Parks and Green Spaces – at a tipping point

This month  hundreds of communities across the UK came together to celebrate the UK’s parks and green spaces as part of Fields in Trust’s Have a Field Day campaign. Thousands of people joined a movement of park users championing the spaces that are so special to them. The events were as varied as the parks that hosted them, from small picnics amongst neighbours to large community festivals with thousands in attendance.

After the busy weekend, the long awaited Ordnance Survey green space map was launched. This now makes it far easier for people to locate parks and green spaces by using the new database and interactive digital map, identifying accessible recreational and leisure greenspace in Great Britain.

Universities and Science Minister, Jo Johnson, said: “Green spaces are a vital part of our landscape and this new database and an online map will make it easier for people across the country to access green spaces and lead healthier lives”.

Last week also saw the confirmation of Marcus Jones as Parks Minister in the Department for Communities and Local Government. He will find in his in-tray an outstanding job of responding to last year’s Parliamentary Inquiry into the Future of Public Parks.  In the Inquiry Report, parks were identified as at a tipping point.

Fields in Trust submission to last year’s Parks Inquiry called for a change in the way public green space is conceived, not simply as a drain on spending that requires a considerable amount of money to maintain – but rather as an asset which can be deployed to achieve longer-term savings and happier, healthier more connected communities.

Fields in Trust Ambassador, author Bill Bryson said: “Britain has the comeliest, most enchanting, abundant and often venerable parks and green spaces of any country I know. Wherever you are, you are never more than a few minutes from woods, greensward and fresh air.  How splendid is that?  I am delighted to see them celebrated by Fields in Trust.”