Findings of the original project

The original research project, which ran from Feb 2013 to Jan 2014, was a partnership between the Universities of Derby and Nottingham and community partners. The University team was led by John Beckett and comprised Paul Elliott (from Derby University) and Jonathan Coope and Judith Mills (University of Nottingham). The community partners were a combination of representatives of the Friends of Nottingham Arboretum, Friends of the Forest, Very Local History Group, the Civic Society and the City Council Parks and Open Spaces, and some individual volunteers.
Together we researched aspects the Green Spaces created by the 1845 Enclosure Act (The Forest, The Arboretum, Church (Rock) Cemetery, Victoria Park (originally Bath St. cricket ground), Queen’s Walk recreation ground (also originally a cricket ground), Elm Avenue, Corporation Oaks, Robin Hood Chase and Queen’s Walk. Topics included:
Controversy: disagreements about enclosure, private versus restricted access spaces, management of the race course, crime, policing and anti-social behaviour, gambling and alcohol consumption, 20th century development of leisure facilities and transportation
Heath, hygiene and education: green lungs as a counter to industrial pollution, cemeteries, influence of ‘rational recreation’, ‘respectable’ exercise and growth of participatory sport, current demand for sporting facilities, and the ‘open air’ movement.
Planting: the ‘picturesque’, importation of exotic trees and plants, the role of commercial nurserymen, the influence of the Sherwood Forest group of writers.
Mass entertainment and celebration: horse racing, the development of sporting facilities, religious gatherings, band concerts, jubilees and coronations, carnivals, Goose Fair.
Green spaces in war time: venues for defence and recruitment, vegetable growing, communal commemoration.