Beaumont Park has been enjoyed by the people of Plymouth for over 130 years. Here, Clare Baker from the Devon & Plymouth Chamber highlights the important work being carried out by Nash & Co Solicitors and the Friends of Beaumont Park on one of Britain’s Ocean City’s most picturesque green spaces.
Established in 1892, this hidden gem is located just a 10-minute walk from the city centre along Ebrington Street, next to Nash & Co Solicitors‘ offices in Beaumont House.
More than a century since opening to the public, Beaumont Park remains one of Plymouth’s most beautiful green spaces.
The picturesque park is surrounded by high walls and is home to a number of mature trees including oaks, beech, sycamore and horse chestnut. And during the spring, you’ll find a display of woodland wildflowers on the southern side.
Beaumont Park is known to some as ‘Squirrel Park’ due to the abundance of grey squirrels that scamper about between the trees.
There is also a large playground with a selection of different equipment including wheelchair accessible items, as well as a basketball hoop and ball games areas.
With the park now in need of a little TLC, a group of volunteers is aiming to really bring it alive for the local community.
The Devon & Plymouth Chamber, together with Steve Warren-Brown from YGS Landscapes, was lucky enough to accompany Dave Briggs from Nash & Co to hear what the group has been up to and how we can collectively support the Beaumont Park project.
Nash & Co Solicitors has been working on the outside space of its Plymouth offices to encourage greater biodiversity, nature and improve wellbeing for their team and the local community.
This work has now expanded to the firm establishing the Friends of Beaumont Park. Local schools Holy Cross and Salisbury Road Primary Schools and Veterans Outdoors have joined and they have started recruiting some local residents to the group as well.
It is hoped that over time, other organisations will also come on board.
The group has helped build a wildlife pond already, erected new rose trellises and helped with the construction of a new fence.
We walked around Beaumont Park, hearing and sharing ideas about how to bring the park alive for the local community.
An area of the park has been fenced off, creating an educational and wildlife ‘reserve’. The plans are to plant wildflower seeds with the support of fellow Chamber members, Pollenize CIC, and establish a series of bug houses, hedgehog houses and bird and bat boxes, which YGS Landscapes has offered 50 pallets to build.
For the paths in the park, the YGS team have talked about their plastic flowerpot recycling plans, transforming them into hard-wearing sustainable path edgings, and also their eco bricks which they can provide. Steve has even offered Dave the opportunity to visit YGS headquarters and have access to supplies he might need.
Nash & Co Solicitors have been leading the rewilding project, while the University of Plymouth is carrying out research in the Microscopy Department on biochar soil and analysing new tree soil for YGS, which they hope to trial in Beaumont Park.
Trees throughout the park need a full tree inspection as some are nearing the end of their lives or are diseased, and a plan will be developed for new planting, sourcing local province seedlings and trees from species that best support biodiversity.
City College Plymouth is starting a new horticulture apprenticeship course, which is also sponsored by YGS. This should help provide the skills needed to support the industry in delivering the various landscape, nature, and sustainable programmes locally.
This course will include a community project as 10% of the course, which could be the project, and YGS Landscapes’ aim is to have 10% of its workforce as apprentices to keep training the next generation of horticulturalists.
Our group also talked about Finance Finder as a means of sourcing funding for a variety of businesses and CIC’s and charities.
Dave said: “It was absolutely fantastic to get to spend some time with Clare and Steve in Beaumont Park, talking about what we’re already doing, some of the things that we’d really like to do and, ultimately, forming closer links and a really good relationship with Steve (Warren-Brown).
“Along with getting the Friends of Beaumont Park up and running, and getting the community more involved, our biggest goal for 2023 is to get the big rubble oval in the middle of the park removed. Then we can really start making some big improvements to the park.”
Find out more about our Chamber Finance Finder here.