Keyham Greenspace Improvement Questions

Who was involved in the design and consultation process for the Keyham Greenspace Improvements?

Working with the Plymouth Together / Safer Keyham team, we reached as many people in the Keyham community as possible. Over 100 residents, plus local community groups such as Keyham Neighbourhood Watch and Black Dog Honeybees, as well as ward councillors and teams who manage the greenspaces, were consulted and involved in the design process held since January 2022. This design process happened through a range of activities, including online surveys, community workshops, community events, and on site consultations sessions.

What were the results from the consultation and co-design process?

It was wonderful to see the draft designs were received positively (with nearly everyone rating the draft designs as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’) so the details on the designs have not changed much since the initial consultation in January 2022. The most popular theme from the original consultation survey was liking the variety of areas for wildlife and people, the addition of trees and benches, and improving site accessibility.

In the co-design workshops (June 2022), the main themes were wanting signage, homes for wildlife, areas to socialise, liking the wildlife meadows and trees / plants suggested, and the idea of creativity to be incorporated into the improvements. Not all of these (like wildlife homes and signs) are shown on the finalised greenspace designs, but are still being planned for later phases of improvements.

Over summer 2022, we worked with some key stakeholders with good knowledge of how people use the greenspaces to finalise the designs and check details (like tree species and locations). This included working with Keyham Neighbourhood Watch, Black Dog Honeybees, ward councillors and organisations involved in the monthly ‘Healthier, Resilient and Safer Keyham’ meetings.

Can I still comment on the greenspace designs?

Over 100 residents, plus local community groups such as Keyham Neighbourhood Watch and Black Dog Honeybees, as well as ward councillors and teams who manage the greenspaces, were consulted and involved in the design process held primarily in January and June 2022. During this period, everyone had an opportunity to get involved and share thoughts and we tried to reach as many people in the Keyham community as possible. As this consultation and co-design process has finished, the greenspace designs for North Down Crescent Park, Alexandra Park and Knowle Avenue have already been finalised (subject to minor changes) and we are not collating anymore comments on the greenspace designs.

The greenspace designs for Marley Park and Linear Park have not yet been finalised. While we’re not collating comments at this stage for these greenspaces, keep an eye out on our 'Urban Rewilding in the North West Neighbourhoods' page, for details of when you can share your thoughts and get involved with these greenspaces.

We appreciate that news may never reach everyone, so if you have any major concerns or would like to tell us something, you can contact us using our 'Contact Us' form which you can find here.


How are you keeping everyone updated on the Keyham Greenspace Improvements?

All updates on the Keyham Greenspaces Improvements have been shared via the Green Minds and Plymouth Together website, and we’ll continue to keep these updated. There are also temporary information signs in the greenspaces, and sometimes you’ll see updates in local newsletters or via local community groups and organisations, particularly those who attend the monthly ‘Healthier, Resilient and Safer Keyham’ meetings.

View some of the previous updates we’ve made on Keyham greenspaces at https://greenmindsplymouth.com/projects/urban-rewilding-in-the-north-west-neighbourhoods (scroll down to ‘related news’) and on the Plymouth Together 'A Safer Keyham' webpage.


How can I get involved?

Keep an eye on our Green Minds Plymouth events page for ways you can get involved!

If you are interested in volunteering in Keyham greenspaces, contact us on our 'Contact Us' form and we can put you in touch with the right person / organisation. Green Minds hold occasional events in Keyham, but groups like Keyham Neighbourhood Watch and Keyham Green Places may have other volunteering opportunities.

For information on environmental volunteering opportunities in general, visit : https://new.plymouth.gov.uk/volunteer-nature-and-parks


Will the trees block views?

The consultation survey in January 2022 and co-design workshops in June 2022 showed that trees were very popular – in fact, people wanted more trees to be included in the designs! However, we are also very aware of the need to balance the number of trees with visibility, especially in terms of safety and keeping spectacular views. This is why the planned trees (particularly those nearer houses and on hills) have been chosen so they have thinner stems / trunks and don’t grow too tall (so they won’t shade large areas or block views).

By popular demand from local residents, the trees will be a mix of some that are colourful throughout the year and provide blossom in the spring, fruit trees like apple and cherry, and native trees (naturally found in the UK) that are good for wildlife.

It’s worth noting that while these are finalised designs, they do not show the detail of exactly where each tree will be planted. Care will be taken so that trees are planted appropriately and minor changes may happen depending on practicalities when planting is happening on-site.

How have these improvements been funded?

A mix of Green Minds, the Safer Keyham Home Office Grant, and ward councillors have funded improvements. Generally, Green Minds is focused on more natural improvements like tree planting, while other funding is focused on improvements like play equipment and paths.

