Fields in Trust have called on political parties and prospective Parliamentary candidates to re-value parks in its general election manifesto call.
The UK-wide green space charity has launched a 'Manifesto for Parks in advance of the general election on June 8 calling on the next government to recognise the vital contribution that parks and playing fields make to the physical health and mental wellbeing of our communities.
Chief executive Helen Griffiths said it was a critical time for parks with some at risk of closure.
The charity said there was a risk of loss of impetus on green space issues since Parliament was dissolved before former parks minister Andrew Percy had formerly responded to the Communities and Local Government Parliamentary Committee Inquiry’s parks report, despite previous progress on the parks agenda.
It fears the issue being overlooked in a crowded legislative programme of the next Parliament and calls for politicians to re-value parks and take into account their benefits to people's physical health and mental well-being.
The Fields in Trust ‘manifesto’ identifies four "green line" issues which voters can challenge prospective Parliamentary candidates on:
• Championing our parks is about revaluing our green spaces to ensure their contribution to society is properly recognised.
• Supporting our communities calls for parks to be available to all.
• Activating our nation puts parks at the heart of efforts to create a healthier nation.
• Protecting our green future looks at how the next generations require a safeguarding of our parks today".
In the forward to the report FiT chief executive Helen Griffiths said: "Our nation’s parks and green spaces are at a critical juncture. In these challenging times, our local spaces are vulnerable to closure and so it is important we stand up to champion the positive impact they have on our society. Our Manifesto for Parks furthers the calls set out in our inquiry submission through four policy ‘green lines.
The manifesto is available to download from the Fields in Trust website.
To demonstrate just how much our parks matter, charity Fields in Trust is encouraging all communities to celebrate their local green spaces, one month after the election, on July 8. The national Have a Field Day event will show the many ways people use their public parks and why local communities value them so greatly. Event organisers can register their events on the Fields in Trust website, www.fieldsintrust.org/haveafieldday.
Fields in Trust is championing our green spaces and raising awareness of the positive impact they have on our communities and encouraging voters to ask prospective Members of Parliament to commit to supporting the UKs Parks.