The Pocket Parks of Warmington were formed out of an initiative of Northants County Council. NCC had endorsed the project for Pocket Parks to enable communities to have their own spaces.
The Big Green Park
This was constructed out of derelict land owned by East Northants Council and was later transferred to the ownership of Warmington Parish Council.
The Orchard Park in Eaglethorpe
This was a part of an Orchard in the ownership of the Mill House and became vacant when the Warmington Bypass was constructed it is leased by NCC to the village on a peppercorn rent. They were originally an idea peculiar to Northamptonshire but have now been copied by other counties.
Background & Management
Warmington had two firsts with the parks it was the first community to have two parks and the first to have an orchard.
A steering committee was formed to progress the parks into public open spaces Big Green is a very quiet green area. It also has some fruit (damsons which seem to disappear into bottles of gin yet to be marketed). The Orchard has apples, pears, plums of very many varieties some quite old and very many wild flowers including a difficult to rear Yellow Rattle.
Both parks have been encouraged to grow wild flowers etc and we have a young walnut tree growing in the Orchard park.
At the official opening of the parks a very grand parade was organised starting at Big Green and progressing to the Orchard Park. Various events have been held in the parks ranging from picnics, apple days and even a one man theatre production (The flower of Gloster describing life on a narrow boat). The parks are maintained by volunteers the grass must be managed , hedges like wise and villagers are encouraged to plant flowers, bushes etc. School children make use of the parks for various studies and we get good feed back from visitors from out of the village.
As with many community projects once they are established the enthusiasm wanes and this is very much so with the Pocket Parks however we consider ours a benefit and we aim to keep them in good condition with financial help when needed from our Parish Council. Rather than have many meetings we have only one or two per year and discuss our policies when on working weekends a much better way of life.