Some 50% of the British public visit their local parks and green spaces at least once a week. It’s clear that we love our parks, and to celebrate them, and encourage even more people to discover their delights, Love Parks Week is about to get underway.
It’s a countrywide week of mainly free, outdoor events, running during the first main week of the school summer holidays from 21-29 July 2012. Around 700 events have already registered and more being added every day. Organisers expect about 1,000 events to be taking place in total.
And from major festivals to free concerts, days out in the park, open-air theatre and fun fitness classes in the outdoors, there’s something for everyone whatever part of the country you’re in.
Celebrating Britain’s parks and green spaces
TV presenter and award-winning garden designer Chris Beardshaw is all in favour of Love Parks Week, and said: “I think exploring a local park is a brilliant way to get children thinking about their surroundings and the community they live in.”
“There is so much evidence now on the positive impact good green spaces have on our lives, be that our health and well-being, our social fabric, even helping the economy and reducing crime rates and the evidence is continuing to grow.”
Organise an event yourself
Love Parks Week celebrates its fifth birthday and is aiming to get a million people into parks and green spaces in 2012. And if you fancy organising an event yourself, then it’s easy, you can register it on the Love Parks Week website, and nearer the event you will find an event ‘toolkit’ there plus details of how to get posters and banners to publicise your event.
Essential green spaces for the UK’s cities
With more than 90% of the UK’s population now living in towns and cities, the quality of urban life is greatly boosted by green spaces. Britain’s parks and green spaces are not only essential for recreation and improving people’s quality of life, they also help regulate air quality and temperature and contribute to water and flood management and sustain diverse plant and wildlife.
Top UK park facts
Some other top park facts:
- more than 33 million people in England use their green spaces
- a total of between 2.5 and 3 billion individual visits to parks are expected in 2011
- around 10% of the population visit parks daily
- people who visit urban green spaces more often are less likely to report stress-related illnesses
- 91% of people believe public parks and open spaces improve their quality of life
- a brisk daily walk in your local park can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 50%
- there are around 5,000 city farms, community gardens, allotment sites, orchards and school farms in the UK, with up to 5 million people a year using them they’re great for days out
- people with good access to green space are 24% more likely to be physically active; those with poor access are 27% more likely to be overweight
Love Parks Week highlights from 2011
Love Parks Week had a whole host of exciting events, including big festivals like:
- Leeds Party in the Park, Temple Newsam
- Debdale Festival, Manchester
- World Picnic, Campbell Park, Milton Keynes
- Ponty’s Big Weekend, Pontypridd, Wales
Summer outdoor theatre
There was also plenty of summer outdoor theatre, including:
- Summer Shakespeare at Caversham Court Gardens, Reading
- Wind in the Willows at Brockwell Park, London Two
- Alice in Wonderland at Birkenhead Park, Merseyside
Free fitness events for all
Free fitness events in 2011 included:
- Zumba in Portland Square, Carlisle
- The JayLympics at Crossways Park, Jaywick, Essex
- Tai Chi in Chances Park, Carlisle
- Beach Fit at Gorleston Seafront, Norfolk
Loads of free music events
There was also dozens of free music concerts to enjoy in 2011, including:
- 606 Club Jazz in the Park in Regents Park & Primrose Hill
- Tingley Brass Band, Middleton Park, Leeds
- The Ladykillers New Orleans Jazz Band, Castle Park, Colchester
- Sounds of Sinatra Concert, Greenhill Gardens, Weymouth 31 July
Get involved and find out more about Love Parks Week 2012
To find out more about how to get involved in Love Parks Week 2012 and for a full list of events near you visit the Love Parks Week website. There’s also a handy interactive map, so get out and enjoy your green spaces!