sheets and risk assessments. Don’t forget to check if there are existing litter pick groups in your local area.
Parks and open spaces are places where people can connect with nature. There are lots of different activities volunteer and community groups can do in their local parks and green spaces to restore local nature or bring people and nature closer together.
If you are interested in Nature Recovery in your local community, check out Natural Cambridgeshire’s’ Local Nature Recovery Toolkit. This toolkit is design to help local communities set out a nature recovery plan for the creation of more nature rich habitats.
Conversation guidance and handbooks
TCV have a selection of handbooks available via a paid subscription service on topics such as the design and construction of fences for conservation, maintenance and repair of footpaths, hedge management, tool care, woodlands, and tree planting and aftercare. Their Urban Handbook is aimed at anyone who is interested in urban environmental action and covers community engagement, habitats, and advice on practical environmental work in urban areas as well as information on health and safety.
Some green spaces might have trees that need occasional management. In many cases, the landowner will arrange for this work to be undertaken. The Parks Community website does provides from more information on ancient woodland and veteran trees and some tips on how to make tree management more wildlife friendly.
Frog life offers guidance on the maintenance and management of ponds in local parks, green spaces and gardens. Frog Life’s Just Add Water Handbook provides information on digging your pond, maintaining and enhancing your pond, and the benefits of having a wildlife friendly pond. You can also access information on different pond restoration methods or their wildlife spotting and recording database of Amphibians and Reptiles which might inspire you to go out and see what’s living in the wet areas of your local park or green space.
New to conservation?
If you are new to conversation, The Conservation Volunteers [TCV] have a collection of articles designed to help you get started with practical conservation, from making your garden more attractive to birds, looking after hedgerows, to the basic safety in conservation work. You can read more about TCV’s ‘Practical Conservation in Brief’ on their website.
If you want to learn more about nature and how to look after our natural environment Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust have released their programme of Wildlife Training Workshops for 2022. The programme offers a mix of online and face to face introductory workshops on a variety of topics from a introduction to Raptors in the Great Fen to Wildflowers, Woodlands and Elms: their Ecology. For non Wildlife Trust members prices range from £7 for online events to £40 to attend face to face workshops. For more information and to view to full programme, check out the Wildlife Trust Website.
People and Nature
Conservation is not the only way to make our parks and green spaces great places for nature as well as people. Running activities that enable people to connect with the natural environment is also important.
TCV has a range of Activity Resources to provide inspiration for different activities you could run in your parks and green spaces to get people outdoors in nature. Including their Accessible Activities guide with ideas for seasonal activities designed to be accessible and enjoyable.
There is an increasing interest in exploring the benefits of nature connectedness for people and nature. Studies have shown that having a stronger connection to nature is associated with higher levels of life satisfaction and increases in pro-environmental behaviours. This could be something simple, such as listening to bird song. Or it could include outdoors yoga classes, nature bathing, or mindfulness.
New to Nature Connectedness? Check out our Jargon Buster to find out more about Nature Connectedness.
Find out what local communities in South Cambridgeshire are doing to reduce their carbon emissions and engage fellow residents on climate change on South Cambridgeshire District council’s website.