Green space revamped to allow access for all

The Wembdon Parklands and Community Together (PACT) initiative is a great example of how the HPC Community Fund is helping to make a positive difference for local people.

A £52,960 grant from the HPC Community Fund has gone towards regenerating and extending the park area in Wembdon, Bridgwater. Work included creating a prairie orchard and nature trail, sensory borders and seating areas, and putting in wheelchair-accessible paths. Planting new trees, shrubs and flowers has also encouraged insects and wildlife.

The grant was awarded to help enhance the park and to improve community wellbeing through the appreciation of nature.

The project has helped make the parklands more inclusive to the wider community by extending the space and enabling wheelchair access, with more and more people drawn to the park, which proved to be particularly popular during lockdown.

“People frequently tell us how much they appreciate the development,” said Lorna Edwards, Chairperson, Wembdon PACT. “One resident was advised by her doctor to take regular walks to improve her strength.

“Now, because of the tarmac pathways, she can access the park and is finding she is able to walk a little further with each visit. Without funding from the HPC Community Fund this would never have happened. It has made a huge impact on people and it’s great to see the parklands in all its glory!”

Val Bishop, Programmes Director at Somerset Community Foundation, added: “The Wembdon PACT project is already making a big difference to the community as it has opened up previously inaccessible parkland to everybody. The group was passionate about enabling those with disabilities, mobility issues or small children to access a green community space safely.

“Even during brief visits I’ve had members of the community stop me and tell me how much they appreciate it. I look forward to seeing it when the sensory garden, stumpery and other specifically planted areas are established. I’m sure it will become a much-loved part of Wembdon and the wider Bridgwater community.”