Paul Bramhill, CEO of parks charity GreenSpace responds “If we turn the clock back to the early nineties, parks and green spaces were suffering from serious neglect. Sad, unusable playgrounds and litter-strewn parks were certainly not hubs of the community or safe and relaxing places for people to exercise or explore. Years of investment have seen these spaces and the surrounding community’s blossom again and now the reality is that public parks and green spaces are facing significant reductions in funding, which could see this investment thrown away.”
Love Parks Week (run by GreenSpace) is an awareness raising campaign which aims to make a paradigm shift by getting people outside and enjoying their local park or green space, bringing life to the area and security for its future, creating a powerful movement of green space devotees.
How to get involved
With just two months to go until this year’s Love Parks Week the campaign is urging supporters to join in with the biggest celebration of parks and green spaces. Organisers are calling for as many people as possible to organise a Love Parks Week event – big or small – and to simply register it on the campaign’s website. Campaign manager, Tess said “Adding your event is like signing a pledge to get you and others outside, bring your family and friends, have fun and appreciate all of the wonderful things green spaces have to offer.”
Tess continued “Your event doesn’t have to be complicated – picnic gatherings or nature walks have just as much impact as community fairs and music concerts, or you may already have something already planned during that week, which can of course be listed on the website too!”
If you do not have time to organise an event but wish to support the campaign, you can simply spread the message by purchasing fun posters and stickers from the website and displaying in your workplace, local shop or car window, or you, your friends and family can attend an event near you.
The request is simple one: show your park a little love to help make it a lasting space.
- Seven steps to a healthy park:
- Easily accessible
- Attractive and welcoming
- Clean and well maintained
- Safe and secure
- A place for exercise and fresh air
- Full of vibrancy and life
- A social hub and part of the community
About Love Parks Week
Twitter - @LoveParksWeek Facebook - @LoveParksWeek
The searchable what’s on guide (www.loveparksweek.org.uk/what-s-on) lets you search hundreds of events around the UK, with something for everyone and most of which are free. As a part of the Olympic Inspire Programme there are lots of sporting-related events to get people excited about the games. And as in year’s past there’s also family fun days, conservation volunteering, music concerts, food fairs, and nature crafts. A sample of this year’s events:
Olympic Inspired events:
- Youth activity day in Victoria Park, Bristol
- Animal Olympics in Upton Country Park, Poole
- Environmental games in Castle Semple Country Park, Lochwinnoch
- Olympic sports challenges in various parks throughout Dudley MBC
- Stretford Olympics in Victoria Park, Stretford
- Mini Olympics in various parks throughout Leicester City Council
- Community Games & Activities in various parks throughout North East Lincolnshire
- Cowtown Olympics and Carnival in St Mary’s Park, Higher Brixham
- Sport at the People’s Park in The People’s Park, Calderdale Parks
- Arundel Proms in the Jubilee Gardens, Arundel
- Rose Week in Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, Belfast
- Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliette in Shaftesbury Park, Carrickfergus
- Garden Volunteering in High Woods Country Park, Colchester
- Tree Listening in The Vines, Rochester
- ROX Free music and arts festival at the Royal Norfolk Hotel surrounding parks, Norfolk
- The Posh Market Family Fun Day in Marine Park Gardens, Bognor Regis
- Street Dance Workshop, Willowbrook Park, Leicester
- I-GROW Giant Picnic, Les O'Dell Park, Irthlingborough
- Make your own bird feeder, Southwick Country Park, Trowbridge
- Wild creatures of the night, Cobtree Maor Country Park, Maidstone
- Butterflies for Beginners, Langley Park Country Park, Langley
- Family Cycle Day, Beam Parklands, Dagenham
- Health Walk, Regents Park, London
- Love Parks Week began in 2006 with a simple aim: to encourage people to visit, enjoy and take pride in their local parks and green spaces. The first year 240 events took place with 96,000 attendees attending. Over the next five years the campaign made huge steps forward, building up to 1,200 events and one million people taking part in Love Parks Week 2011.
- Love Parks Week was granted the 2012 Olympic Inspire Mark for encouraging event organisers to embrace the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by running Community Games events. These can be any type of sporting event from a torch relay through the park to tennis tournaments to kid-friendly events like egg and spoon-races.
- Love Parks Week is organised by parks charity GreenSpace. GreenSpace is a registered charity which works to improve parks and green spaces by raising awareness, involving communities and creating skilled professionals. For more information: www.green-space.org.uk.