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Environment and grass management

Our Commitment

Environmental Services own, manage, and maintain over 300 parks, open spaces and verges across South Somerset, totalling 100ha in area.

Our vision is “to provide a network of well-managed, attractive and living open spaces for all to enjoy.”

Open spaces are defined as those areas of greenspace where residents and visitors can spend leisure time, undertake a range of formal and informal play activities, discover our natural environment, or just have a break. They significantly improve the social, economic, and environmental fabric of the district. The provision of open space, natural environment and play and recreational facilities contributes to the achievement of wider governmental and regional objectives, including social and community cohesion, urban renewal and promoting a healthy and enjoyable life.

Open spaces, play opportunities and recreational provision underpins people's quality of life. The development of open space (new or enhancement of existing spaces) does not simply improve the physical landscape but improves and influences the environmental, cultural, ecological and economical value of the surrounding area.

The following sets out a number of benefits of Open Space:

  • An attractive environment in which to live and work
  • Opportunities to improve health and personal fitness, and take part in a wide range of sport and outdoor activities
  • Adds value to the surrounding property, both commercial and residential
  • Quality and interesting open spaces contributes to attracting tourists
  • Encourages employment potential and inward investment
  • Opportunities for community involvement and voluntary activities
  • An educational resource - an outdoor classroom, which stimulates ideas on art, design, the environment and nature
  • Provides and sustains habitats for wildlife, aiding biodiversity
  • Helps to stabilise urban temperatures and humidity
  • Absorbs pollutants from the air and ground water


Research shows that open spaces are some of the most widely used facilities provided by any local authority. Our residents tell us that South Somerset has some superb spaces and they benefit from many opportunities to enjoy them. Whether visiting our country parks, walking a local right of way, or simply visiting their local park the enjoyment and benefits of open space is important to us all.

For identification purposes, we use a typology to classify the different types of open space provision.

  • Parks and gardens - including urban parks, country parks and formal gardens;
  • Natural and semi-natural urban greenspaces - including woodlands, urban forestry, scrub, grasslands (e.g., down-lands, commons and meadows), wetlands, open and running water, wastelands and derelict open land and rock areas (e.g., cliffs, quarries and pits);
  • Green corridors - including river and canal banks, cycle ways, and rights of way;
  • Amenity greenspace (most commonly, but not exclusively in housing areas) – including informal recreation spaces, greenspaces in and around housing, domestic gardens, and village greens;
  • Allotments and community gardens
  • Cemeteries and closed churchyards;
  • Civic spaces, including civic and market squares, and other hard surfaced areas designed for pedestrians


Providing facilities that match all aspirations is not easy, and there are always challenges to face by way of maintaining and improving the quality, quantity and accessibility of, not only our existing spaces, but also the new spaces secured through housing development. The desire to ensure that our environment is managed in such a way that it is safeguarded for future generations is now of prime importance.

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