Birmingham parks' exercise scheme to be expanded across the city

A scheme to offer free physical activities in Birmingham parks will be rolled out across the city after a successful pilot.

Since April the Active Parks scheme has been trialled in Cotteridge Park, Walkers Heath Park, Moonlit and Sunset Parks, Holders Lane Fields and Ward End Park.

Users were offered a range of free activities from the everyday – walking, running and cycling – to the more unusual such as Tai Chi, bushcraft and buggyfit. Gardening was also on the list.

Now 50 parks will be involved from April 2014 and organisers are surveying park users to see what they think.

The council said feedback from the pilot found that the parks attracted people who did not traditionally use leisure facilities and allowed families to exercise together. People who came to exercise also often stayed on to volunteer in the parks.

Cabinet member for health and wellbeing, councillor Steve Bedser said: "The obesity problem in Birmingham cannot be underestimated – 26 per cent of our population is obese and that includes nearly one in four of our ten and 11-year-olds.

"We have to use every resource available to us to promote healthier and more active lifestyles throughout the city. That includes our wonderful parks and open spaces."

Bedser said the pilot showed there was undoubtedly a demand for physical activities in parks and open spaces.

The scheme has been delivered by Birmingham City Council and the Birmingham Sport and Physical Activity Partnership and links into the existing Be Active project which offers people free access to leisure centres.

Bedser said that many people who did not like gyms found parks "familiar, unthreatening venues."

The city has 600 parks and open spaces.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Get set for Saltex 2017

Get set for Saltex 2017

This year's Saltex show at the NEC in Birmingham offers something for everyone, says Sally Drury.

Sargent's Solutions: What is the difference between a head gardener and gardens manager? Part 2

Sargent's Solutions: What is the difference between a head gardener and gardens manager? Part 2

In the second of a two-part article, Alan Sargent looks at the functions of today's gardens manager.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs
Horticulture Week Custodian Awards 2017 - the winners!

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2017 winners.

Products & Kit Resources