Extraordinary stories of ordinary people who are changing the place where they live.
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Friday 28 January
Dylan Winter visits Northamptonshire, the home of the pocket park.
Pocket Parks are a special feature of the county of Northamptonshire where they were first created in the early 1980s to provide access for people who lived in the country but couldn't necessarily get into the countryside.
The county has no Outstanding Areas of Natural Beauty, no National Parks and few Sites of Special Scientific Interest and much of the land is privately owned . Alan Teulon, head of the County Council's Countryside department, provided communities with the opportunity to manage a piece of local land -"a pocket of countryside" for the benefit of people and wildlife. Now 20 years later, there are over 80 pocket parks in town and country, all maintained by local people.
Dylan Winter visits three parks and meets the dedicated enthusiasts who keep them going by creating wildlife habitats, paths and walkways, planting woodlands and flowerbeds and making a public amenity of areas which would normally be neglected or inaccessible.
In the village of Greens Norton he meets Mike Potter and Peter Warden who have transformed a brickpit near their home into a superb haven for local villagers and wildlife. In Towcester, the children of the Nicholas Hawksmoor Primary School use their pocket park for lessons on art, mathematics and even Egyptology, and on a housing development in Daventry, John and Jalna Donaldson are part of a small team of volunteers creating a pond and wildflower meadow and restoring an ancient hedgerow for the benefit of their neighbours.