Love Parks Week 2021
This week marks Love Parks Week, and over the last 18 months we have seen an increasing number of people, up and down the country, value green open space more than ever.
Our parks and green spaces have been a vital lifeline to many of us during the various lockdowns and challenges faced over the last year, offering a place to escape. With Natural England’s 2020 survey revealing 9 in 10 of us agree our natural spaces are beneficial for our mental health and wellbeing, showcases the crucial role they play in our communities.
At Countryside, we recognise the importance of green spaces and the numerous reasons why people love and value them. Parks truly are a core part of our communities. From acting as social hubs, bringing friends and like-minded people together, to offering a peaceful oasis outside the bustle of our vibrant cities, green spaces have become ingrained into our social infrastructure. Following the pandemic, as a business, we’ve remained dedicated to incorporating green spaces and parks into our schemes, to ensure we’re delivering on the needs of our communities and continuing to create places people love.
As part of our ambitious new approach to sustainability which launched earlier this year, 67% of our developments feature public green open space and we’ve also planted 2,800 new trees. For example, at our Acton Gardens scheme in London, we’ve delivered over 4.69 hectares of new parks and open space including Bollo Brook Park, a 0.5-hectare urban park that offers a range of sports, health and wellbeing activities for local residents of all ages and abilities. Over in Hertfordshire, at our St Michael’s Hurst development, we’ve delivered the new 16-acre Bat Willow Hurst Country Park, providing expansive open space for all to enjoy.
We’re also proud to share that three of our schemes are situated within close proximity to one of England’s ten National Parks. Residents at Manor Woods in Kirkbymoorside enjoy the rolling hills of the North York Moors on the doorstep, Foundry Gardens in Sussex is within reach of the idyllic landscape of the South Downs and the Peak District is located close to our Heyside Grove development in Royton.
While green open spaces are more valued than ever, they’ve been under increasing pressure, with local authorities collecting an extra 57 tonnes of litter during the first lockdown. It is vital that we ensure these spaces are protected to ensure the long-lasting, sustainable communities we seek to create, are maintained.
Keep Britain Tidy has come up with a simple code to help remind visitors this summer how to look after your local park:
1.Be friendly and share the space
2.Respect those working in the park
3.If the bins are full, take your litter home
4.Care for nature, do not cause damage or disturb wildlife
5.Keep your dog under control and bag and bin dog poo
6.Only use BBQs if allowed and don’t light fires
To celebrate Love Parks Week, local authorities across the country have organised events in local green spaces. To find out what's happening near you, search #LoveParks on social media, or contact your local park.