BOSF Community Involvement Project

An open space group in NechellsBirmingham Open Spaces Forum (BOSF)

An insight into the 2013 Birmingham Open Spaces Forum (BOSF) Involvement Project, working to bring community groups together and raise the profile of the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area.

Throughout 2013, the Birmingham Open Spaces Forum (BOSF) worked to raise the profile of the Birmingham and Black Country NIA, by helping community groups across the region to become more involved in NIA projects in their area. The BOSF also encouraged open space groups to network together to increase their sustainability and make a stronger impact in their area.

Much focus was placed on disseminating NIA information, advice and guidance across the BOSF network of around 150 community groups and interested partners advising how they could make their community more aware of biodiversity and what they could do to improve it on their site.

As well as helping community groups to identify potential sites for biodiversity improvement and make applications to the NIA to access funding, advice and guidance was given to help groups secure funding from others sources such as bids to the National Lottery, Green Places Fund Birmingham or Police Fund.

An important element of the project was to encourage open spaces groups located in both Birmingham and the Black Country to unite and create a partnership which, with members of the BOSF committee, meets on a quarterly basis to help create stronger community open spaces forums by sharing advice on best practice.

Not only did this project help to circulate information about the NIA’s targets and aims to a wider audience throughout Birmingham and the Black Country, it will also increased the area of accessible open space that is designated for its value to wildlife. Further, the engagement with these community groups about local needs helped to identify possible NIA projects for the future.