Vegetation cutbacks and tree pollarding is carried out as part of standard maintenance by the Plymouth City Council Streets Services.


Is there something missing from the designs?

You’ll notice the designs don’t necessarily include everything (like path resurfacing in North Down Crescent Park) – this is to simplify the designs so they’re easier to understand. Some changes have already happened (like new paths and play equipment), while more light touch activities (like adding wildlife homes and signs) are not included but are still planned to happen.


How long will it take until the improvements are finished?

The improvements will be phased over the next couple of years. Not all changes will happen at the same time and the timing of some improvements need to happen at certain times of the year – for example, tree planting may take place over a few years, and is best done in the winter. It will also take time for things like wildlife meadows to establish and reach their full potential.


What trees and wildflowers can I expect to see?

Most trees and wildflowers will be native – this means they are naturally found in the UK and are generally better for wildlife compared to ornamental species.

Trees will include fruit trees like crab apple, cherry, hawthorn, silver birch and field maple, as well as some ornamental species like gingko and magnolia.

The wildflower mixes we’re using are best for wildlife – typically, these are made up of approximately 70% grasses and 30% wildflowers. These will not be typical ‘pictorial meadows’, which are very hard to manage and often aren’t successful, have to be seeded every year and are not very good for wildlife. Instead, these meadows will evolve and improve overtime, with a variety of plant shapes, colours and flowers, that will be great for pollinators (like bees and butterflies) at every stage of their life cycle. In turn, this will encourage more animals like birds, bats, hedgehogs and more!

Click here to watch our short film clips about the wildflowers and plants you can spot in meadows across Plymouth.

For more information on how wildlife meadows are managed, visit https://new.plymouth.gov.uk/how-we-manage-our-grass

What about lighting, CCTV and safety?

Improvements focused on the safety of greenspaces were organised by Safer Keyham / Plymouth Together: https://plymouthtogether.co.uk/contact-us/

What about vegetation cutbacks?

Vegetation cutbacks and tree pollarding is carried out as part of standard maintenance by the Plymouth City Council Streets Services.

How do I enquire about a specific part of the design?

If you cannot find the answer to your question here, contact us on our 'Contact Us' form and we’ll put you in touch with the best person to answer your enquiry.

Why are Marley Park and Linear Park not included here?

Our focus for this autumn / winter is North Down Crescent Park, Alexandra Park and Knowle Avenue. We’ll be looking at Marley Park and Linear Park improvements next year.

What do the designs show? What do the designs mean?

The designs and delivery schedule for the Keyham Greenspace Improvements have been drawn up by a professional landscaping and consultancy firm, YGS. While the designs and labels may look technical, they should give you an overall idea of what to expect in the Keyham greenspaces. The designs include some changes that have happened already (like some tree planting, new paths and play equipment) and some that are due to happen (like more tree planting, wildflower sowing and picnic benches). While some improvements asked for by the community (like wildlife homes and signage) aren’t on these designs, we still intend to help make these changes at a later stage and will be in touch with various community groups as and when we’re planning these smaller, light-touch improvements in the greenspaces.

What improvements have happened so far and who was involved?

Improvements so far include path resurfacing, new play equipment, tree planting and wildflower sowing. Tree planting, wildflower sowing and bulb planting was done by a mix of local residents, community groups like Keyham Scout group and the mini-police from Keyham Barton, Drake Primary and Ford Primary schools. Click here to view some of the previous updates we’ve made on Keyham greenspaces at (scroll down to ‘related news’) and visit https://plymouthtogether.co.uk/a-safer-keyham/

What improvements can I expect to see next?

Over the next few months, you can expect to see more tree planting, improving and creating wildlife meadow areas and bench installation, with opportunities to get involved with some activities at Alexandra Park and North Down Crescent Park.

Not all changes will happen this winter – improvements will be phased over the next couple of years, and it will also take time for natural improvements such as wildlife meadows to fully establish. We will continue to keep the Green Minds website updated as more improvements are planned.

How can I report a concern or compliment?

If you have a comment relating specifically to the Keyham Greenspace Improvements, contact us at https://greenmindsplymouth.com/contact

If you have a comment relating to how the greenspaces are managed or need to report a problem like damage to park facilities, visit https://new.plymouth.gov.uk/report-park-or-playground-problem where you will have an option to ‘report a problem’ or ‘tell us what is working well’.

How are greenspaces in Plymouth managed?

Details on Plymouth’s greenspaces and how they are managed can be found at https://new.plymouth.gov.uk/parks-nature-and-green-spaces