Nottingham City Council and Waste Recycling Environmental Limited (WREN) have put £400,000 into improving Nottingham’s oldest park.

Plans include a new café and community room in the Grade II listed Waverly lodge, re-opening of the Park Pub and repairing the derelict coach house.

The public and Friends of the Arboretum will be helping landscape and develop areas around the park ready for visitors to enjoy next Spring.

“So many cities are seeing their parks close, we’re the other way around, not only are we keeping them open but we’re developing them”
Tony Bates, Nottingham Open Spaces Forum

The award winning park is home to over 800 trees, some of which were planted in the 19th century.  The park which is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act, was opened in 1852 and was the first public park in Nottingham City Centre.

Video: Tony Bates, Nottingham Open Spaces, talks about the Arboretum.

The Arboretum is home to more than just local history; during the war with China in 1857, a bell was taken from a temple in Canton and brought to Nottingham where it was mounted in the Arboretum as a war memorial, along with two canons taken during the Crimean War.

Bell Tower Arboretum Image: Chinese Bell Tower, Nottingham’s Arboretum

As well history, parks like the Arboretum, are good for Health. The Government released figures in October this year that show evidence of the Health Benefits of Nature.

Audio: M.Sc. Psychological Wellbeing and Mental Health Student, Joseph Szablowski, talks about the importance of green spaces on mental well-being.

“Urban Vegetation is known to improve the quality of the local environment; for instance reducing air pollution and noise.”
Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology

Facts and Figures taken from the Houses of Parliament document on Green Space and Health:

  • A link has been found between people’s physical environment and their activity behaviour. Levels of physical activity are higher in areas with more green space, with people living near the greenest areas achieving the recommended amount of physical activity.
  • Views of nature, compared to views of built environment, have been suggested to reduce feelings of anxiety and reduce anger.
  • Studies show that adults who move to greener areas have better mental wellbeing and sustained improvement in self-reported happiness compared to those moving to less green areas.
  • The Faculty of Public Health suggests that interaction with nature might be effective in treating some forms of mental illness – there is emerging evidence that engaging with nature benefits those living with conditions such as ADHD, depression and dementia.
  • The direct health benefits of urban green spaces could save the UK health system money. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has estimated that if everyone had access to sufficient green space the benefits associated with increased physical activity could save the health system £2.1 billion per year.
  • More info can be found here: http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/POST-PN-0538/POST-PN-0538.pdf