Thursday, 22 September 2016

Parks and Trees and the Future of Green Spaces in the UK

Parks are wonderful greenspaces, particularly in built up areas, spaces where plants grow, animals can find homes and people can have fun, play and relax!

The Communities and Local Government Select Committee is holding an inquiry into the future of open spaces in the UK and wants people to take part in their survey. By taking part, you can influence the recommendations they make to the Government.

‘Public parks’ in the UK are country parks, smaller ‘pocket’ parks, woodland areas and open green spaces which are cared for by the local authority. At the moment they are not considered to be statutory services, despite all the evidence that shows how vital green spaces are for physical and mental health and wellbeing. This means that in these days of austerity, parks are likely to be at the receiving end of funding cuts in the local authority's budgets. 

Many parks in the UK have Friends Groups who help to manage the park and provide volunteers to carry out conservation tasks and citizen science projects, these groups however should act as an additional resource that complements the work that the council does rather than been seen as candidates to take over the work of the council. 

Community ownership can work in some cases, if the council sees fit to sell off green-spaces. However, this won't always work and councils shouldn't use the expectation of community buy out as an excuse for selling off the parks. 

The Rethinking Parks report contains some interesting ideas for creating sustainable futures for our parks, you can download it here

The Woodland Trust's report Trees or Turf? demonstrates that planting trees in public green-spaces can be a more economic approach then maintaining lawns.You can read the trust's thoughts on the consultation itself here.

If you live in the UK, the Communities and Local Government Select Committee wants to know your views on parks, you can let them know here. The closing date for responses is 30 September. 

Meanwhile if you live in Edinburgh, the local authority is carrying out its own survey on the future of the city's greenspaces, you can take part in this survey here. The closing date for this one is 21 October. 

As ever, red text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.


Lowcarb team member said...

Yes, "Parks are wonderful greenspaces" I always enjoy a walk in one.
Not long to go for response "The closing date for responses is 30 September" ... must get on the case! (thanks for the reminder)

All the best Jan

A Cuban In London said...

Your post is so important because many people don't realise the importance of parks. One of the elements that made fall in love with London all those years ago was its parks and green areas.

Greetings from London.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Juliet,

The parks and green spaces are so important today especially when developers are wanting to build more and more houses and buildings.
Happy weekend