Bold Forest Park Area Action Plan - Wednesday, October 23, 2013
categorieën: PH St.Helens, Inspiring examples
This final project report is an accumulation and presentation of the findings made by the Environmental Management and Planning students of the University of Liverpool regarding the Bold Forest Park (BFP) scheme for the creation of woodland and recreational activities in St Helens, Merseyside. The main aspect of which was to evaluate the current Core Strategy SA objectives and indicators through reviewing best practice.

The Bold Forest Park is in the South of the Borough of St Helens and was formerly an industrial area. Due to it's proximity to the cities of Liverpool and Manchester, the park is perfectly located to attract a large number of visitors from nearby. It is also important to note that the BFP scheme is also part of the PURE Hubs network of projects which are located all around Europe. A character study of the park highlights the issues faced by St Helens council and shows what the local community value, which is an incredibly important aspect to the project as one of the main focuses of the BFP scheme is to increase community involvement in the area.

The main body of the report is dedicated to sustainability appraisal and monitoring, more specifically an evaluation of the objectives and indicators which were proposed in the Core Strategy for St Helens. The objectives were scored on a basis of relevance to the BFP and therefore if objectives and indicators were not applicable to the park they were altered or new indicators were proposed.

A second part to the report describes the work undertaken by a group of postgraduate students whose task it was to share best practice between BFP and another PURE Hubs project: Greening the Gateway, Kent Medway. The students drew upon the work carried out on the BFP scheme to provide the basis for sharing best practice. The students took the evaluation and proposal of indicators carried out previously and applied them to the GGKM project, making changes where necessary so that a high level of relevance was maintained. The results of their findings leads to the conclusion that, to some extent, the BFP AAP Monitoring Framework is applicable for GGKM, particularly emphasising the fact that 8 sets of indicators have been classified as highly or moderately significant for the GGKM projects aims and objectives.

An overall conclusion for the report highlights the importance and need for sustainability appraisal and monitoring, and how critical it is to have relevant objectives and indicators for a project, in this case the BFP scheme. The information gathered from all sources also encourages St Helens council to be adaptive in practices relating to the park, re-evaluations of the new sustainability appraisal are key to the future success of the BFP especially if objectives become blurry and less relevant. The sharing of best practice between BFP and GGKM shows how useful the PURE Hubs projects can be and the continued sharing of these practices is something that should be held in very high regard. The theme of community engagement must be taken on as the heart of the project and it should seek to get as many people involved from the locality as possible, this will enhance community relations and bring a sense of pride to the area whilst helping to cut costs.