A Better Space Milton Gardens

A Better Space Milton Gardens

A Better Space has been based at Milton Gardens, Westcliff for a few years now and we have seen many changes and improvements here. In the last year the A Better Space members made the decision to became a constituted group / small charity.

There are many ups and downs when being part of a volunteer group; juggling personal life around what is achievable for the group. Managing expectations from the local community, of the people you work alongside and of your own expectations for the road / ambition you might see ahead.

Earlier this year the Parks Team at Southend Borough Council decided while they had some budget available they would use it to revamp the Milton Gardens Tennis Court Area.

Those of you who know the Milton Gardens well will know that the fence, nets and courts were in desperate need of maintenance. If you visit Milton Gardens now you will see it has been reduced to one tennis court but with a brand new fence. It now has an all-weather metal net and most importantly this tennis court is still free to use. The surface has been swept of loose gravel and old leaves and soil and the Parks Team are now planning to the paint the surface and put back the tennis court markings.

The second area is being developed into an outdoor games area and currently has two all- weather table tennis tables installed. We are waiting to see how else this

area will develop. This this revamp gives another dimension to the park making it a much more of an open feeling when you walk through the main gate.

Last year A Better Space applied for some funding which would allow us to develop the back corner of Milton Garden’s into a children’s nature learning area.

Alongside the Parks Team we talked about how we could make this an inclusive learning area for children, families, playgroups and schools. The path has now been extended so a pram / buggy or wheelchair can join in the fun and get closer to the wildlife. The plan is now to completely plant out the area around the Butterfly Insect Hotel with sensory plants that will attract the wildlife to it. We have placed child height log seating at three points along the trail path.

Other discussions taking place is the painting of the bridge walk way and what to do with the crocodile pond it crosses.

A Better Space have been quiet over the last four months but we are still very much here. We are now planning our next round community litter picks at Milton Gardens which all are welcome to join. The litter picks are also a great opportunity to talk with us about what Milton Gardens means to you and how you can be part of future conversations and developments.

A Better Space believes in co-production and what it stands for and how this has always fitted with the Southend 2050 vision.

For more information about A Better Space, and to get involved, contact abetterspace@savs-southend.co.uk