Cowes Place Plan update… Shaping Deconstructed Parks…

23 August 2021
Claire Hector

We love seeing when a plan, a Place Plan, comes together!
We’d suggested that the many and distinctive public greenspaces and assets in Isle of Wight gateway town of Cowes, could together become a wide and varied ‘deconstructed park’. Taking that forward in real time collaboration are Moorgreen Road Allotment Society and Cowes Baptist Church. They’ve joined forces with the wildlife experts and artists here and at Artecology R&D for Moorgreen Reservoir Park’s first ever BioBlitz and nature safari next month.

As the name suggests, this public greenspace at the heart of Cowes was part of the town’s Victorian reservoir system. Now water-free and grassed over, the park’s distinctive bowl-shape makes it the perfect amphitheatre and venue, and together with its neighbouring spaces, it’s filled with potential as a valuable place for community access to nature

As Peter Fellows, Moorgreen Allotment Society says, ‘Taking inspiration from the Cowes Place Plan and recommendations around the ‘deconstructed park’ we want to link four important but perhaps less visible or underused green spaces in the town through the delivery of a mini bio-blitz event.’  Part-celebration, part consultation, as well as exploring the extraordinary natural world in the everyday Island, the day will offer an opportunity to explore and shape how this very special greenspace, allotments, the Church grounds and the woodland that links them might all work better for people and for wildlife… and in doing so, become a truly functioning and vibrant public asset in the future.
Arc have been asked to help with the nature bit at the Reservoir Park and in the Cowes Baptist Church Gardens… there’ll be the pop-up natural history museum, bug-hoovering and bio-blitzing, wildlife art and making and more.  Also in the line-up are tours of the frankly inspirational Moorgreen Road Allotments and a chance to discover the Baptist Church’s exciting plans for Eco-Church accreditation, a Renew Cowes café and a well-being programme aimed at encouraging people outdoors.
As Pete says, ‘There’s also an important IW Biosphere element to this, linking biological and cultural interest and activity to help generate better outcomes for the neighbourhood. A key part of the day will be to assimilate ideas for making better use of the old reservoir and opening up the woodland for public enjoyment and gauge what interest there might be amongst local residents to help us with the work.’
All free and all ages welcome…. event link here: Bring ideas, a picnic, a blanket and all your friends!
Inspired by the Biosphere and the Cowes & Northwood Place Plan, this FREE event is brought to you by Moorgreen Road Allotment Society, Cowes Baptist Church, with help from Arc and Artecology R&D and with special thanks to Cowes Town Council & Sovereign Housing Association.